With Dorset's gardens and parks bursting with colourful flowers and warm spring sunshine peeping through the clouds, April is a lovely time of year to visit our county.

As average temperatures reach 15°C (59°F) you'll be able to enjoy dining outside at a café, bistro or pub, or even get to spend some time on the beach. However, if the April showers try to put a dampener on your visit, don’t worry, we’ve got lots of ideas for wet weather days for all ages.

Top tip – spring and autumn are the best times to visit the super popular landmarks such as Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove, Old Harry Rocks and Portland Bill. Parking will be easier and there will be less crowds to get in the way of your perfect holiday photo!

Read on for all the best things to see and do in Dorset during April.

Spring Gardens

Dorset gardens in springtime give visitors a welcome blast of colour from beautiful camellias, cherry trees and magnolias. You may also see late flowering daffodils and early bluebells depending on when you visit.

Magnolia Tree with pink and white flowers

World famous for its camellia groves and magnolias, Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens is a top location to visit during spring. Located near the Jurassic Coast, you can enjoy magnificent views over the coastline and The Fleet Nature Reserve from their viewpoint - the walk up maybe steep, but is definitely worth it!

On Saturday 13 April 2024, you can join one of the garden team at Exbury Gardens for a Camellia tour and talk. Or for spring flowers of a different kind, tulips and daffodils dazzle visitors in the Capability Brown landscaped gardens at Sherborne Castle.

It's lambing time

For the chance to see and feed lambs and kids (baby goats) head over to Farmer Palmers Farm Park. The Park is specially designed for children under 8 years old and there are also pigs, donkeys, deer, guinea pigs, alpacas, chicken, ducks, cows and ponies to see. Children will also love the play areas and World of Dinosaur Roar!

Six lambs in a grassy field

Bournemouth Writing Festival

If you have an interest in writing or literature, the Bournemouth Writing Festival is the place to be in April. Across 3 days you can take part in workshops, talks, a poetry hub, children’s events and more in venues across Bournemouth Town Centre.

From Friday 26 to Sunday 28 April 2024, you’ll get the chance to meet best-selling authors, screenwriters, editors, poets and journalists. Some events are free and some events are ticketed.

Bournemouth Writing Festival 2024 logo

Gillingham and Shaftesbury Spring Countryside Show

Expect agricultural and livestock shows, live music, food and drink, dog agility courses, show gardens and more at the Gillingham and Shaftesbury Spring Countryside Show.

Heavy horse show at Gillingham and Shaftesbury Spring Countryside Show in Dorset

This traditional country show is a great day out for the whole family (including dogs on leads) and takes place on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 April 2024.

Reconnect With Nature

Spring is a great time to reconnect with nature. With the weather warming up and spring flowers popping up all over the place, it’s time to get outside and awaken your senses.

Kingfisher bird on a wooden sign

Take the time to slow down, relax and enjoy the simple things in life. Listen to the birds twittering, notice the colourful wildflowers or enjoy a picnic with your favourite people (or four legged friends).

Read our blog for more information about country parks and nature reserves to visit in Dorset.

Bridport's Film Festival

From Page To Screen is a film festival with a difference. It is the UK's only festival celebrating the adaptation of books to film.

Taking place in Bridport from Wednesday 24 to Sunday 28 April 2024, the Festival features discussions, Q&As and masterclasses with authors, screenwriters, directors and film academics.

Still photo of the film A Raisin In The Sun starring Sidney PoitierSidney Poitier in the film A Raisin In The Sun.

Dorset Spring Show - new for 2024

From the organisers of the Dorset County Show comes a brand new event for 2024 - Dorset Spring Show.

Taking place on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 April on the outskirts of Dorchester, expect food, farming, flowers, and more!

You'll get to savour local delicacies and discover how they are created, watch demonstrations and even make the acquaintance of a lamb!

Dorset Spring Show logo

Book an April getaway to Dorset

If you're thinking about booking a holiday or short break to Dorset this April, we've lots of choice for places to stay overnight. From cosy cottages and scenic log cabins to luxury hotels and homely B&Bs, there is something for all tastes and budgets.

Don't forget to check out our special offers for booking a bargain break at discounted prices.

What are you waiting for - book your spring holiday today!