Fetes, fairs and festivals to visit in Dorset this summer
- Credit: Archant
Here’s our comprehensive guide to all those wonderful local events happening around the county this summer
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.
- 1 A haunting Cotswolds memoir of growing up in a ménage à trois in the 1950s
- 2 5 of the best cycle cafés in Lancashire
- 3 20 of the best places to eat out in St Ives
- 4 How the Goosnargh Gin distillery bounced back from adversity
- 5 Martin Clunes shares his favourite local places in Dorset
- 6 20 of the best restaurants in Hertfordshire
- 7 6 waterfall walks in Derbyshire and the Peak District
- 8 7 scenic coastal walks to try in Somerset (with cafes on the way)
- 9 See inside this £1.5 million modern property in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds
- 10 The best places to visit on a short break in Glossop
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