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 and swam in our seas 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 Cheese and Chilli Festival…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 Jurassic Fields Music 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 Swanage during late summer. 

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

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 at West Bay, Dorset County Show in Dorchester and the Gillingham and Shaftesbury Agricultural 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 illuminated pathways through enchanted glades at Abbotsbury Subtropical 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!


From Page To Screen Festival Apr 25

From Page To Screen Festival

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Ceilidh in the Church Apr 26

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Sherborne Abbey Music Festival May 02

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Teddy Rocks Music Festival May 03

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The Shaftesbury Feastival May 05

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New for 2024, we bring the Food Festival to Shaftesbury. With over 150 traders on The High Street and Park walk, there's the annual Cheese Run on Gold Hill, cookery demonstrations, foraging walks...

Christchurch Cheese and Chilli Festival May 18

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Experience the ultimate family-friendly extravaganza at the Cheese & Chilli Festival, where fun knows no bounds! Delight in a fusion of cheese and chilli-themed delights, featuring a tantalising...

Magic of Thailand Festival in Poole May 18

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A two day Thai Festival to experience the taste of Thailand this summer at Harbourside Park is brought to you by Magic of Thailand, previously known as Poole Thai Festival. Treat yourself to a weekend...

The Dorset Vegan MegaMarket May 18

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The Dorset Vegan MegaMarket returns outdoors to the historic Maumbury Rings Roman Amphitheatre this Spring! With FREE ENTRY to our 2 Day May MegaMarket, with 50+ stalls of 100% vegan products situated...

Bournemouth 7s Festival May 24

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The Multi-Award-Winning festival hosts 30,000 People, 3,000 Campers, 100+ Live Acts and DJs, 400+ Teams, 12 Festival Arenas, 7 Sports, over 3 INCREDIBLE Days! With a host of Headline Artists, Bingo...

Cursus Music and Cider Festival May 24

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Cursus Festival returns to Dorset in 2024 for another weekend of small festival goodness! Bank holiday weekend 24th - 26th May. www.cursusfestival.com Located in the beautiful Dorset countryside, home...

Defashion Dorset May 24

Defashion Dorset

Hawkers Farm, Stour Provost, is hosting the second year of this annual event. Defashion Dorset is an opportunity to celebrate local fibre growers and makers and a local clothing culture. We buy...

Christchurch Food Festival May 25

Christchurch Food Festival

The Christchurch Food Festival 2024 will take place over May Bank Holiday weekend from 25th to 27th May. The festival is a fast-growing business-led event, and it has developed into a...

Dorset Art Weeks May 25

Dorset Art Weeks

Dorset Art Weeks 2024  - 25 May - 9 June Discover Dorset’s creative community, featuring contemporary work from over 500 artists and makers showcasing their work in open studios, group...

Martin Taylor Concert May 25

Martin Taylor Concert

GRAMMY nominated musician Dr. Martin Taylor, MBE, is a virtuoso guitarist, composer, educator and musical innovator whom magazine calls 'THE Acoustic Guitarist of his Generation' Widely...

What does your Dorset look like? Adventures on our epic coastline? Visiting attractions with family? A walk through the beautiful countryside? Or perhaps a chilled out evening eating and drinking with friends? Discover a sample of your #VisitDorset images below and share your love for Dorset using the hashtag on Instagram.