Our Favourite Festivals and Events in Dorset

Published: Thursday 26th Jul 2018

Written by: Cleome Beagley

A holiday to Dorset would simply be incomplete without attending one of the county's fantastic events or music festivals. To help you prepare for your visit, we've asked our local team for their favourite festival and event...take a look below for some inspiration!

Our Property Manager, Kelly - Buckham Fair

If you enjoy the idea of a vintage country fair set in the beautiful rolling English countryside, then look no further than Buckham Fair.

Hosted by the actor Martin Clunes on his farmland in the west of the county near Bridport, Buckham Fair includes a dog and horse show, lots of exciting displays as well as charming old fashioned fairground rides and numerous stalls selling a variety of wares and some delicious local food stalls too.

If you’ve got your dogs with you bring them down and have a go at agility or put them to the test down temptation alley (the Labradors never do very well at this!) There are plenty of fun classes to enter too. I first attended 8 years ago with my dogs Alfie and Rita and was very happy with Martin judged Rita as ‘The dog the judge would most like to take home’. It’s her one claim to fame and she’s very proud of it!

This year your pooch has the opportunity to be part of a Guinness world record attempt! To celebrate their 10th anniversary they are going to attempt to have 200 dogs sitting simultaneously for 30 seconds!

Even if you don’t have a four-legged friend with you, there’s plenty to see and do for the whole family. Keep an eye out for myself and colleague Claire as we’ll be there saying hello and handing out some of our fantastic Wyke jute bags. Award winning Rita will be with me too to say hello to her fans…!

Our Dorset Manager, Anne-Marie - Music Festivals

Every year I am astounded just how much diversity there is with music festivals in Dorset!

For the last few years I have been to the Wurzels at Harmans Cross near Swanage (a jazzed-up version of ‘Ruby’ sung by the Wurzels of ‘I’ve got a brand-new combine harvester’ fame? I thought I’d drunk too much cider!) And an Abba tribute band in the same venue, with fake Swedish accents? Oh yes, really. But it’s all great fun with families, couples and friends alike. Head to the VisitDorset website for loads of other ideas, but here are a few of my favourite ones:

We have the Bestival Festival, the child and family friendly 4-day event held in the beautiful setting of Lulworth Estate, right on the doorstep of the Jurassic coast. Also, an amazing Reggae festival at Wilkswood farm in Langton Matravers is a full-on treat of music, food, drink and fun. Fancy Folk? Like a Morris dance or two? Or Jazz more your thing? All held throughout the summer in Swanage.

Music Festival in Dorset
Music Festival in Dorset


Enjoying the Music
Enjoying the Music

Our Guest Services Assistant, Cleome - The Bournemouth Air Show

The Bournemouth Air Show
The Bournemouth Air Show

There are already so many reasons to book a holiday to Dorset, but if you need more incentive then there are so many things going on in the area! My personal favourite event is Bournemouth Air Show.

Thousands of people from all over the country come to view the spectacular performances that can be seen in the air. Taking place on 30th August - 2nd September, this exciting event is jam packed with daring stunts, thrilling displays and some truly magnificent machines. Whether in the air, on land or in the sea, every part of the show is truly exhilarating.

Bournemouth Air Show is a parade of well-known and impressive teams, such as The RAF Red Arrows, Breitling Jet Team and the Tigers Parachute Display Team. But the planes themselves are the clear stars of the show, with memorial planes such as The Spitfire flying overhead.

Accompanied by food stalls, music and fireworks, it is really a weekend to not miss in Dorset!

Our Property Manager, Claire - Bridport Torchlight Procession

If you’re a fan of health and safety - look away now!

Bridport Torchlight Procession
Bridport Torchlight Procession

Bridport’s torchlight procession closes the carnival weekend on Sunday 19th August at 9pm.  People carry about 1,500 blazing torches for about 2 miles from Bridport to West Bay, where they are greeted by live music, a bonfire and a firework display. 

I’m not sure what the historical reason is for the procession, but it has a celebratory feel, and is a fantastic way to end the summer - even though we always hope the summer will extend into September!     

Bridport Carnival is a whole day of music and dance on Saturday 18th August.  The main carnival procession takes place at 7pm, with floats from many local businesses and charities, and of course the Carnival Queen! 

Our Reservations and Admin Assistant, Natalie - Wilkswood Reggae Festival

If you are looking for some good vibes, brilliant music and yummy Caribbean cuisine then look no further…

Dorset is home to one of the countries best Reggae festivals, Wilkswood Reggae Festival in Langton Matravers near Swanage.

This is an annual weekend event showcasing some epic Reggae acts including such greats as Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Mad Professor, General Levy & Carroll Thompson.

Housed in a spacious converted barn you can enjoy the live music come rain or shine. As well as the main stage the festival also has 3 other areas situated within the complex where you can relax, kick back and enjoy all that this unique festival has to offer. As well as the fantastic musical entertainment Wilkswood Reggae Festival also offers poets & comedians as well as activities for children with its own ‘Kids Zone’. In this dedicated area your little bundles of joy can enjoy face painting, metalwork, stone carving, pizza make & bake and many more.

As well as sampling the tasty Caribbean cuisine you can also enjoy wood fired pizza’s & Mexican food as well as some amazing vegetarian and vegan dishes.

Early bird tickets are now on sale for 2019 so get booking and come and join us for peace, dub & harmony in the woods by the sea. One Love!

Wilkswood Reggae Festival
Wilkswood Reggae Festival


Wilkswood Reggae Festival
Wilkswood Reggae Festival

Cleome Beagley



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