Fetes, fairs and festivals to visit in Dorset this summer

Breitling Wing Walkers at Bournemouth Air Show

Breitling Wing Walkers at Bournemouth Air Show - Credit: Archant

Here’s our comprehensive guide to all those wonderful local events happening around the county this summer

Georgian dancing at Blandford's Georgian Fayre

Georgian dancing at Blandford's Georgian Fayre - Credit: Archant

2 - 4 May - Lyme Regis Fossil Festival

Fun fossil-themed events for all


2 – 6 May - Sherborne Abbey Music Festival

A glittering line-up of musicians including Sir James Galway.


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4 May - Dorset Knob Throwing & Frome Valley Festival

Celebrate our famous savoury biscuit at Cattistock Village.


5 May - Blandford Georgian Fayre

Stalls, food markets and plenty of Georgian costumes.


5 May - Lyme Regis Food Festival

Festival on the beach featuring dozens of local food producers. (lymeregis.org).

5 May - Blandford Food Festival

The Crown Hotel in West Street hosts this local foodie event.


9 – 11 May - Swanage Railway Diesel Gala & Beer Festival

Trains, beer and Corfe Castle! (swanagerailway.co.uk)

10 – 11 May - Ropewalk Fayre

Bridport’s rope and net-making heritage is celebrated at the Town Hall, Borough Gardens and Millennium Green.

10 – 11 May - Christchurch Food & Wine Festival

Award-winning festival with over 120 traders and plenty of food-themed events.


16 – 18 May - VDUB at the Pub Festival

Classic Volkswagen car show at Wimborne Town FC Grounds.


17 – 18 May - Spring Tide Food Festival

Local food and art at Hive Beach Café in Burton Bradstock.


22- 26 May - Dorchester Festival

Community led festival of music, drama and comedy (dorchesterarts.org.uk)

23 – 25 May - Bournemouth 7s Festival

The world’s largest sport and music festival featuring rugby, netball and dodge ball plus lots of live music at East Parley, Christchurch.. (bournemouth7s.com)

24 – 26 May - Bournemouth Wheels Festival

A free wheels-inspired festival throughout town, featuring racing cars, vintage classics, monster trucks, motocross and night time bike rides.


24 May - 8 June - Purbeck Art Weeks Festival

The Venetian Carnival inspires this year’s celebrations.


25 May - Harmony@Larmer Tree Crafts, music, beer and cider festival at Larmer Tree Gardens.


25 – 26 May - Quayside Music Festival

Music at Weymouth Harbour.


25 – 26 May - Fayre in the Square

Two days of music, family fun and stalls in Hope Square, Weymouth.

26 May - Sherborne Castle Country Fair

Rare breeds show, local food hall, dragon boats and a circus big top.


30 May – 1 June - Lyme Regis Jazz, Blues & Real Ale Festival

A weekend of music and local ale.


2 - 8 June - Shaftesbury Festival

Art trail, festival cavalcade, local food market and cheese races.


7 - 15 June - Crab Festival

Celebrate the crustaceans of Lyme Bay and eat all things crabby! (lymeregis.org)

8 June - Wessex Car Show

Lulworth Castle hosts this classic car show where Jaguar is the star.


8 - 14 June - Bridport Food Festival

Celebration of local food and drink, main event at Askers Meadow on Saturday.


13 - 15 June - Wimborne Minster Folk Festival

Folk and family fun in the historic minster town’s streets.


15 – 21 June - Christchurch Priory Music & Arts Festival

The ancient Priory is at the heart of this major arts festival.


20 – 29 June - Bournemouth Food & Drink Festival

Three distinctive food markets: Street Food Festival (20 – 29 June), World Food Market (20 – 22 June) and Farmers and Producers Market (27– 29 June).


21 - 22 June - Christchurch Cheese & Chilli Festival

Sample and buy cheese, chillies and real ale at Chapel Gate.


22 June - Evershot Country Fair

Over 60 stalls to browse, large food marquee, music, ringside entertainment and trailer rides around Melbury deer park.


28 - 29 June - Tankfest

The best displays of historic moving armour in the world at Bovington’s Tank Museum.


28 – 29 June - Folk on the Quay

Poole’s free folk festival on the Quay features top quality live music and dance including Rory McLeod and his Familiar Strangers and The Churchfitters.


28 June – 6 July - Beaminster Festival of Music and Arts

World class classical music, jazz, literature and local art.


29 June - Sutton Poyntz Victorian Fayre

Street fayre with live music, local food, family fun and lots of period costume.

5 – 13 July - Mackerel Festival

Lyme Regis celebrates one of the main fish caught in Lyme Bay. (lymeregis.org)

5-6 July - National Trust Food & Drink Festival

Locally produced food and drink are showcased at Corfe Castle.


6 July - Gold Hill Fair

Music, dance and local food on Shaftesbury’s famous hill.


11 – 13 July - Swanage Jazz Festival

The perfect venue for a summer weekend of jazz by the seaside.


12 July - Jurassic Fields Music Festival

Askers Meadows Bridport plays host to this family-friendly event.


12 – 13 July - Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival

This free seafood-inspired festival at Weymouth is in the UK’s top ten food festivals


16 – 20 July - Larmer Tree Festival

Boutique-style festival featuring over 70 international, national and regional musicians.


18 – 20 July - Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival

Music, speakers, stand up comedy and lots of family fun.


19 July - Leigh Food Festival

Local food and drink in the village hall, vintage and classic car and bike displays outside.


20 July - Church Knowle Food Fair

Celebrate and taste the exceptional food and drink from the Isle of Purbeck @ChurchKnowleFF

26 July – 3 August - Spirit of Portland Festival

Community based festival celebrating Portland’s heritage with walks, talks, firework displays and swimming


26 – 27 July - Mudeford Arts Festival

Christchurch artists and makers exhibit and sell their work.


28 July – 3 August - Milton Abbey International Music Festival

Courses and concerts against the backdrop of Milton Abbey.


31 July – 3 August - Camp Bestival

The award-winning family festival at Lulworth Castle.


2 August - Dorset Food & Arts Festival

Local food and arts at the square in the heart of Poundbury.


2-3 August - The Great Dorset Chilli Festival

A chilli fiesta at Wimborne St Giles featuring all things chilli.


10 – 17 August - Burton Bradstock Festival of Music & Art

Expect a gathering of national and international musicians.


21 – 24 August - Purbeck Folk Festival

Family- friendly folk music fun on the Wilkswood Farm at Langton Matravers with Lloyd Cole, Boo Hewerdine, Eddi Reader and Turin Brakes.


23 – 24 August - Victorian Fayre Weekend

Cannons, muskets, bugle and drums all feature at Nothe Fort.


23- 24 August - Charminster Festival

Bands, food, drink, family entertainment and special guests

29 -31 August - End of the Road Festival

An intimate music festival at Larmer Tree Gardens featuring music from Flaming Lips and Fleet Foxes and a comedy from Jessica Delfino and Mark Watson.


29 – 31 August - Lyme Folk Festival

The cream of the crop from the UK and local folk scene