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

Abbotsbury Baby Swans Hatching Jun 15

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...

Lunchtime Concert Jun 15

Lunchtime Concert

Join us at St Peter's Church, Dorchester on Saturday 15th June between 12.30 and 1pm for our monthly lunchtime concert given by soprano, Verity Joy. Verity, who is about to take her LTCL singing...

Wilding Weekend Jun 15

Wilding Weekend

If you're interested in wildlife-friendly gardens, come and join us for our Wilding Weekend in West Dorset on 15th and 16th June. We have wildflower meadows, a cascade of ponds, a marshland...

DorsetFest Jun 21


DorsetFest is a family-friendly music festival set in the heart of the Dorset National Landscape. The two-day event offers a fantastic range of music, entertainment and food stalls for everyone to...

Choral Evensong Jun 22

Choral Evensong

You are warmly invited to our monthly, cathedral-style service of Choral Evensong on Saturday 22nd June at 4.30pm in St Peter's Church, Dorchester. The music includes Rachmaninov's...