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 Dorset Knob Throwing Festival…we did say that there are more slightly unusual events taking place in Dorset!
The NYETimber Dorset Seafood Festival in July 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 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!
CANCELLED - The world-famous Dorset Knob Throwing and Food Festival has been cancelled for 2021 and will return in 2022.
Dorset Art Weeks returns for 2022! Following on from 2021's revised event, Dorset Art Weeks returns from 14- 29 MAY 2022 providing artists and audiences with another opportunity to celebrate the...
The Cheese & Chilli Festival is set to spice up the summer, with highlights including a chilli eating competition, food challenges, cooking demonstrations, family friendly entertainment and much,...
A two day family festival overlooking the sea in beautiful Swanage Bay. Welcome to the magical place where fairy wishes come true. A puff of smoke, a rush of wind, a flutter of fairy wings,...
A free festival for pirates, mermaids and anyone else who wants to join in! Sword fighting, musket and cannon fire, beach skirmishes, stalls and attractions, the hugely popular Kid’s Pirate...
As is traditional, on the second weekend of June, Wimborne will come alive with the annual Folk Festival as the streets, pubs and concert halls are filled with morris dancers, music – and much...
Chesil Rocks has been an annual family friendly music and arts festival in Langton Herring since 2012, although events did not take place in 2019 or 2020 due to the pandemic. The event is non-profit...
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...
The Bournemouth Reggae Weekender is a public event held annually in King's Park, Bournemouth which is held in high regard by the local community for bringing people together to bathe in the spirit...
Swanage Regatta and Carnival is the premier carnival on the South Coast. For one week at the end of July, Swanage will be radiating to the sound, fun and excitement. This ‘must do’...
Weymouth Food Festival is a two day event which the hole family will enjoy – from cooking demonstrations in our on-site marquee, companion dog shows, live music, the human stunt man, food and...
Purbeck Rally, a steam & vintage show that's fun for all ages, held in Wareham, Dorset. Family friendly. Kids under 16 go free with a paying adult. Well behaved dogs on leads...
Sorry most events cancelled for 2021 This is always a hugely entertaining week, culminating in the raft race on Saturday and the chance to sup a few beers afterwards at the BBQ in Prince Albert...
The folk festival has come a long way since our first day of dance in 1992. It has grown into a full and varied weekend of music and dance. From 5th to 11th September our small seaside town on...
Sandfest is a destination festival like no other in the UK. Due to luxury properties, pristine south coast sand and celebrity residents, Sandbanks is a world famous location often featured on...