Buckham Fair 10th Anniversary

Published: Monday 9th Apr 2018

Written by: Katie Bessant

We talk to Martin Clunes’ wife Phillipa about Buckham Fair's 10th anniversary celebrations and their life in Dorset.

How long have you both lived in Dorset and what brought you here?

We bought a house for weekends and holidays in 1998 and moved down here full time in 2003.  We first discovered this beautiful county when we were invited to a friend’s wedding in Kimeridge in 1998.

Every year you host the annual Buckham Fair on your working farm, explain the story behind this…

Martin was being asked to open charity fetes and events every weekend which meant our precious leisure time was being eroded.  We thought if we held one big charity event each year on our own land it would be easier to put all our energies into this. We then found an ancient charter saying there was always the right to have a Fair on the land, so that clinched it!

It’s the fair’s 10th Anniversary, why do you think it has become so popular?

I think because there is something for everyone.  We have the most incredible dog show and also horses and ponies – we have a fantastic fair and the most amazing trade and local food stands.  We hand-pick every exhibitor and we really are involved in every aspect of it.

There’s so much to see and do at the Fair, what are your favourite spectacles?

I usually don’t get to see any of them because I am so busy on the day but I have caught a bit of the Stunt Dogs and Golden Retrievers which are always superb.

Can you tell us anything new that’s happening at this year’s Fair you are excited about?

As it is our 10th Anniversary we have having many new spectacles (to be announced).

Apart from Buckham Fair, list your top five things about Dorset…

The coastline, hills, food, creativity and peace.

Describe a perfect weekend in Dorset…

Having nothing in the diary so I can spend time relaxing with my family, dogs and riding my horse.

Which season do you think Dorset is at its best and why?

I love spring as it is so full of hope that we may possibly have a good summer!

Last but by no means least, what’s your best-kept Dorset secret (if you are happy to share it with us!)?

The medieval woods on our farm which is a haven of tranquillity – it also has the source of the River Brit in it.


The 10th Anniversary of Buckham Fair takes place on Sunday 19 August 2018. Close to Beaminster, the annual vintage fair offers a fun packed day for all the family, activities include Horse and Dog Shows, food and craft exhibits all raising money for local charities. For more info visit: www.buckhamfair.co.uk


Katie Bessant



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