Christmas in Sherborne

Twinkling festive lights, cosy Christmas grottoes, carols by candlelight, and plenty of mulled wine and mince pies, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year!

Whether you’re planning a Christmas break to Sherborne or live locally and want to get into the spirit of the season, here’s our top things to do to celebrate the magic of Christmas in Sherborne this year…

Carols at the Abbey

Where better to experience a Christmas church service than in the ‘cathedral of Dorset’ itself, Sherborne Abbey? Soak up the glorious surroundings of the magnificent Abbey whilst enjoying wonderful choral music and carols to celebrate Advent and Christmas.

Drop in for Festive Shoppers Carols (afternoons of 4 & 17 December), the Christingle Service (11 December, 4pm), Christmas Concert (12 December, 7.30pm) and the Abbey Festival of Lesson & Carols (18 December, 5pm)

A full list of Sherborne Abbey services is available here

Sherborne Abbey at Christmas

Sherborne Festive Shopping Day

An annual tradition, for many this this marks the start of the festive season on Sunday 4 December. Visitors can enjoy the Christmas parade and lighting of the Town Tree plus Christmas music and stalls selling artisan gifts and crafts and local food and drink.

Wander down Cheap Street, roasted chestnuts in hand and browse Sherborne’s wonderful array of independent shops, all offering great ideas for Christmas gifts and don’t forget to say hello to Santa in his Grotto.

Shoppers can park for free today in the following car parks: Acreman Street, Coldharbour, Culverhayes, Newland North & Old Market Yard.

women shopping at christmas market

Sherborne Christmas Tree Festival

For added sparkle this season, make sure you pay a visit to Sherborne’s charming Christmas Tree Festival at Cheap Street Church from 3 - 10 December. When it’s cold and dark outside, the display of beautifully decorated trees inside the church is a sight you won’t forget.

Castle Gardens' Christmas Display

The multi award-winning Christmas display at Castle Garden Centre on the outskirts of Sherborne has become a much-anticipated attraction for all to enjoy and has even won the top national award in the Garden Centre Association’s annual Christmas Competition on numerous occasions.

Year after year, the displays continue to wow visitors with a meandering wonderland of themed rooms, lovingly filled with twinkly lights, sparkly baubles and shiny ornaments.

Christmas retail display

Christmas Markets

If you’re looking for a special Christmas gift, you’ll be sure to find one at Leweston School Christmas Market on 2 December or Sherborne Christmas Market on 18 December, packed full of eclectic traders across the town along with some holly-jolly entertainment in the Pageant Gardens.

Enjoy a crisp winter walk

With frosty December mornings, pretty hamlets with twinkling lights, the smell of pine and maybe even a snow flurry or two, a winter’s walk in the Sherborne countryside is bound to get you feeling Christmassy.

Take in Sherborne’s two castles on a circular 2hr loop from town, passing through the Estate’s (rein) deer park, drink in the specatular views of the Blackmore Vale on a route from Marnhull or discover the story of a haunted manor house at Purse Caundle.

Discover more walking routes here

Sherborne Castle in the snow

It's panto time!

It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to the panto with its colourful mix of singing, dancing and good old audience participation! Don’t miss this year’s hilarious fun-filled, brand new, family pantomime, Dick Whittington at The Octagon Theatre in Yeovil, filled with all your favourite stars.

Book a winter break

If you’re looking to escape for a night or two to the Dorset countryside, The Otter’s Retreat just outside Sherborne is a cosy, four star log cabin, located in the heart of the Sherborne countryside and is the perfect place for a festive couples or family break.

For the big day, the Eastbury are hosting a special Christmas Package complete with a Christmas Eve cocktail party and a sumptuous 7 course feast for Christmas Day, a wonderful opportunity to celebrate with your friends and loved ones.

Browse more accommodation in Sherborne

Friends enjoying festive drinks


Leweston Christmas Fair Dec 02

Leweston Christmas Fair

Come and join us for some festive shopping at Leweston School for our annul Christmas fair. All welcome and what's more, it's free to attend. We will be showcasing a wide variety of stalls,...

Santa's Grotto at Thorngrove Dec 03

Santa's Grotto at Thorngrove

We're hosting our biggest Christmas event ever, with Santa Claus bringing his festive grotto, and sack full of presents to Thorngrove! Bring your little ones along to visit Santa, tell him all...

Sherborne Festive Shopping Day Dec 04

Sherborne Festive Shopping Day

The historic town of Sherborne will once again light up for Christmas with a free-entry Festive Shopping Day on Sunday 4th December 2022 from 10am–4pm. Organised by volunteers from...

Music and Readings for Christmas Dec 05

Music and Readings for Christmas

Featuring the Sherborne School Chamber Choir and including music by JS Bach, Praetorius, Judith Weir, John Rutter and Kenneth Leighton. Director: James Henderson. Organ: Peter Bray. ADMISSION IS FREE,...

Discover more of Dorsetthis Christmas

Christmas in Dorset

Shop at festive markets, eat delicious food, say hello to Santa & enjoy a jolly Christmas in Dorset.

Eating Out at Christmas

The Christmas party season is upon us. It's a time for crackers, party poppers and lots of fun.

Christmas Events

Ice-skating, festive markets, pantomimes and not forgetting meeting Father Christmas.

What does your Christmas in Dorset look like? Meeting Santa in his grotto? Shopping at a Christmas Market? Or seeing all the magical Christmas Lights? Discover a sample of your festive #VisitDorset images below and share your love for Dorset using the hashtag on Instagram.