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.
Dorchester's Festive Season
Dorchester is enchanting during the festive season and definitely worth a visit for some Christmas shopping and festive cheer!
Dorset is home to some wonderful makers and producers whose wares make for brilliant and unique Christmas presents. A Christmas market or craft fair is the perfect place to pick up gifts for friends and family and we have lots happening in Dorchester in the run up to Christmas 2024. Check out our guide. Each is slightly different, some indoor, some outdoor. Some in the town centre, some in Poundbury. All brilliant though and worth a visit!
Dorchester has a fantastic selection of independent shops around the Town Centre, Brewery Square and Poundbury that are perfect for buying presents for others or treating yourself! Check out our little guide of our favourite shops for any recipient and support local this Christmas.
Don’t miss out on free parking days in Dorchester is the run up to Christmas too! Find out more here
Askerswell Coin Hoard
Askerswell Roman Coin hoard
Tue 28th Nov - All day
and 31 future schedules
Christmas Afternoon Tea
Treat yourself to a Christmas Afternoon at Shire Hall Museum this festive season.
Tue 28th Nov - 12:00pm
and 22 future schedules
A film in French with subtitles, presented by the Dorchester-Bayeux Twinning Society
Tue 28th Nov - 6:45pm
Spoken Word Night
Spoken Word Night at The Poet Laureate!
Tue 28th Nov - 7:00pm
and 1 future schedules
Cold Porcelain Poinsettia Workshop – 29th November 2023
Wed 29th Nov - 10:30am
Dorset Museum Collections Tour
Tour of the Collections at Dorset Museum
Thu 30th Nov - 11:00am
and 1 future schedules
Silver Clay Beginners
Fri 1st Dec - 10:00am
Carols on the Green
Come and sing carols under the stars then head into the church to see the Christmas trees and enjoy mince pies, mulled punch or hot soup to warm the hands and heart
Fri 1st Dec - 6:00pm
Festive Fundraising Quiz
Put your knowledge to the test at our fundraising quiz night! Money raised will go towards the Museum's cultural and community projects.
Fri 1st Dec - 7:00pm
Elisabeth Frink: A View from Within
Experience the inner world of famous sculptor Dame Elisabeth Frink (1930-1993) in a major new exhibition exploring her artistic and personal life in Dorset.
Sat 2nd Dec - 9:00am