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 Thomas Hardy Victorian Fair in June, the Cider Festival in August and the Dorchester Literary Festival in the Autumn.

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 Christmas, the town is lit up and filled with the wonderful aroma of roasted chestnuts for the Christmas Cracker, Dorchester’s 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.

A Country Market is held every Friday in the Corn Exchange and 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

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Mar 03

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Samuel Taylor Coleridge's story of an epic sea journey, written in 1797, centres around the killing of a harmless sea-bird - the albatross. The havoc wreaked by this pointless act of vandalism...

Draining The Swamp Mar 07

Draining The Swamp

A provocative new play, with five actors, exploring the life and activities of British Fascist leader, Sir Oswald Mosley, from the 1930s to 1960s. It links Mosley's world, and that of his...

Latchepen Mar 09


Latchepen are born out of a collective admiration of Django Reinhardt and anything that swings. Acoustic by nature, this is jazz on strings, with influences ranging from Romani music to bebop. The...

The Dream Collector Mar 15

The Dream Collector

A school group on a Media Studies filed trip to the isolated country house of a black-and-white movie pioneer enters a sinister dreamworld when they go exploring after dark. This is an amateur...

Latin: The Language, The History, The Future Mar 16

Latin: The Language, The History, The Future

This workshop will be of interest to anyone wanting to learn more about Latin at a basic level in a fun and friendly group. Topics may include: * An introduction to reading, writing and speaking in...

Lunchtime Concert Pergolesi Stabat Mater Mar 16

Lunchtime Concert Pergolesi Stabat Mater

Join us at St Peter's Church, Dorchester on Saturday 16th March between 12.30 and 1pm for our lunchtime concert in Lent, when we offer a performance of Pergolesi's 'Stabat Mater'. This...

Choral Eucharist for Passion Sunday Mar 17

Choral Eucharist for Passion Sunday

You are warmly invited to our monthly, cathedral-style service of Choral Eucharist on Passion Sunday 17th March at 10.30am in St Peter's Church, Dorchester. The music includes: Mozart's...