Festivals in Dorset

Come to Dorset during any month and you’ll find an array of festivals and events to enjoy!

Dorset plays host to a variety of events such as music, theatre, comedy, country shows…and there are even a few more unusual events to be found that you simply won’t find anywhere else.

Spring into life!

As spring emerges, it’s time for a colourful mix of music, fossils and swans!

The Sherborne Abbey Music Festival is as majestic as it sounds with beautiful music in a magnificent setting. They say don’t look down but make sure you look up – the fan vaulted ceiling has to be seen to be believed, it will simply take your breath away!

Children will love taking a step back in time and discovering more about the dinosaurs that roamed our lands at Lyme Regis Fossil Festival. 

If you’re looking for something a bit out of the ordinary then make sure you visit Abbotsbury Swannery from mid May. Walk through the paths and watch as fluffy cygnets hatch from eggs right before your eyes.

Dates for a foodie’s diary

As if that wasn’t enough, the wide variety of Dorset events includes plenty of events for those with a love of food.

Or why not enjoy a day at the Nettle Eating Contest…we did say that there are more slightly unusual events taking place in Dorset! 

The SeaFeast Dorset Seafood Festival in September is also a must where you can enjoy some of the finest, freshest seafood whilst relaxing with a cold glass of bubbly!

Get into the carnival spirit

June really kicks off the start of summer when the county is alive with festivals and carnivals.

Chill out and really get into the swing at the Wonky Donk festival in July or let the kids (and grown ups!) enjoy some explosive fun at Tankfest!

The summer months also see traditional village fetes hang their bunting all across Dorset.

The summer holidays get off to a great start with Camp Bestival. Lulworth Castle provides the stunning backdrop for this well renowned family festival.

With music to tickle all taste buds, a fantastic line up for the little ones and much more, this is a festival not to be missed!

Morris Dancers bring the streets to life with their bright costumes and jingling bells with folk festivals in Lyme Regis and Purbeck during August. 

Plus, if you like it hot then make sure you pop along to the Great Dorset Chilli Festival!

A unique blend of nostalgia and entertainment

Enjoy a giant trip of nostalgia into the days of yesteryear at the Great Dorset Steam Fair at the end of August, widely recognised as the leading event of its type in the world with 2,000 exhibits, 800 trade stalls and over 220 full size steam engines!

You’ll be all puffed out after an action packed day!

A true celebration of country life

If you’re looking for a great day out for the young and old to all enjoy then make sure you go along to one of our agricultural shows.

Melplash Show and Dorset County Show are crammed full of animal shows, magnificent displays, trade stalls and all the fun of the fair!  

Don’t be fooled into thinking these are low key events, they really are buzzing with activity!

Fun and frolics with flamboyant and fabulous headwear

Get your hats at the ready by September for the Bridport Hat Festival, a wonderfully British celebration of eccentricity!

With music all around and entertainment for the whole family this wonderful, quirky event is not to be missed!

Celebrate Autumn

Celebrate the start of Autumn with a spectacular display of colours in the beautiful lakeside gardens at Sherborne Castle or take a magical evening stroll along candle-lit pathways through enchanted glades at Abbotsbury Sub Tropical Gardens.

Festive Dorset events with magic and sparkle

And it doesn’t stop there! 

The year might be drawing to a close but there are still plenty of events to enjoy in Dorset, many of which have a touch of festive sparkle about them!

If you are planning to visit Dorset to take part in one of our amazing festivals and events, why not stay a while and make a holiday of it? 

We’ve got plenty of accommodation for you to choose from – your perfect break is just a click away!


Swanage Blues Festival Oct 06

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Weymouth Octoberfest 2022 Oct 07

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Weymouth Pirate Fest Oct 14

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Poole Christmas Maritime Light Festival Nov 19

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Pull a Pine 2022 Dec 03

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Can you help the RSPB save nature this December? Join us at RSPB Arne, in one of the biggest conservation events in the country. Invasive pine trees, planted in forestry plantations, have taken over...

Bournemouth Bay Run Apr 02

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Teddy Rocks Music Festival Apr 28

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Shaftesbury Food and Drink Festival May 07

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Come and join us on for a celebration of the best in local food and drink. Not to be missed, it’s a day jam packed with food, fun and frivolity. There’ll be stalls the length of the...

Poole Seafood Festival Jun 03

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We’re very excited to announce Dorset’s ONLY FREE Seafood Festival takes place on 3rd – 5th June 2022 (Jubilee Weekend!), on Poole Quay, Dorset. The seafood festival has...

Swanage Fish Festival Jun 10

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Prince Albert Gardens, overlooking the beautiful bay, is the stage for cooking demonstrations by of top-notch chefs by day and popular entertainment by evening. Stalls offering a mouth-watering array...

Sandpolo at Sandbanks Jul 08

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A firm fixture in Dorset’s social calendar, Sandpolo brings world-class polo to Sandbanks in Poole. The unique, high-energy format makes one of the oldest equestrian sports easier for both...

Wilkswood Roots Reggae Festival Jul 21

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Gillingham Walking Festival Sep 02

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Shaftesbury Book Festival Mar 15

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