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.

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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.

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Inspiration

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.

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Shopping

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.

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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?

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Dorchester Walking Festival

The Dorchester Walking Festival is an annual event happening in May during National Walking Month.

Sat 11th May - 9:00am
and 8 future schedules

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John Brown in Dorchester: Rebuilding a Life after slavery

Special temporary exhibition at Dorset Museum

Sun 19th May - 9:00am
and 11 future schedules

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Dorchester Vegan Market

Dorchester Vegan Market

The Dorchester Vegan Market in the historic Maumbury Rings Roman Amphitheatre

Sun 19th May - 10:00am
and 1 future schedules

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Occasional Singers 30th Anniversary Concert

You are warmly invited to join The Occasional Singers for their 30th Anniversary Afternoon Concert!

Sun 19th May - 4:00pm

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Beating the Bounds

Beating the Bounds 2024!

Join Roman reenactors, musicians and more to “Beat the Bounds" of the old Roman Walls and make some noise.

Sun 19th May - 4:30pm

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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.

Wed 22nd May - 9:00am
and 49 future schedules

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Collections Discovery Centre Tour

Join our Collections Team for an opportunity to explore behind the scenes in Dorset Museum & Art Gallery's Collections Discovery Centre.

Wed 22nd May - 2:00pm
and 7 future schedules

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Horn Trio

Dorset Museum Music Society presents Horn Trio: Ben Goldscheider on French Horn, Callum Smart on Violin and Richard Utterly on Piano in the Victorian Hall at Dorset Museum & Art Gallery.

Wed 22nd May - 7:30pm

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Concert by the Horn Trio

Dorset Museum Music Society presents a concert by the Horn Trio

Wed 22nd May - 7:30pm

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National Trust: BSL Signed tours at our West Dorset houses

Signed tours at our West Dorset houses!

Thu 23rd May - 10:00am
and 2 future schedules

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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.

YOUR VISIT
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Train

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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Bike

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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Bus

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

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Car

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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