Things to do in Dorset in May 2021

Two huge sculptures of heads in profile gaze upwards towards the sky on a bright sunny day.

There is so much on in Dorset this month including at Sculpture by the Lakes - Credit: Jez B, Flickr

We round up all the best events and things to do that Dorset has to offer in May. From sculptures to outdoor cinema, there's something for everyone!

Festivals

1.The Dorset Garden Festival: 12th - 16th May

If you fancy creating your own dream garden this summer, then why not stop by Sculpture By The Lakes which is hosting more than 30 exhibitors who can guide you on your floral journey. You'll be able to purchase everything from garden furniture to fire pits, not to mention a host of common and rare plants from local independent nurseries. Talks and tours of the gardens will also be available to really make a day of your visit.

This will coincide with the last week of FORM, a sculpture event which you can learn more about below. Tickets are available now for £12.50 and include entry to all areas of the sculpture park, not just the garden festival. You can learn more here.

Dorset Art Weeks | Felicity House

2. Dorset Art Weeks: 22nd May - 6th June

This is one of the largest Open Studio events in the country and a great opportunity to see the incredible art that is being produced locally. In many cases, the artists themselves will be on hand to help you engage with and better understand their work.

The event is still evolving and there is much still to be announced. The best thing is to follow their Facebook page and keep an eye for updates about where exhibitions will take place and how to book your tickets.

Outdoors

Most Read

1. FORM - The Sculpture Show: until 16th May

Sculpture By the Lakes is worth a visit at any time but since mid-April they have been home to a new exhibition of over 30 of the best known sculptors out there. You can read our full write up of FORM here. Alongside the Garden Festival, this is a perfect treat for May to walk through nature and discover some breath taking art.

Tickets are available here.

time to reflect

2. Dorchester Outdoor Vegan Market: 16th May

Maumbury Rings will be transformed into a heaven of delicious food this May for the Dorchester Outdoor Vegan Market. With over 40 stalls, there is plenty on offer to try as well as ethical clothing, eco-friendly products, and jewellery. 

Entry is free and they even suggest you take your own blanket so you can relax in the amphitheatre with your new goodies. More information about directions and parking are available here.

Maumbury Rings

3. The Woodland Clan Trail: 17th May - 27th June

Durlston Country Park is hosting a family oriented series of events inspired by the book The Woodland Clan by Annie Herridge. You can get to know more about the local wildlife and the importance of its conservation through sculptures, activities, quizzes, storytelling and prizes.

You can learn more about the event and how to take part here.

Walk through Durlston Country Park.

4. Seabird Boat Trip: 21st & 28th May

Durlston Rangers are offering a handful of opportunities to take a bird spotting cruise this month where you can hope to see puffins, guillemots, kittiwakes, peregrine falcons, and more. Departing from Swanage Pier, the route will take you along Purbeck's Jurassic coastline which offers some beautiful views as well as birds. 

Tickets and information are available here.

Kittiwake

5. Bournemouth and Poole Selfie Wall Trail: Ongoing

Our final outdoor activity in May takes place along the seafront of Bournemouth and Poole. You may have already spotted these gorgeous artworks as they were first unveiled in 2018, however they are worth a visit of you've not had chance yet. Seven local artists have teamed up to create some incredible murals which can be enjoyed alongside a walk down the beach.

You can download the trail guide and plan your visit here.

floating love

Shows

1. Cinema Under the Stars: 21st & 22nd May

Although cinemas will be able to open again from the 17th May, you may fancy something a little different all the same. Leweston in Sherbourne are hosting two outdoor cinema experiences in May which will also have food and drink options available on site. The first night they are showing The Blair Witch Project, followed by The Greatest Showman the next. This is a great mid-week treat to chill out under the stars.

You can book your tickets here.

2. Circus of Horrors: 28th & 29th May

Celebrating over 25 years in the business, Circus of Horrors are delighted to be back in Dorset. They've toured all over the world since their beginnings in Glastonbury and this year promises to be a breath taking extravaganza. They'll be at Poole Lighthouse for one night before heading over to Weymouth Pavilion for two shows, the earlier of which is family friendly. 

Find out more and book your tickets here.

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