June heralds the arrival of summer in Dorset with long days, sunny skies and warm temperatures, meaning there’s plenty of outdoor fun in store if you’re visiting Dorset this month.  

Dine Al Fresco!

With the sun shining in all its glory, it’s the perfect time of year to dine al fresco! Here in Dorset you can sip your morning coffee and people watch at a trendy market town cafe, head out for a scrumptious Ploughman’s lunch overlooking the fields at a village pub garden and finish the day enjoying a glass of wine and fresh seafood at a beachside restaurant.

National Picnic Week takes place this June from 17th – 25th, so grab your blankets and baskets out of the cupboards and get out to the great outdoors for a good old fashioned picnic. If you’re looking for the best spot for a view, take a look at our local’s recommendations.

Family enjoying a picnic

Go Glamping

Dorset boasts some of the best scenery in Britain and what better way to experience it than with a holiday in the great outdoors? The long, balmy evenings make glamping a fantastic option in the summer months and it offers the opportunity to get closer to nature without sacrificing any home comforts.

Glamping offers an undeniably unique aesthetic and there are plenty of stylish places to stay in Dorset from cosy shepherds huts to treehouses and bell tents, perfect for that Instagram reel.

Our friends over at Parkdean have come up with 5 top reasons why you should give glamping a go in Dorset this year!

Glamping pods

Celebrate the Summer Solstice

For a unique experience, join the rangers at Arne Nature Reserve as they celebrate the summer solstice. Starting at 4am (set your alarms!), you’ll walk through the farm fields and heathlands of Arne in the darkness of pre-dawn, meandering down to the Shipstal Shoreline ready to watch the sun rising over Poole harbour just before 5am. An experience not to be missed!

The Ashmore Filly Loo is an ancient and magical celebration marking the longest day and the filling of the village pond and is held on the Friday nearest June 21st. With a green-man, the Hambleden Hopstep Band, Morris Men and lots of dancing in the village street, it promises to be a day of merriment.

Or you could simply choose to pay homage to the sun by watching the sunrise or sunset at one of Dorset’s remarkable beauty spots. Check out the top spots in Dorset.

Swyre Head near Kimmeridge copyright Andy Lyons

Folk Festival Fun

June is folk festival month here in Dorset and there is a trilogy of events taking place across the county.

The biggest of these is The Wessex Folk Festival, held on the first weekend in June each year against the picturesque backdrop of Weymouth Harbour. The weekend starts with ‘warm up’ sessions in the harbourside pubs on the Friday to set the festival atmosphere then the whole of Saturday and Sunday are filled with music and fun, with two stages hosting around thirty of the best folk music acts from the UK and abroad.

Head to Wimborne the following weekend for a two days of family friendly entertainment, activities and shows with live music across the town’s pubs and bars for the Wimborne Folk Festival.

If you still have room for more, then Folk on the Quay is a free one-day festival taking place on Saturday 24 June on Poole Harbour with outdoor music stages, ceilidhs and more Morris dancers than you can shake a stick at!

Morris Dancer back of head showing flowers on straw hat

Father’s Day

It’s time to say thank you to your Dad in June and there’s plenty of places in Dorset that would make for a special Father's Day outing.

Farmer Palmers Farm Park are offering free entry for Dads and at Monkey World, Dads get in for half price. Enjoy a family day out at Moors Valley Country Park and Forest where they’re hosting a Tractor Day where Dads can ride tractors, diggers, mowers and even the Forestry Commision’s fire landrover.   

Adventurous Dads can enjoy the Moonfleet Sailing Experience, and if your old man just wants to relax with a beer and a Sunday Roast, we’ve got you covered there too!

Moonfleet Tall Ship sailing along the Jurassic Coast

Bridport Food and Beer Festival

A popular event in the Dorset calendar is the Bridport Food and Beer Festivals. The Food Festival fortnight kicks off on the 11th June and for two whole weeks, food and drink businesses in the town will be celebrating everything local and delicious with taste trails, food, drink, activities for the kids and more.

Then on Saturday 17 June, the food festival joins up with the Bridport Round Table Beer Festival at Asker Meadows to further celebrate the areas magnificent food and drink! There will be over 60 local food & drink producers, and food to go caterers offering a whole raft of delicious food and drink for you to try and buy.

Washingpool Farm food stall

Pirates and Fairies!

Avast me harties!  Tis time for land lubbers to dig out yer eye patch, earing and cutlass for Poole’s annual celebration of its favourite pirate son Harry Paye.

Organised by the Pirates of Poole and supported by BCP Tourism, the popular shindig gets underway from noon until 6pm. Starting with a parade of pirates, followed by live music, best dressed junior pirates competition, pirate games, children's rides, live history areas, cannons and the usual Harry Paye Day shenanigans.

From Hook to Tinkerbell, the Swanage Fairy Festival will be making a huge splash again this year in the stunning seaside town of Swanage. You will be mesmerized with the spectacular live mermaid show, spellbound by the enchanting fairies, butterflies and super strong super heroes that will come to life over three magical days in June half term 2023!

Mermaid swimming in tank

Happy Birthday Thomas Hardy

Celebrate the birthday of Thomas Hardy with the Thomas Hardy Victorian Fair in Dorchester. There will be a range of Thomas Hardy and Victorian-themed attractions, including a Punch & Judy show, Victorian tractor engines and plenty more entertainment.

Man and woman dressed in period clothes, laughing together