Events and things to do in Dorset - July 2014

TV vet Luke Gamble judging the dog show at Paws in the Park at Wimborne St Giles

TV vet Luke Gamble judging the dog show at Paws in the Park at Wimborne St Giles - Credit: Archant

A whole host of Dorset events throughout July

Editor’s choice - 19 July

Paws in the Park

Being an animal lover I’m a big fan of this annual event at Wimborne St Giles which is held in the grounds of St Giles Park, home of the Earl and Countess of Shaftesbury. One of the reasons is that Paws in the Park raises funds for the Cranborne-based Worldwide Veterinary Service (WVS).

Established by Dorset vet and TV presenter Luke Gamble in 2003, this charity now supports over 600 animal welfare charities and sanctuaries all over the world with veterinary resource, and its patron is the Countess of Shaftesbury who is also a trained vet. Paws in the Park also gives you the perfect opportunity to explore St Giles Park on the 9K sponsored walk in aid of WVS. The route, which is open to walkers with and without dogs, takes you past many of the estate’s hidden attractions and includes a chance to admire the flower festival in the local church.

There’s plenty of entertainment for all the family throughout the day with stalls selling local food and crafts, a birds of prey display, terrier racing and the WVS Dog Show, judged by Luke Gamble. New additions for this year include a classic car display and a ‘Kids Zone’. You can also try your hand at archery, laser clay shooting and learn bush survival skills in woods. After your sponsored walk reward yourself with some mouth-watering homemade cakes or a Dorset cream tea from the tea tent!

Event runs 9am – 4pm. To register for the sponsored walk visit or email or call 01725 557225. For more information on the work of WVS please visit their website

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Until 3 July - Three’s Company

Billie Willcocks, Brian Cocks and Mike Jackson come together to exhibit land and seascapes at The Old Pottery, Manor Yard, Symondsbury.

Until 7 July - Dennis Hill Retrospective

The Gallery Upstairs at Upton Country Park celebrates the 90th birthday of this long standing member of Poole & East Dorset Art Society with an exhibition.

Until 18 July - Cars

Artists Jeremy Houghton and Klaus Wagger take the theme of classic cars for this fundraising exhibition for Children in Need at Hatch Gallery, Christchurch.

11-31 July - Hats Off to Art

Quirky millinery by Pip Muddell, paintings by Susan Knights and Linda Patterson, jewellery by Ann Davison and textiles by Brenda Weeks feature at the Hayloft Gallery, Christchurch.

23 July – 2 August - Bridport Art Society Exhibition

Annual exhibition at Bridport Arts Centre features oil, acrylic, watercolour and mixed media.



3 July - Suzanne Vega

Famous for Marlene on the Wall Vega tours her latest album Tales from the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles. Lighthouse, Poole 0844 406 8666

3 July - She’Koyokh

Inspired by the 19th century’s travelling Jewish musicians this London-based band are hailed to play “the best klezmer and Balkan music in Britain’.

Corfe Castle Village Hall; 01929 480483

3 & 4 July - The Busch Ensemble

One of the UK’s finest piano trios performs works by Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Dvo?ák.

3 July 7.30pm: Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis 01297 442138;

4 July 11am: Bridport Arts Centre 01308 42420

7 July - Nigel Kennedy

The maverick violinist performs music from Bach to Brubeck. Regent Centre, Christchurch 01202 499199

13 July - To Hear a Nightingale Sing

In 1905 the Hammond brothers cycled round Dorset in search of local folk songs. The Ridgeway Performers recall some of the wonderful music they gathered. 7.30pm Portesham Village Hall 01305 269512

13 July - Sing for Victory!

La Nova Singers perform First World War songs at the Pavilion opposite The Kings Arms in Christchurch, which will host a vintage-style afternoon tea. Tickets 01202 588933

22 July - Summer Serenade

BSO Resonate Strings perform repertoire from Bach and Mozart to Joplin and Jenkins. 7:30pm Bourton Village Hall 01747 840057



7-9 July - Avenue Q

Packed with mischief, bad behaviour and political incorrectness, an unruly handful of New York puppets take this hugely entertaining West End show on tour.

Lighthouse, Poole; 0844 406 8666

10 July - Flash Mob

The stars of Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and other TV dance shows come together in the joy of dance. Lighthouse, Poole; 0844 406 8666

11 July - Private Lives

The Wessex Actors Company perform Noel Coward’s sparkling comedy. Regent Centre, Christchurch

17-19 July - Ghost the Musical

Swish of the Curtain Theatre School present this smash hit Broadway and West End show Regent Centre, Christchurch 01202 499199

17- 19 July - Broadway Showtunes

Bournemouth’s Big Little Theatre School perform music from Wicked, Hairspray, 42nd Street, Blood Brothers and Carousel Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre 0844 576 3000

23, 25, 28 & 30 July - Henry IV

Brownsea Open Air Theatre performs Shakespeare’s history play on Brownsea Island. (Also on 1, 4, 6 & 8 August.) Booking essential 01202 251987 (


Best of the Rest

6 July - Gold Hill Fair

Music, local foods and crafts on Shaftesbury’s famous cobbled hill. (

6 July - Frampton Fete

Music and dance at St Mary’s church including a taste of English dance from 1500 to 1800 and an oratorio about a fox.

11- 12 July - British Beach Polo Championships

Sandbanks host this glamorous gathering of horse power. (

11-13 July - Festival of Brides

Flower festival at St Mary’s Lytchett Matravers featuring beautiful bouquets and dresses.

19 July - Stoke Abbot Street Fair

Stalls, live music, the Wylde Morris Dance Troupe, Children’s Fancy Dress parade and Dressing the Well. Starts at 1.45pm .

26 July - Powerstock Fete

Dorset Knob throwing and many unusual sideshows feature at this country fair, plus it’s a rare chance to see Mappercombe Manor’s gardens. Starts at 2pm.

31 July - Forde Abbey Summer Fair

There’s something for every member of the family at this fair with over 60 stalls to browse, Farmers’ Market, fun fair and dog scurry.