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?

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 18th Jul - 9:00am
and 22 future schedules


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Fashioning Our World Showcase Display

This special display showcases a project with local young people working alongside the Dorset Museum & Art Gallery team as part of the Fashioning our World initiative in collaboration with Salisbury Museum.

Thu 18th Jul - All day
and 50 future schedules



Sensing The Past Community Exhibition

"Sensing the Past" was a collaborative and co-produced project involving The Dorset Blind Association, Dorset Museum & Art Gallery, and Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre.

Thu 18th Jul - All day
and 70 future schedules



Storytime at the Museum

Come and join us for fun-filled Storytime where you can listen to some amazing tales in our Community Space at Dorset Museum & Art Gallery!

Thu 18th Jul - 10:00am


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Shire Hall Museum Bingo Night!

Cash prizes to be won, our Bingo night at Shire Hall Museum is a fun night out for everyone, all whilst raising vital funds for the Museum!

Thu 18th Jul - 7:00pm



Exhibition: Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Wildlife Photographer of the Year, the world-famous exhibition from the Natural History Museum, is returning to Dorset Museum & Art Gallery!

Fri 19th Jul - All day
and 106 future schedules


Hamlet 2024

Hamlet – Outdoor Theatre, The Lord Chamberlain’s Men – Friday 19th July 2024

Outdoor Theatre - Join The Lord Chamberlain’s Men this summer, in their 20th year, for Hamlet, the greatest play in the English language

Fri 19th Jul - 6:00pm



Friday Night Sessions & 2 for £15 cocktails

Friday Night Sessions & 2 for £15 cocktails

Fri 19th Jul - 6:30pm
and 14 future schedules


Cinzel Decorative

Emily Jean Vocalist – 19th July

Emily Jean vocalist live in the Opium Lounge 19th July 8pm - 10pm

Fri 19th Jul - 8:00pm



Roman Town House Tours

Join our trained guides on a tour of Roman Town House site and the precious artifacts recovered and now on display at Dorset Museum & Art Gallery.

Sat 20th Jul - 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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Your guide to everything you need during your visit to discover Dorchester.

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