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

Abbotsbury Baby Swans Hatching May 29

Abbotsbury Baby Swans Hatching

Between mid May and the end of June the Baby Swans hatch and take their first steps from dozens of nests across the Swannery. Explore the Swannery and witness the unique sight of the fluffy grey baby...

Artist Room Louise Bourgeois May 29

Artist Room Louise Bourgeois

Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010) is one of the most celebrated and influential figures in modern and contemporary art. ARTIST ROOMS Louise Bourgeois brings together works from the last twenty years of her...

FORM May 29


Our award-winning sculpture show will return, with a variety of sculpture from small pieces on display in the gallery to monumental works in the park. We will be organising talks, artist...

Games Night May 29

Games Night

Bring your own tabletop game to play together, or discover one from our collection. C ome as a group, or on your own, meet new friends, learn new games. Throw down your gaming gauntlet and make some...

Roman Town House Tours Jun 03

Roman Town House Tours

Ticket includes a guided tour of the Roman Town House and Day Entry to Dorset Museum. Discovered in the 1930s, one of the best examples of a Roman Town House in England is situated here in Dorchester....

The Plant Fair Jun 03

The Plant Fair

With plenty to explore, from small independent nurseries selling unusual hardy perennials, herbs, alpines, cottage garden favourites and native wildflowers. Discover other unique items for your garden...

Thomas Hardy Victorian Fair Jun 04

Thomas Hardy Victorian Fair

Step back in time this summer and experience Thomas Hardy's Casterbridge when Dorchester remembers its Victorian past and celebrates the life and times of the famous writer. The Thomas Hardy...