Christmas markets and events in Dorset

There are so many Christmas markets taking place in Dorset this month. Photo credit: RomanBabakin/Ge

There are so many Christmas markets taking place in Dorset this month. Photo credit: RomanBabakin/Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

There’s no better way to get into the festive spirit than by heading to one of Dorset’s many Christmas markets, which are complete with everything from mulled wine to carol singing to visits from the man in red himself. Ho, ho, ho….

Bournemouth Christmas Market

15 November - 1 January 2020

The seaside town of Bournemouth will be transformed into a winter wonderland over the coming weeks, with row-upon-row of stalls selling all kinds of festive gifts and goodies. There will be the all-important food and drink on offer too, as well as the return of the hugely popular Alpine Lodge Bar where you can cosy up with a mulled wine or two. A purpose built entertainment hub in the square will also play host to local choirs, carol singers and festive performers, meaning that a Christmas buzz will certainly be in the air. Open daily from 10am, excluding Christmas Day.


Macmillan Christmas Shopping Fair, Kingston Maurward College

16 - 17 November

Get your Christmas shopping off to the best possible start at this festive fair, with all funds raised going directly to Macmillan Cancer Support. There will also be a Coffee Shop for well-deserved refreshments. Admission is £5 per person. On Saturday it will run between 10am and 4pm, and on Sunday between 10am and 3pm.


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Christchurch Christmas Festival

23 November

Join the Christchurch community for one of the most magical days in the calendar. From Santa's Christmas procession, to festive street markets and mini funfair, there's plenty for the whole family to enjoy. Listen to the choirs, live bands and entertainers in Saxon Square if you're in search of a sure way to get into the festive spirit. The festival will take place between 10am and 8pm.


Athelhampton House , Dorset Food & Drink Christmas Fair

23 - 24 November

Calling all foodies - this is definitely the festive event for you. Here you'll find over 50 local producers selling the very best of our county's food and drink, so come armed with a healthy appetite and you're sure to be in for a day filled with Christmassy treats. Expect performances from local choirs too, all set within the glorious grounds of Athelhampton House. Open between 10am and 4pm, tickets cost £3.50 per adult and children go free.


Durlston at Christmas

30 November

Do your Christmas shopping with a difference at Durlston Country Park and National Nature Reserve, where you'll find a wide array of local produce and innovative gifts. Make sure you treat yourself to a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie whilst you're there too….


Etsy Made Local: Dorset Team Christmas Fair

30 November - 1 December

Wimborne's Allendale Centre will welcome over 60 stalls for this eclectic fair, welcoming everyone from budding local designers through to vintage sellers and craft suppliers, who all sell their wares on There will be something on offer to suit all ages and budgets, including candles, jewellery, original art work, baby clothes and cushions - as a result, if you've got a lengthy Christmas shopping list, this is the place to go. Open from 10am-4pm.


Christmas Market, Symondsbury Estate

1 December

The annual Christmas market is returning to Symondsbury Estate once again this year, with the winning combination of shopping, festive foods, mulled wine and music…what more could you want? Further information to be confirmed. Event runs from 11am-6pm.


Sherborne Festive Shopping Day

1st December

Sherborne will come alive with Christmassy fun for the town's hugely popular Festive Shopping Day, which will see an eclectic range of activities taking place whilst raising awareness for a number of local charities. Expect everything from balloon modelling to face painting, as well as choir performances, carol services at Sherborne Abbey and the chance to meet Father Christmas himself in his grotto by the Post Office. The procession of musicians and dancers will then begin at 4pm, which is followed by the ceremonial lighting of the town's Christmas tree, before a Christingle service at 5pm concludes proceedings.

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Bridport Christmas Cheer

4 December

Locals and visitors alike are warmly invited to Bridport to celebrate the festive season, with plenty of entertainment and oodles of community spirit making this the ideal way to spend a December's evening. There will be carol singing by local schools and a lantern procession, whilst little ones who visit Father Christmas in his grotto will all receive a free gift. Be sure to head to Bucky Doo Square too where you'll find live music, and there will also be dance performances in the Electric Palace and the Borough Gardens. If that isn't enough to keep you busy, many shops will be open for late night shopping and there will be plenty of refreshments on offer too. Taking place between 4pm and 8pm.


The Spirit of Christmas at Rivers Meet

6 - 8 December

This year, this much loved event will be running over three days with an action packed calendar of events, featuring live music and the very best local food and drink. Treat yourself to a tipple in the gin bar, or try one of 20 local real ales from Piddles Brewery and Keystone Brewery. There will also be performances from local choirs, a children's craft area and the all important Santa's Grotto. Tickets cost £5 for adults and £3 for children for the three days. No children after 9pm.


Blandford Forum's Yuletide Festival

11 December

As it celebrates its landmark 10th anniversary, Blandford Yuletide Festival is promising to be bigger and better than ever. The festival will begin with the chance to browse through the various shops and stalls, before local primary school children take to the streets for the traditional lantern parade. This will be followed by carol singing and more merry evening entertainment, before fireworks close proceedings with a bang. Event begins at 5pm and closes at 9pm.


Shaftesbury Christmas Market

14 December

The idyllic market town of Shaftesbury will become a Christmas shopper's paradise, as it welcomes a wide array of stalls selling fresh local produce and artisan gifts. Be sure to sample the streetfood too, as well the regionally produced drinks that will be on offer here. Shaftesbury is of course home to the famous Gold Hill too, so don't miss out on the photo opportunity. This event has been organised on behalf of Weldmar Hospicecare.


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