Eat & Drink

Dorchester has a brilliant range of independent and nationally established places to eat and drink at any time of day.
Many of them utilise and celebrate the wonderful food and drink produced in the local area.
Dorchester has an amazing brewing history and we are fortunate to have a few local micro breweries and distilleries in the town.

See & Do

Dorchester's rich history means there are lots of things to do here. We have hillforts, henges, an amphitheatre, Roman walls, a Roman town house complete with mosaics and a six brilliant museums! Plus, we forgot to mention all of our play parks, river walks and town trails. It is impossible for anyone, of any age, to be bored in Dorchester.


We have pulled together some suggested itineraries and more detailed information about how to make the most of your visit to Dorchester. Click on the link to be inspired.


Dorchester has a variety of different shopping areas. All of them have a great balance of national favourites and independent shops. Homewares, gifts, clothing, shoes, toys, essentials, refills and more can all be found in our vibrant county town.


Discover Dorchester

Dorchester – Thomas Hardy’s Casterbridge, or the Roman town of Durnovaria – is awash with history and sights to explore.

Whether it’s the two (where else has two?) Iron Age hill forts of Maiden Castle and Poundbury, the Roman Town House close to the line of the old Roman Walls (the only example of a fully exposed Roman town house in the country); the fantastic Georgian Architecture in the picturesque town centre; the house designed and lived in by Thomas Hardy; HRH King Charles III’s urban extension at Poundbury with its open spaces and interesting shops and eateries or the modern redevelopment of the former brewery with its dancing fountains – there is lots for everyone to enjoy.

Dinosaurs and Romans, literary giants, great scientists, military history, art and architecture, beautiful green spaces, interesting and independent shops and great places to eat – there really is something for everyone.


What's On?

spoken word night

Spoken Word Night

Spoken Word Night at The Poet Laureate!

Tue 25th Jun - 7:30pm


tree walk

Dorchester Tree Walk

A whistlestop tour of 20 trees in 90 minutes - learn how to identify them and the amazing ways in which they work.

Wed 26th Jun - 6:00pm
and 9 future schedules


22 Comedy of Errors

The Comedy Of Errors – The Handlebards

Dorchester Arts

Wed 26th Jun - 7:00pm



The Harmonious Society of Tickle-Fiddle Gentlemen

Dorset Museum Music Society presents a range of Baroque music brought vividly to life by a leading authentic early music group, The Harmonious Society of Tickle-Fiddle Gentlemen in the Victorian Hall at Dorset Museum & Art Gallery.

Wed 26th Jun - 7:30pm


At the Chapel

“At the Chapel” Pop Up Bakery

Pop along every Thursday for scrumptious baked goodies including their signature traditional breads, croissants, savouries, quiches, doughnuts, cruffins, and fabulous cakes.

Thu 27th Jun - 9:00am
and 25 future schedules


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Upcycling and Repurposing – 27th June 2024

Upcycling and Repurposing Friday 27th June 10am to 12pm £16 including all materials Upcycling and Repurposing Small Everyday Items and giving them a new lease of life or new use Email to book your place.

Thu 27th Jun - 10:00am



Friday Night Sessions & 2 for £15 cocktails

Friday Night Sessions & 2 for £15 cocktails

Fri 28th Jun - 6:30pm
and 17 future schedules


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Phantasia Concert

Phantasia present a unique concert of rarely head British music from the late 18th and 21st centuries, played on period instruments and featuring star soprano Angela Hicks.

Fri 28th Jun - 7:00pm


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British Eventing Horse Trials at Kingston Maurward

British Eventing Horse Trials at Kingston Maurward - Sponsored by Andrews Plant Hire. Kingston Maurward College is delighted to be hosting British Eventing Horse Trials on its Estate on 29th & 30th June 2024

Sat 29th Jun - All day
and 1 future schedules


Summer market

Summer Pop Up Producers, Growers & Makers Market – Saturday 29th June 2024

Athelhampton's Summer Pop Up Market returns this year with more stalls and is still FREE to attend and as a bonus, extend your day out and visit Athelhampton, one of England's finest Tudor Manor Houses surrounded by stunning architectural gardens. (normal admission charges apply).

Sat 29th Jun - 10:00am


Planning a trip to Dorchester?

Visiting Dorchester?

Dorchester is a compact Market town, nowhere is more than a 20 minute or so walk from the town centre. It’s easy to get in a sustainable way too. There are direct train services from Bristol, Bath, London, Southampton, Bournemouth, Poole and Weymouth. We are part of the Sustrans National Cycle Network, well connected by bus and we have lots of electric car charging facilities dotted about the town as well.

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Dorchester has two train stations meaning we are well connected for visitors from across the country. London to Dorchester takes less than three hours and Bournemouth to Dorchester takes less than an hour!

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There are lots of cycle parking points to lock your bike up around the town and it is well connected to the Sustrans National Cycle network.

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We have a regular bus service to local major towns including Bridport, Weymouth and Blandford.

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There are lots of car parks dotted around and lots of e-car charging points too.

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Download the Discover Dorchester App

Your guide to everything you need during your visit to discover Dorchester.

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