Our Favourite Christmas Markets in Dorset

Published: Friday 30th Nov 2018

Written by: Matt Hale

Our Dorset Manager, Anne-Marie

Althelhampton House and Gardens

I am guaranteed to love a Christmas market or Fair when it has ‘food and drink’ as part of the title.

Althelhampton House and Gardens have their Christmas Food and Drink Christmas Fair on 24th and 25th November 2018, so guess where I’ll be? With over 50 stalls selling local, seasonal and Dorset products, you are sure to find something for the Christmas table and quirky gifts for those harder to buy for people.

It is open from 10am until 4pm and even has a free park and ride service from Dorchester County Hall. It costs £3.50 entry although children go free, and this gives you access to not only the food fair but Athelhampton House and Gardens too.

Many wonderful producers attend and lots of food is available to try there including cakes, delicacies and vegan food. A real joy is strolling through the stalls and planning who would love what for Christmas– then trying the produce yourself, just to make sure! A glass of mulled wine or a coffee will keep out any inner chill you may experience wandering the wonderful grounds of the house, before heading back to Dorchester and your holiday cottage.

Enjoy your day!

Our Property Manager and Quality Assessor, Kelly

If you fancy something a bit different this winter, then head on over to the Bovington Tank Museum and step back in time for a Vintage Christmas. I dare you not to have a smile on your face when you see Father Christmas arrive on a tank!!

There’s plenty to see and do for the whole family; learn all about what life was like in wartime Britain, enjoy shopping at the vintage market for unique Christmas presents you won’t find elsewhere and meet the reenactors dotted around the museum to help your journey back in time come alive.

Children can enjoy Santa’s Grotto plus keep themselves entertained with various crafts and activities on offer.

There’s the added bonus that once you purchase your ticket, you automatically have an annual pass. You don’t have to be a big tank lover to enjoy a day at the museum. Apart from an impressive display of tanks, there are themed areas taking you back through the ages from WW1 to modern warfare, the interactive areas allowed you to look in a number of the tanks and dress up in wartime military costume.

Outside is a display arena where you can watch the tanks in action close up. During school holidays there’s the chance to ride round the arena in a M548 tracked vehicle which is great fun for kids and adults.

Check out their website before you visit as they often have different events running throughout the year including their main annual event in June; Tankfest.

Our Property Manager, Claire

Bridport Christmas Cheer

Santa on his sleigh, late night shopping, market stalls, carols, fairground rides, even reindeer!  It’s a Christmas extravaganza on Wednesday 5th December from 4pm – 8pm.

A very popular local event, with activities taking place for all the family throughout the week – even lantern making workshops!

From 4pm, the main streets are closed, and the town fills up with people milling around, enjoying a mulled wine and some great locally produced food from the stalls and cafes. Definitely don’t eat beforehand!

The shops stay open late, and there is a great atmosphere as everyone waits for the arrival of Mr Claus, and the official turning on of the Christmas tree lights.

Our Homeowner and Guest Services Assistant, Wendy

Symondsbury Christmas Market | Saturday 1 December, 11am – 6pm | Free parking & free entryWinter festivities

Visit Symondsbury Estate set in the beautiful Dorset countryside just a stones-throw from the Jurassic Coast with its beautiful beaches and walks a plenty.  Here you’ll discover a fabulous festive market, just outside Bridport.  Take a wander around the stalls selling local food and drink,  arts, crafts and Christmas gifts.  The unique Symondsbury Estate shops in Manor Yard, once home to cart horses, will be open offering a variety of artisan, handcrafted items.

Activities for the children include a lucky dip and a visit from some special festive animals.

Visit the breathtaking Tithe barn used during WWII, for the home guard as a rifle range and armoury.  You’ll find a licenced bar serving drinks and warming mulled wine. Symondsbury Kitchen will be offering many home-made refreshments throughout the day or venture outside and sample the local Dorset fare from the many tented outlets.

If time allows, take a stroll to the golden sandstone village of Symondsbury sitting below Iconic Colmers Hill, maybe follow in the footsteps of the Pilgrims who journeyed along the route of the old road to the shrine of St. Wite at Whitchurch Canonicorum. 

 All in all, a great day out to ease you into the Christmas spirit!

Our Senior Administration Assistant, Tracy

Eat, drink, shop, skate and be merry!

When living or visiting Dorset there is nothing better than a great Christmas Market, walking amongst the wooden alpine huts selling everything from hats & gloves to beautiful hand-crafted Christmas gifts.

There is certainly something for everyone, the wonderful array of different sellers with such original ideas and things that would make the perfect gift that you hadn’t even thought about, such as a family coat of arms or a personalised scroll.  You can grab a bite to eat as you are walking around there are choices of different cheeses, fudge, chilli jam, burgers and authentic German hot dogs.  Accompany this will a warming mulled wine or cider in the Alpine Bar whilst looking down into the lovely Bournemouth Gardens.

There is again this year, by popular demand a Santa’s Grotto so the children will be thrilled to get their presents from Santa himself! Follow this visit by skating round the ice rink and show off your lutz jump followed by a chasse and an arabesque, which we know we can all do!

Enjoy the wonderful carol singing, join in and sing your heart out throw yourself completely into the spirit of Christmas and this visit to the Bournemouth Christmas Market is the perfect way to create the best build up to the arrival of the big chap wearing red zipping down all the chimneys delivering wonderful surprises.

Merry Christmas all.

Our Reservations and Admin Assistant, Natalie

It’s the most wonderful time of the year….Corfe Castle

So why not check out one of many Christmas markets Dorset has to offer this Christmas.

Corfe Castle is a beautiful village situated in between Swanage & Wareham. This quaint little village is one of the best places to enjoy the twinkling lights of Christmas. They provide the most wonderful display of decorations running through the village as well as lighting the Castle up with lights, lanterns, beacons & braziers.

On the 1st December this year they have a ‘Christmas Lights’ switch on. The theme for this year is ‘Tudor Times.’ During this time the fabulous lights gets switched on as well as a light display on the castle. In the village main square they have stalls offering refreshments, arts and crafts and local Purbeck produce. This year the village has organised a children’s lantern making workshop along with a candlelit procession and of course a visit from the man himself!

Do not fear, if you are not able to make the switch on, on the 1st December the castle is running arts and crafts each weekend along with slightly later opening times to ensure we all get to see the historical castle lit up in all its glory.

Why note wrap up warm and come and kick start your Christmas off in style.

Our Guest Services Assistant, Cleo

Winter Festivities in WeymouthWinter festivities in Weymouth

When the sleigh bells start a-ringing and the halls are all decked, it’s time to don those Christmas jumpers and see what Dorset has to offer! Festivities aren’t hard to find, and at the Weymouth Christmas Event 2018 there is more to see than you can shake a candy cane at!

Have a bit of family fun and play with the Giant Slow Globe, it’s a fantastic opportunity for a family picture! Your little ones can listen to the Story Teller’s tales while adults enjoy a cup of mulled wine. Make sure you don’t miss the lantern parade!

During this Christmas event there will be a range of entertainment and celebrations. Why not pop down on the 1st December from 10am to 8pm and make the most of the festive season in Dorset?

Matt Hale



Return to blog article index

Matt Hale



Return to blog article index