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

Dorset Art Weeks May 19

Dorset Art Weeks

Dorset Art Weeks 2022 Artists from across the whole of Dorset are busy preparing for the ever popular Open Studio event in May. This year celebrates 30 years since the very first Dorset Arts Week. The...

Spring Talks in Dorchester May 19

Spring Talks in Dorchester

A series of lively one-hour cultural evenings will be taking place at The King's Arms in Dorchester. The Spring Talks will run from 7pm-8pm on Thursday 12th May, Thursday 19th May and Thursday...

Otters May 20


The magical sight of an otter swimming wild is being experienced by increasing numbers of people in the Valley. Ken Hutchinson organises the annual Otter and Water Vole Count run by the Dorset Mammal...

Outdoor Cinema - Nosferatu with LIVE Soundtrack May 21

Outdoor Cinema - Nosferatu with LIVE Soundtrack

As part of Sculpture at The Walled Garden and Dorset Art Weeks, we will be hosting a one night only outdoor cinema event, screening the classic 1922 vampire film NOSFERATU. The film will be screened...

Sean Shibe May 22

Sean Shibe

Sean Shibe was the first guitarist to be selected as a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, and his breathtaking rise to acclaim has been acknowledged with major awards from the Royal Philharmonic...