20 things to do in Dorset in January 2022

Female ballet dancer and her male partner dancing on a stage

Two ballets feature at Lighthouse Poole this month, Giselle and The Nutcracker - Credit: KristynaKashvili

From ice skating and creating your own scent to theatre and live music, here's our round-up of events happening across the county to blow away those January blues

St Petersburg Classic Ballet: Giselle & The Nutcracker: One of the few 19th-century Romantic ballets to survive intact, this is the quintessential story of unrequited love following Giselle, an innocent young village girl, through tender romance, heartbreak, death and the afterlife, as she ultimately saves the life of a man who has betrayed her. The ballet company also perform a spectacular new version of The Nutcracker. With stunning baroque designs, this festive tale will blow away any January blues with its instantly recognisable Tchaikovsky score. Bring on the Sugar Plum Fairy! Giselle January 6 & 7; The Nutcracker January 8 & 9  lighthousepoole.co.uk 

In and Around The Blackmore Vale: The Exchange, Sturminster Newton hosts this fascinating local history exhibition from January 7- 9. The material and photographs, used in the exhibition, have been assembled by Philip Knott during two lockdowns, using research undertaken and 1,800 photographs, including many historical photographs and provides a fascinating insight into life in the vale during the 20th century. More at stur-exchange.co.uk

Tim Kliphuis Trio: With his high-energy brand of classical, gypsy jazz, Celtic and world music, violinist Tim Kliphuis is regarded as the inheritor of the Stéphane Grappelli crown. Together with Nigel Clark on guitar and Roy Percy on double bass, he performs The Five Elements, an ode to the earth looking to a brighter future. January 12, Broadoak Village Hall; January 13, Piddletrenthide Memorial Hall; January 14, Yetminster Jubilee Hall. Starts 7.30pm. Book at artsreach.co.uk 

Man holding violin looking away from the camera

Violinist Tim Kliphuis, widely regarded as the inheritor of the Stéphane Grappelli crown - Credit: Tim Kliphuis Trio

Illuminate at The Blue Pool: New for 2022, Wareham's famous Blue Pool has teamed up with OT Event Technicians to create a spectacular evening of illuminations and music where you can take time to reflect in the peaceful tranquillity of The Blue Pool at night. Over 1km of professionally staged illuminations, lighting the meandering woodland trails. Glimpse the beautiful deep waters of the Pool and the ancient woodland whilst stopping at carefully selected positions along the way to enjoy this unique setting. The Art Deco licensed Tearooms are open for refreshments throughout the evening as well as fire pits on the terrace for toasting marshmallows. Access around the trails is suitable for wheelchairs but this is a wooded trail with uneven ground. Dogs welcome on leads. Runs January 13 to February 27, book your time slot at bluepooltearooms.co.uk.

Two Crafty Workshops: The Museum of East Dorset in Wimborne Minster is offering two workshops this month. Silver Clay Jewellery Workshop (January 13, 10am - 4pm) where you will learn how to make your own beautiful silver jewellery using Art Clay Silver and a Mosaic Workshop (January 29, 10am –4pm) learn the ancient craft of mosaic and make a beautiful and unique art work for your home. Both courses cost £70 and include materials. Book at museumofeastdorset.co.uk

Local Pantomimes: Swanage Drama Company perform Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (January 14/15 & 21/22 themowlem.com) while The Highcliffe Charity Players invite you to a royal christening in Christchurch for their one act panto Sleeping Beauty (January 27 –30/regentcentre.co.uk). 


Abstract painting of green yellow and brown

Painting by Dianne Mary Alice which feature in the exhibition - An Artist's Journey in the Rotunda Gallery at Lyme Regis Museum - Credit: Dianne Mary Alice

An Artist’s Journey: Dianne Mary Alice arrived by the sea in Dorset via West London and the French canals. After retiring from a career in fashion, textiles and garden design, she started taking art classes. Her impressionistic and spontaneous approach captures images and forms from the natural world experimenting with all mediums, usually using a palette knife and just a few colours. Dianne’s inspiration comes from big skies, landscapes, plants, flowers and the sea. An Artist’s Journey is her first solo exhibition, and runs from January 19 until March 6 at the Rotunda Gallery, Lyme Regis Museum. lymeregismuseum.co.uk  

Bournemouth Concert Brass: New Year Viennese Concert: Join this celebrate of the music of Vienna, featuring music by composers associated with this wonderful city including the Strauss family with toe tappers such as The Blue Danube waltz and the Radetsky March. January 16, The Regent Centre, Christchurch.

Jarman: Mark Farrelly plays Derek Jarman: film-maker, painter, gardener at Prospect Cottage, activist, writer...his influence remains as strong as it was on the day AIDS killed him in 1994. But his story, one of the most extraordinary lives ever lived, has never been told. Until now. From the creator of Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope and Howerd's End. January 20 Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis 

A Scent for New Year: This Mini Fragrance Blending Workshop at Keyneston Mill, home of Parterre Fragrance, near Blandford Forum asks you what scents conjure up warmth and comfort … or invigorate you on a cold crisp January day? Come and sample a selection of beautiful essential oils and then, using the New Year as your inspiration, blend a bespoke fragrance to take home. A fun, hands-on session that includes a 10ml bottle of your own personal blend. January 20, arrive 10.45am for 11am start. Finishes approx. 12.15pm.Tickets: £35. Book at keynestonmill.com

The HandleBards: Macbeth: Forget the tears and tragedy and join the all-female theatre troupe of HandleBards for their unhinged, bicycle-powered, laugh-out-loud version of Macbeth. January 21, Sherling Studio Lighthouse Poole  

Martin & Eliza Carthy: The good Doctor Martin Carthy and his twice Mercury nominated daughter Eliza Carthy, join forces to perform songs. Martin is a legendary ballad singer and guitarist who influenced a generation of artists, including Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, while Eliza has been twice-nominated for the Mercury Music Prize and a multiple-award winner at the BBC Radio Two Folk awards. January 21 Marine Theatre

Man in tweed flat cap and country clothing by a bar in a pub with a bar made behind

What tall tales with you hear at The Royal Oak in Drimpton when The Regulars swing by? - Credit: Teatro Vivo

The Regulars: Designed specifically for performance in pubs, The Regulars is a celebration of the outlandish, sometimes incredible stories you hear over a pint, from across the centuries. Lines blur between fact and fiction in this brilliant show from Teatro Vivo, which celebrates the spirit of the local and the tall and true tales told there. Suitable 12+ January 23, 6.30pm The Royal Oak, Drimpton. Book 01308 867617 or artsreach.co.uk 

Hefted: Embedded in the landscape, history, and psyche of rural life, this wryly funny play from the Multi Story Theatre Company sweeps across 600 years, starting in 1475 with a supernatural birth and moving through to an imagined 2075 in which tales from the past are retold to heal the present. Suitable 14+ January 29, 7.30pm, Litton Cheney Community Hall; January 30, 7pm, Blandford Corn Exchange. Book at artsreach.co.uk 

Two men in country clothing on a stage in a theatre sitting on a bench

Hefted explores 600 years of rural history - Credit: Multi Story Theatre Company

Kevin Clifton in Burn the Floor:  This fiery, energetic and revolutionary production will, once again, show audiences why it is still the world’s leading ballroom show after more than two decades. A mix of eclectic music, jaw-dropping choreography and ground-breaking moves, this show has an abundance of infectious, rebellious energy and passion. January 27, Lighthouse Poole  

Man in leather jacket smouldering

Kevin Clifton is ready to Burn the Floor up at Lighthouse Poole - Credit: Burn the Floor

Studio Jazz: Arnie Somogyi’s Soho Loop Project feat. Soweto Kinch: This special band came together for Lighthouse’s Jazz BounceBack mini online festival back in April and went down so well they are reuniting, complete with superstar saxophonist and MC Soweto Kinch whose albums under his own name include a Mercury Music Prize nomination, two UMA Awards and two MOBOs. January 28 Sherling Studio Lighthouse Poole  

China Crisis: Never your run-of-the-mill 80s pop band, China Crisis were formed in Liverpool by singer Gary Daly and guitarist Eddie Lundon, they distilled their love of David Bowie and Steely Dan into an exquisitely melancholy post-punk sound that saw them win their just chart reward including their Top 10 hit Wishful Thinking. January 29 Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne Minster 

Beatbox Adventure for Kids with Schlomo: Having dazzled audiences in the first Lighthouse: OUTSIDE festival in 2021, record-breaking beatboxer SK Shlomo is back to make more mad music with his mouth. This is a brilliant opportunity to perform alongside a world class beatboxer and become one of this sonic superhero’s sidekicks in a world of funny sounds, brilliant noises and cool music. Sherling Studio, Lighthouse Poole, January 29 at 11am & 2pm. lighthousepoole.co.uk

Closeup skating shoes ice skating outdoor at ice rink

Get your skates on at the BIC - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Cool Coast Ice Rink: The south coasts’ largest indoor skate rink is back for the winter at the Bournemouth International Centre! Whether you're a newbie or a seasoned figure skater, get your skates on, open until February 22. Book via bhlivetickets.co.uk group bookings available. 

Prefer to go for a walk? Try one of these wonderful Dorset winter rambles