The 11 best Christmas markets in Dorset 2021

A woman with festively painted nails ties a bow on a Christmas present.

Find the perfect gift at a Christmas market this winter - Credit: Ekaterina Bolovtsova, Pexels

We've found all the best places to go for Christmas gifts, food, and hot chocolate this winter.

With the weather getting decidedly cooler, it's time to start thinking about festive activities to enjoy in November and December. Dorset will be hosting numerous wonderful events to get you in the Christmas mood, including markets and fairs. These are the perfect places to pick up the right gift for a loved one, find some tasty treats for the dinner table, and drink copious amounts of warm beverages like hot chocolate and mulled wine. 

In no particular order, here are 11 amazing markets to visit this winter and get a dose of Christmas magic.

Alpine Market

When: November 19th - January 2nd

Where: The Square, Bournemouth BH2 5LY

This popular event is back and better than ever as part of the Christmas in Bournemouth festivities. Open daily, there will be plenty of stalls to peruse with a variety of locally produced items.

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Shire Hall Christmas Market

When: December 11th -12th 

Where: Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum, Dorchester, DT1 1UY

A mix of local and nationwide retailers will be present at our next market in a very atmospheric location. This will be free to enter and you d not need to book ahead.

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Symondsbury Estate Christmas Market

When: December 4th -5th

Where: Symondsbury Estate, Bridport, Dorset, DT6 6HG

This next event promises to be bigger than ever. So much so, that they have added a whole extra day to accommodate visitors and sellers. This is always a real Christmas treat in a beautiful part of the county.

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Dorchester Christmas Cracker

When: December 12th

Where: High Street, Dorchester, DT1 1UJ

A wonderful all day event in the county town, organisers are adding new stalls and activities all the time so keep an eye on their Facebook page. Santa will also be on hand for children to meet, plus more stalls than you could wave a candy cane at.

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Longthorns Two Day Christmas Market

When: November 12th - 14th 

Where: Longthorns Farm, Longthorns, Wareham, BH20 6HH

There's not many places where you can wander the Christmas stalls and also wave at an alpaca! Gobble up a mince pie or two, make some 'reindeer food', then enjoy music from the Wareham band at this great market.

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Poundbury Independent Christmas Market

When: December 4th

Where: Buttermarket, Poundbury, ​DT1 3DS

Since 2015, this annual event has gone from strength to strength and welcomes the best of local producers in all industries. Take a wander and then toast marshmallows to get warm.

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Swanage Christmas Market 2021

When: December 4th

Where: Station Road and Commercial Road, Swanage, BH19

The Rotary Club has yet to release too many details about their annual event but, if previous years are anything to go by, it's not one to be missed.

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Inaugural Christmas Market

When: November 28th 

Where: Mapperton Estate, Mapperton, Beaminster, DT8 3NR

Enjoy the magic of Mapperton Estate at Christmas with lots of fantastic stalls, focusing on local products as well as delicious food and drink to warm you in the cooler weather. You can also explore the beautiful Mapperton Gardens in winter with a walk of the grounds. 

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Christmas in Weymouth

When: December 4th 

Where: Weymouth Town Centre, DT4

This is less of a market but still worth a mention. Enjoy free parking at all Dorset Council run car parks during the day so you can shop to your heart's content.

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Littledown Christmas Market 2021

When: November 28th 

Where: BH Live Active, Bournemouth,  BH7 7DX

One of Dorset's largest indoor markets is back to bring you all those bits and pieces you need for the perfect holiday season. Drink in the Christmas atmosphere (as well as mulled wine) and peruse a wide range of stalls from local artisans and retailers. Tickets are on sale now. 

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Step Into Christmas Sherborne

When: November 27th 

Where: Digby Hall, Sherborne DT9 3AA

More than 50 stalls will be on offer at our last event, meaning you can treat yourself as well as all your friends and family. Find the perfect and unique gift, then say hi to Santa and grab a hot drink to reenergise. 

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