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Events and things to do in Dorchester: Christmas 2016

10:35 25 November 2016

Joglaresa will be singing nowells, wassails and Christmas lullabies at Holy Trinity Church

Joglaresa will be singing nowells, wassails and Christmas lullabies at Holy Trinity Church


From skating in the square to Christmas lullabies there is plenty happening in Dorset’s county town over the festive season

Skating in the square

Open from Saturday 26 November to New Years Eve, the rink in Brewery Square brings a wonderful Christmassy atmosphere to the heart of Dorchester. Alongside the rink, Bewery Square boasts a wide variety of restaurants including Carluccio’s, Zizzi, Wagamama, Nando’s, Cote, Vivo Lounge, Creams Cafe and the Brewhouse and Kitchen – together with shops such as Jones, Joules, Phase Eight and Morrish & Banham wine merchant. You can book skating tickets online at

Under the Greenwood Tree - 1–4 December

The New Hardy Players bring to the stage some of Thomas Hardy’s characters from the village Mellstock at the Corn Exchange, 01305 266926.

Poundbury Christmas Market - 3-4 December

Browse a selection of stalls selling crafts and gifts, food and drink at the Dorset Centre for the Creative Arts, Middle Farm Way, Poundbury. 

Dorchester Christmas Cracker - 8 December

Dorchester lights up with festive cheer on Christmas Cracker Night. Lights are switched on at St Peters Church at 6.30pm with Santa and a special guest. The big man will then be in his Grotto Bus from 6.45pm outside Lloyds bank. He’ll also be popping into Dorset County Museum where you may also spot a few famous sci-fi characters in attendance. Christmas Craft Fair in the Corn Exchange from 4-8pm, Christmas Market Stalls in South Street from 4pm including the Anonymous Travelling Market. The shops will be open late and you may even find yourself being served by a Christmas fairy or elf! 

The Shine on Beer & Music Festival - 10 December

Dorset County Museum provides the gorgeous backdrop to this festival offering craft and real ales, including some top notch tipples from Piddle Brewery, alongside bands like the Fab Beatles and Margot Escargot. From 5pm until 11pm. 

Rome & Julie - 14–15 December

Ballet Theatre UK dances the tragic tale of star-crossed lovers. Matinee and evening at the Corn Exchange, 01305 266926.

Joglaresa - 16 December

Holy Trinity Church, High West Street provides the acoustics for the five luscious female voices of Joglaresa – there’ll be nowells, wassails and Christmas lullabies accompanied by fidel, harp, bells, bagpipes and percussion. The magic begins at 7pm. Box office 01305 266926.

Frozen: Singalong - 20 December

Time to Let It Go with Elsa and her friends as Disney’s animated blockbuster comes in a sing-a-long format to the Corn Exchange at 2pm. Box office 01305 266926

Noel Noel - 21 December

Bournemouth Sinfonietta Choir brings festive cheer and carols to Dorset County Museum accompanied by mulled wine and mince pies. Tickets 01305 267992.

My local Christmas - Mark Tattersall, Artistic Director at Dorchester Arts

The annual Christmas visit to the Corn Exchange by Ballet Theatre UK is fast becoming a ‘new tradition’ in the town – this year it’s Romeo and Juliet. Also Joglaresa, led by the hugely talented Belinda Sykes, are performing a festive selection at Holy Trinity Church as part of our classical and early music programme.

My top tip for Christmas shopping in Dorchester is Frederick L Mabb (7 High West Street) for their amazing range of socks. And once those have been purchased then it’s off to The Horse with the Red Umbrella for a slice of panettone and a coffee!

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