Whatever time of year you come here for a holiday, there's nearly always an event happening nearby.

  • Purbeck Literary Festival, February (but not in 2018):  Creative workshops, poetry, performances, art exhibitions.

  • Abbey Hill Steam Rally, early May bank holiday weekend: vintage vehicles, show ring, craft & model tent, trade stands, Auto Jumble, Bug Fest, fairground.                           
  • Sherborne Abbey Music Festival, end of April: Wonderful music of all kinds.

  • Christchurch Food and Wine Festival, 7-8 May 2016: One of the premier events of its type, with stalls, visiting chefs, a treat for foodies.

  • Bournemouth Wheels Festival, 3-5 June 2016:  Classic cars, BMX stunts, Monster Trucks, and generally lots of wheely vehicular stuff.

  • Royal Bath and West Show, 1-4 June 2016:  Covers everything rural and agricultural, with competitions, exhibits, entertainment, farm animals, tractors, local food.

  • Shaftesbury Festival, May 2016:  Celebrating the best of the town's food, music, art and culture.

  • Dorset Art Weeks, 28 May-12 June 2016: one of the largest Open Studio Events in the country, in a large range of venues throughout Dorset.
  • Swanage Jazz Festival, 8-10 July 2016: Top class jazz ranging from New Orleans revivalism and Dixieland to post-bop and contemporary sounds, by way of swing and mainstream.
  • Larmer Tree Festival, 13-17 July 2016:  Music, workshops, arts and crafts, holistic therapies, children’s activities, street theatre, sculpture garden.
  • Gillingham and Shaftesbury Agricultural Show, 17 August 2016:  Traditional agricultural show with cattle, sheep, horses, KC dog show; horticulture, homecraft and art classes; three events rings; lots more.

  • Bournemouth Air Festival, 18-21 August 2016:  Planes old and new, the Red Arrows, wing-walking, night flying, fireworks, lots of displays.

  • Melplash Agricultural Show, 25 August 2016: The South West's premier agricultural exhibition with shows, classes, competitions.

  • The Great Dorset Steam Fair, 25-29 August 2016:  the world’s leading steam and vintage preservation event. Over 200 working steam engines and 100 fairground organs together with the old time steam funfair, rural crafts and heavy shire horses create a fantastic atmosphere with lots to do and see.

  • Dorset County Show, 3-4 September 2016: crammed full of animal shows, magnificent displays, trade stalls and all the fun of the fair!  

  • Bridport Hat Festival, 3 September 2016: Hats, live music, trade stands, food and fun.

  • Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival,  10-11 September 2016:  The quality local foods and craft festival celebrating the cheese-making and dairy heritage of the Blackmore Vale. It’s our local show and it’s great! 
  • Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival, October 2016:  Amazing acts, interactive installations and unexpected treats to challenge your perceptions and delight people of every age.

Useful websites for information on local activities, events and maps: