Dorset is renowned for its local produce and farmers' markets that you can find sprinkled around the county. There are a range of gourmet celebrations held throughout the year in Dorset. Find out about the foodie festivals taking place this year and plan your 2024 gourmet adventure.

30 March - Abbotsbury Food Fair in association with Dorset Food & Drink

Kickstart the Food & Drink season this year at Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens!

In association with Dorset Food & Drink, the annual Abbotsbury Food Fair marks the start of spring with plenty of glorious food, drink and craft stalls from producers and makers, around the county. Situated on the West Lawn, food lovers need look no further to sample fantastic local produce or discover something brand new made in Dorset.

Come relax and enjoy the gardens and whilst experiencing some of the best of Dorset food and drink at this spring food fair. Don’t forget a ticket includes entry to the gardens all day as a bonus.

Eat local, support local, and shop local!

18 & 19 May - Cheese & Chilli Festival, Christchurch

The Cheese and Chilli Festival is the perfect event for cheese lovers and chilli lovers alike! You can try and buy from an incredible range of local and regional products as well as peruse and purchase, with everything from chilli plants to chilli sauces.

Brave visitors can test their taste buds during a Chilli Eating Competition!

There will also be live music, cooking demonstrations and a Beer Festival featuring a fantastic inflatable pub, plus an authentic cider bar.

Younger members of the family can choose from crazy golf, circus skills, children's rides, face painting, magic shows, balloon modelling, bubble parties and inflatable characters.

Day tickets are available with kids under 16 going free.

Christchurch Cheese and Chilli Festival in Dorset

25 and 26 May - Abbotsbury Swannery Craft & Food Fair in association with Dorset Food & Drink

A family focused weekend of fun at Abbotsbury Swannery, nestled on the World Heritage Site Jurassic Coast. 

The Abbotsbury Swannery Craft & Food Fair includes food, drink, and artisan craft stalls curated by Dorset Food & Drink.

There's also Swannery Rangers Art and Craft Stalls (prints, greeting cards & photography), a Static Engine Display, the Swan Maze, Pedal Go-Karts, plus Nature and Eco activities.

24 to 26 May - Cursus Music and Cider Festival, near Blandford Forum

Cursus Festival is back for 2024 at the home of Cranborne Chase Cider!

Cursus is small, inclusive and family-friendly 3 day festival with a fantastic reputation for fun and good music. Live music line-up includes the likes of Black Water Country, 3 Daft Monkeys, the Skimmity Hitchers and more! And of course the buzzing DJ tent courtesy of the Inbredz Sound System.

The Fuelled By Cider bar serves a wide range of local ciders plus ales, lager, wine and spirits. A great choice of food caterers will be on offer including vegan / veggie options.

Weekend tickets are on sale with discounts for Under 18s and Under 5s. Camping is available on site.

25 to 27 May - Christchurch Food Festival

This year's three-day Christchurch Food Festival takes place on Christchurch Quay. Visitors will be able to shop and sample ingredients, cakes, drinks, and delicious snacks to enjoy there and then, with the vast majority of whom are of local provenance.

Watch some top local and national chefs and pick up some new culinary skills at the Chef Demonstration Theatre.

This event is free to attend.

James Golding of The Pig Hotel group demonstrates cooking skills at the 2023 Christchurch Food Festival

8 & 9 June - Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival

At this year's Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival there will be lots of artisan food and drink stalls all along the high street, as well as 'Crafts on the Green' at the Recreation Ground.

The cookery theatre will feature demonstrations from celebrity chefs together with a host of chefs from local restaurants and hotels.

Two music stages will provide entertainment for the whole family and will feature several acts designed specifically for children.

This event is free to attend.

14 & 15 June - Bridport Food & Beer Festival

Explore the wonderful food this region has to offer at the Bridport Food & Beer Festival.

The Beef Festival will begin on the Friday evening, followed by the main event on Saturday which will include an array of local food vendors, children activities, cookery theatre and more.

Tickets available to buy online soon.

15 & 16 June - Swanage Fish Festival

Prince Albert Gardens, overlooking the beautiful Swanage Bay, is the stage for the Swanage Fish Festival. Expect cooking demonstrations by top notch chefs, to learn exciting recipes and how to prepare wet and shell fish.

There will be stalls offering a mouth-watering array of exotic fish fare and locally sourced fresh ‘catch of the day’, plus the chance to sample and buy locally sourced food and drink too.

This event is free to attend.

Swanage Fish Festival in Dorset

27 & 28 July - Weymouth Food & Family Festival

As well as an excellent array of fine foods, there will be fun entertainments on offer such from cooking demonstrations in our on-site marquee, companion dog shows, live music, the human stunt man, as well as a variety of arts and craft vendors. There really is something for everyone at Weymouth Food & Family Festival.

Whilst there is a small entry charge, the majority of the entertainments on offer are free to participate.

The Weymouth Food & Family Festival is the perfect event for food lovers who can try and buy from an incredible range of local and regional products whilst making memories with the family.

Day and weekend tickets are available to buy online.

3 August - Dorset Food and Arts Festival, Poundbury

Back on the menu, and ready to champion the best of Dorset food, drink, art, craft, and community talent - don't miss the Dorset Food and Arts Festival.

Join Dorset Food & Drink on Saturday 3 August from 10 – 3 on the Great Field in Poundbury, as they bring together a FREE mini ‘pop-up’ festival market! It’s the perfect opportunity to shop for a wide selection of delicious products and artisan crafts.

Grab a bite to eat and enjoy a tipple as you shop with local stallholders, producers, and makers - offering tasty food and drink, handmade gifts, art, and beautiful crafts.

The icing on the cake is that when you shop at events like this, you get to MEET the amazing people who make, bake, farm, grow, cook, preserve, pickle, and serve you with all this local loveliness - many of them award-winning!

This event is free to attend.

3 & 4 August - Great Dorset Chilli Festival, Sturminster Newton

Located on the Stock Gaylard Estate just over 4 miles from Sturminster Newton and 8 miles from Sherborne, the 13th Great Dorset Chilli Festival is set to be a scorcher.

We've got enough chillies and chilli sauces to make steam come out of your ears! 

But if you hate the hot stuff, there'll be plenty of artisan food, drink and crafts, plus bands, children's entertainment, talks, competitions and cooking demonstrations.

Tickets will be available to buy online in May.

Great Dorset Chilli Festival near Sturminster Newton

7 & 8 September - SeaFeast The Dorset Seafood Festival, Weymouth

If you’re a seafoodie, then make sure not to miss a celebration of seafood at this year’s SEAFEST - The Dorset Seafood Festival.  

Now in it's 16th year, this food festival draws in big crowds to Weymouth's seafront and is always popular with visitors and locals.

The festival is taking place at Weymouth Peninsula with tickets available to buy online soon.

SeaFeast The Dorset Seafood Festival in Weymouth, Dorset

14 & 15 September - Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival, Sturminster Newton

Love cheese? Then the Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival for you!

Visitors to the festival can browse the many traditional food stalls, craft stalls, real ale and real cider tents on offer. Be entertained by live music, Punch and Judy shows, Morris dancing, children's entertainment and, of course, there's plenty of cheese.

Day tickets and weekend tickets will be available to buy online soon.

9 & 10 November - Athelhampton Winter Fair in association with Dorset Food & Drink 

Get your taste buds tingling at the Dorset Food & Drink Winter Fair 2024, returning to Athelhampton House this November!

From artisan cheeses to craft ales, our winter fair is a smorgasbord of delights. Sip on festive tipples, nibble on gourmet treats, support your local producers and meet the amazing people behind the businesses.

Although the House will be closed for full viewing, you can still admire the Great Chamber and wander through the garden to admire the autumnal hues. It'll be great to see you!

Dorset Food & Drink will confirm their festive line up a bit nearer the date, so secure your spot now and be part of a magical weekend filled with gourmet delights, unique crafts, and festive inspirations.