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Christmas markets and events in Dorset

PUBLISHED: 12:40 15 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:49 15 November 2018

Traditional Christmas market / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Traditional Christmas market / Getty Images/iStockphoto


From festive light switch-ons and Santa's Grottos, to German Christmas markets and late-night shopping, we've covered what's on in Dorset this season

Bournemouth Christmas Market

16 November – 2 January

As you’d expect from any great Christmas market or festival, Bournemouth’s will include lively entertainment, unique gift ideas and some tasty cuisine. Inspired by the traditional German markets, you can cosy up in the two-storey Alpine Lodge, meet Santa in the North Pole Grotto and test your skating expertise on the ice rink. The event runs for almost two months, closing in the New Year, so there’s plenty of time to enjoy the celebrations.


Christchurch Christmas Festival

24 November

Join the Christchurch community for one of the most magical days in the calendar. From Santa’s Christmas procession, to festive street markets and mini funfair, there’s plenty for the whole family to enjoy. Listen to the choirs, live bands and entertainers in Saxon Square before the lights are switched on at 6pm. The event starts at 10am and runs through to 8pm at night so you’ll have all day to enjoy the festive fun.


Athelhampton House Dorset Food & Drink Christmas Fair

24 – 25 November

Festive foodie event with over 50 stalls to explore. Take your pick from home-baked cakes, vegan delicacies and much more. The fair is open from 10am until 4pm and entry is £3.50 per person (children go free). This includes entry to the House and Gardens of Athelhampton and there is free park and ride from County Hall in Dorchester.


Durlston at Christmas

25 November

A selection of local produce and gifts, a Winter Wonderland and face painting for children. Visit Seventhwave and enjoy mulled wine, carol singers and mince pies aplenty - the perfect excuse for your last minute shopping.


Etsy Made Local: Dorset Team Christmas Fair

1 - 2 December

Kicking off on Small Business Saturday, the Etsy Made Local: Dorset Team Christmas Fair is a two day event celebrating some of the best local independent makers, designers and sellers in Dorset. The fair encourages local people to come along, meet our sellers and pick up some really unique, affordable and meaningful gifts Christmas gifts which you won’t find on the high-street.

The fair will be taking place at the Allendale Centre with 60 stalls to browse each day.

Symondsbury Estate

5 December

This wonderful festive market, at Manor Yard just outside Bridport, includes stalls selling local crafts, food, drinks, and Christmas gifts. Also in attendance will be Christmas donkeys and there’s a children’s story-telling area. Runs 11am-6pm.


Bridport Christmas Cheer

5 December

Bridport Christmas Cheer is a great time for the town to get together and begin celebrating festivities. Enjoy a number of performances from the local school choirs, bands, musicians and dance groups. A lantern parade will go through Bridport followed by the arrival of Santa and the big light switch-on in Bucky Doo Square. Take children to visit Father Christmas in his grotto and make the most of late night shopping and stalls selling Christmas gifts and local food and drink.


Gillingham Christmas Craft Fair

9 December

This year, there will be a small German themed market where the Gillingham Community Choir, Gillingham Primary School, Dorset school choir and Gillingham Singers will sing Christmas carols whilst you shop. You’ll find plenty of homemade decorations, cards, jewellery and much more on sale and CHOCOLATE GIN! Entry is free and all money raised at the fair will go to the North Dorset Air Ambulance. The market opens at 10.30am and will close at 5pm.


Blandford Yuletide Festival

12 December

The Yuletide Festival in Blandford Forum this year kicks of at 5pm and will include a whole host of activities ranging from, but not limited to: a lantern parade, carol singing, fireworks and market. You might even catch a glimpse of Father Christmas too.


Shaftesbury Christmas Market

16 December

With the streets filled from one end of town to another, this is an atmospheric street fair in Shaftesbury High Street from 10am–3pm. More details tbc.


Keep checking back as more Christmas markets, events and light switch-ons will be added! If you’d like your Christmas event to be considered please get in touch:

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