Dorchester and West Dorset

Events and Festivals

There’s a huge calendar of events, all year round in West Dorset from traditional village fetes, regattas to major festivals.  These celebrate everything from music, the arts, food, the countryside, the coast and much more.  Here’s a list of a few key events:

Buckham Fair in Beaminster began in 2008 and is an old-fashioned type Fair with pony and dog shows, ‘deli’ area celebrating local food and fun fair.  Takes place in August.

Dorset County Show Dorchester Show Ground was formed in 1840 the year that Thomas Hardy was born!  It’s still mainly run by farming families and those with an interest in farming, horticulture, food and the countryside.  There’s a packed programme of entertainment over a two day show in September.

Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival.  Every July thousands of people come to Tolpuddle to celebrate trade unionism and to remember the sacrifice made by the six farm workers of the village.  The festival is a popular mix of political discussion and speeches, great music to suit all tastes, entertainment for all the family and the traditional procession of banners, wreath laying and Methodist service.

Lyme Regis Fossil Festival is an annual event for the whole family in late April. Enjoy walks, talks, theatre, music, comedy, exhibits and lots of hands-on science for all ages.

Dorset Knob Throwing and Frome Valley Food Festival is a unique Dorset event and includes a range of events based around the Dorset Knob biscuit.  It’s an enjoyable day out with a difference and an opportunity to sample, taste and purchase a fine range of foods supplied by local businesses.

Other events across West Dorset include literary festivals in the towns , Sherborne Abbey Music Festival,  Baby Swans Hatching at Abbotsbury, Sherborne Castle Country Fair,  Beaminster Festival of Arts and Music, Lyme Regis Lifeboat Week,  Carnival weeks in Bridport, Lyme Regis and Dorchester, Melplash Agricultural Show and the Floodlit Gardens at Abbotsbury to list a few.