What's On in Dorset - November 2021

A close up of a cello being played

There is much to see and do in Dorset this month - Credit: Manny Becerra, Unsplash

We've found all the fun and interesting things happening across the county this month for you to enjoy.

As the penultimate month of the year draws near, many of us will be wondering where 2021 has gone. As the nights get longer, the summer feels both like it was yesterday and a lifetime ago. But don't let the cold and wet put you off, there is still much to see and do around the county. We've found the cream of the crop for events, performances, and exhibitions to pass the time in November.

Don't forget to check out our guide to Dorset fireworks and bonfire celebrations to kick off the month. Click here to find out more.

You also find all of the amazing Christmas markets and fairs here.

And, finally, here are the best illuminations and Christmas light events to be found over the next two months.

Bird charity roosting

All Month 

Poole Museum

Birds of Poole Harbour are roosting in Poole Museum’s exhibition galleries until the springtime (April 2022). While in residence they will be sharing their knowledge of birds as well as offering a range of programmed talks and tours. Whether you’re a keen birdwatcher or an amateur environmentalist, this is a great chance to discover more about local birdlife, their habits and habitats.

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Boys Will Be Boys

Most Read

Until November 27th

Lighthouse, Poole

Portraits of more than 30 male ballet dancers taken by award-winning photographer, Jayne Jackson from Ferndown feature at an exhibition at Lighthouse Poole until end of November. The Boys will be Boys project, inspired by National Boys Dance Day, features students from First Position School of Dance in Bournemouth who are pictured enjoying other passions, such as skating, football, music, tennis and basketball, alongside their shared love of ballet.

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Music in Village Halls

Various locations and dates

John Etheridge & Chris Garrick evoke the swing of Reinhardt and Grappelli in Broadmayne (Nov 12), Winterborne Stickland (Nov 13) and Drimpton (Nov 14). Folk duo Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman are at Sandford Orcas (Nov 26), Studland (Nov 27) and Blandford Corn Exchange (Nov 28). In Music of Reflection the BSO Principal string players take you from Bach to Meredith at Lytchett Matravers (Nov 26) and Sturminster Newton Exchange (Dec 2).

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wAteR climaTe festival

From November 3rd

Lighthouse, Poole

While the world’s politicians gather at COP26, the wAteR climaTe festival, a collaboration between Dorset foundation Cape Farewell and Lighthouse Poole, shines a light on the climate challenges in the South-West. Running until December 4 it features thought-provoking artworks, film, spoken word, music, poetry and debate to illuminate the current science and thinking around the climate emergency and reveals the impact of climate change in our own backyard.

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The New Forest Walking Festival 

Until November 7th

Various Locations

This successful festival, now in its ninth year, includes some family-friendly events for half term. Experts will be leading the way on dozens of guided events from wildlife walks to historic meanders, forest bathing to fungi spotting, bird watching to ranger rambles – highlighting the unique countryside, wildlife, culture and history of this internationally-important landscape.

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Bridport Literary Festival

November 7th - 13th

Various Locations

BRIDLIT has expanded significantly over the years and the programme of events for 2021 is "more intriguing, illuminating and entertaining than ever before".  An eclectic mix of writers will be on hand with a variety of subjects that promise to engage audiences of all tastes and interests.

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Show of Hands

November 10th

Lighthouse, Poole

Music legends Phil Beer and Steve Knightley will return as Show of Hands to captivate audiences with live renditions of their award-winning hits and festival favourites. The evening will feature a set of iconic signature tracks from the last 25 years, encapsulated on their soon to be released new album Singled Out.

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Barbican Quartet

November 17th

Dorset Museum

Acclaimed for their “gusto, comradeship and sharp attack”, the Barbican Quartet was formed at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and has rapidly achieved recognition as an outstanding young ensemble, winning many awards. They will be performing a mix of pieces from the likes of Beethoven and Bach. 

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Global Rainbow

November 18th - 20th

Various Locations

For three days in November, the night sky above our coastal region will be transformed by Global Rainbow, a monumental outdoor laser installation by American artist Yvette Mattern. Seven rays of laser light representing the colour spectrum of a natural rainbow will illuminate the night sky to truly amaze all who see it.

Learn more