Events and Festivals in Dorchester

Are you searching for a place that buzzes with events all year round?

Well get ready to fill your days with festivals, fairs, shows, carnivals and concerts as Dorchester has them all!

Festival Fever

Dorchester has a vibrant mix of festivals; the popular Dorchester Literary Festival in the Autumn, the Cider Festival in September and the biennual Dorchester Festival full of free events including outdoor theatre and dance, music galore and art installations.

But the highlight of Dorchester’s calendar year has to be the Dorset County Show, an annual agricultural show featuring over 450 tradestands and a fantastic array of attractions.

Drawing in the crowds are the spectacular main ring performances, the show jumping, the rousing scurry racing, the funfair and not forgetting of course all of the delicious food and shopping there is to be done.

Seasonal events

No matter what the weather is doing, there’s always somewhere to go in Dorchester.

In February, welcome the newborn lambs into the world at Kingston Maurward’s Lambing weekend and at Easter, hunt throughout the Dinosaur Museum to spot the dinosaur eggs and solve the mystery.

In the Summer, take the family and a picnic down to the Borough Gardens or Maumbury Rings and enjoy the live music events.

And at Chistmas, the town is lit up and filled with the wonderful aroma of roasted chestnuts for the Casterbridge Christmas Cracker, Dorchester’s late night Christmas shopping event.

Market Days

Wednesday is Dorchester’s market day so come and enjoy the lively atmosphere, pick up some fresh produce, clothes plants, flowers, antiques, collectables and gifts.

On the fourth Saturday of the month, Dorchester’s South Street comes alive with the Farmers’ Market.

Browse the stalls full of delicious local fare and take home a treat or two or stock up for your picnic.

A Farmers’ Market is also held up at Poundbury’s Queen Mother Square on the first Saturday of the month so time your visit to Dorchester well and you’ll be in for some tasty treats!

Events coming soon

Snowdrops at Minterne Gardens Feb 07

Snowdrops at Minterne Gardens

Chase away the Winter Blues with a walk around Minterne’s wild woodland garden carpeted with delicate snowdrops. A welcome assurance that the brighter days of spring are on their way, this...

Janice Burns and Jon Doran Feb 09

Janice Burns and Jon Doran

Janice Burns and Jon Doran are an Anglo-Scottish duo who came together after discovering a shared love of traditional music. They find their songs in archives that span the depths of our history...

Project Dance Company - Fragments Feb 11

Project Dance Company - Fragments

Fragments tells the intimate story of a young couple who, when faced with what anyone else would describe as a nightmare, learn to fall in love with each other again, piece by piece, memory by memory....

Choral Eucharist Feb 12

Choral Eucharist

Introducing our new monthly service of Choral Eucharist. Please join us on Sunday 12 February, at 10.30am. The music incudes Haydn: Missa brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo ('Little Organ' Mass),...

Brew Dorch - Dorchester's Festival of Drinks Feb 16

Brew Dorch - Dorchester's Festival of Drinks

Venues across Dorchester are celebrating the town's prestigious brewing and distilling history and organising some refreshing (see what we did there!) events that will involve a fair amount...

Monstro Theatre - The King of Nothing Feb 17

Monstro Theatre - The King of Nothing

King Reginald is a ruler who likes to keep in style. But the fashions change so fast, he's afraid he can't keep up. Hearing of the King's predicament, two fast-talking "weavers"...