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19 Dorset Food Festivals for your 2024 Calendar

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There are loads of amazing Dorset food festivals throughout the year! Beer festivals, cheese festivals, even the infamous Dorset Knob Throwing Festival… there’s plenty to keep you busy! These events are always my favourite way to delve into the local culture (and flavours) of the county.

With loads of amazing local produce – from seafood to cheeses to awesome beers and ciders – Dorset has a lot of good stuff to celebrate. This is probably why we have so many festivals and fairs focused solely on food!

Some are more general, while others focus on a very specific food type. Keep scrolling to see this year’s lineup of awesome foodie events for your calendar…

Help us keep this post up to date! If you know of any great Dorset food festivals that should be on the list – leave a comment at the bottom of the page or get in touch and we’ll be sure to get it added.

Update Jan 2024: We’ve begun updating this article with the latest dates and info for 2024. Some events are still TBC – so we’ll keep adding new info as we receive it!

Dorset Festivals Guide
Blue Vinny Cheese and Dorset Knob Biscuits – staples at all our food festivals!

RELATED POST: 30 Dorset Festivals – Dates for your Diary

Dates: 2 – 3 February 2024
Location: The Corn Exchange, Dorchester High East Street, Dorchester
Tickets: £10 (includes your first pint and a pint glass)

This year will be the 35th Dorchester Beerex – a beer festival that has raised over £200K for charitable causes to date! Last year’s event had 80 real ales and 21 ciders/perries, with food available at all sessions and live music during the Friday and Saturday evening sessions. Expect this year’s to be similar – more details to be shared soon.

Dates: 30th March 2024
Location: Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, Buller’s Way, Abbotsbury, Weymouth DT3 4LA
Tickets from: TBC

The Abbotsbury Food Fair is in one of the more unique settings on this list, hosted within the grounds of the stunning Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens. It’s run in conjunction with Dorset Food & Drink, so you know you’re in for a real foodie treat. Surrounded by the spring foliage and dazzling blossoms of the gardens, you can explore over 30 stalls of local produce.

RELATED POST: 8 Dorset Vineyards to Visit for Tours and Tastings

Dates: Runs every 2 years – next event is due May 2024
Location: Old School House, Cattistock, Dorchester DT2 0JH
Tickets from: TBC
More Info

UPDATE: The last festival, in 2022, was cancelled due to sizing issues. There is no news yet if it will return for 2024 but we are hoping so!

No one, old or young, seems able to resist a snigger at the name of the infamous Dorset Knob Throwing Festival. Although the name lends itself to all kinds of puns and childish giggling, a Dorset Knob Biscuit is actually a kind of bread roll produced by the local Moore’s Biscuit company.

Knob Throwing is the highlight of the festival – anyone can enter and attempt to break the 29.4m record set by Gent Dave Phillips in 2012. But you’ll also find food stalls brimming with local produce, music, entertainment, and workshops such as knob painting (not even joking!). There’s even a Knob Eating Challenge. I promise I’m not making this up!

READ MORE: 25 of the Best Things to do in Dorchester

CANCELLED: The annual Shaftesbury Food and Drink Festival is cancelled for 2024 due to several team members standing down. On their website, they say “It is regrettable but a refreshed team may re-introduce it for future years.”

Dates: 18 – 19 May 2024
Location: next to Bournemouth Airport, Hurn, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 6AD
Tickets from: £8 adults, £6 concessions, children (0-15) FREE

According to the website, the Cheese and Chilli Festival is “the only show in the UK which celebrates both Cheese and Chilli within a family festival setting”. It tours several locations throughout the country but kicks the season off right here in Dorset.

There are 70-100 traders at each show, as well as rides and family-friendly entertainment. Of course, chilli and cheese are front and centre of the event. There’s a chilli sauce competition, a chilli eating competition – even a “man vs food” challenge!

Dates: 24 – 27 May 2024
Location: Bredy Farm, Bredy Ln, Burton Bradstock, Bridport DT6 4ND
Tickets from: £90 for the weekend (adults), £33 for day tickets (adults)

Looking for a proper, overnight festival, complete with camping? Bredy Farm has been organising the SouthCider Festival for the last few years – a music and cider festival combo – which has now transformed into the BeCider Seaside Festival on the May and August bank holidays. You can come for the day, or bring a tent and camp for the weekend to really make the most of it!

The event itself is a celebration of local cider, food and drink, and music, held on a family-run farm nestled in the rolling hills of West Dorset. There’s a packed lineup of music, featuring local favourites as well as talent from around the world.

Dates: 25 – 27 May 2024 (provisional dates)
Location: High Street, Christchurch
Tickets: Free

Christchurch Food Festival is one of my personal favourites. This 3-day event takes over the centre of Christchurch to celebrate locally made food and drink. It’s free to attend and packed with stalls from local food and drink suppliers.

Dorset food festivals

Dates: TBC
Location: Poole Quay
Tickets: Free

UPDATE: The Poole Seafood Festival was cancelled in 2023 – we’re still waiting to hear if it will return this year.

Held on Poole’s historic quay, the Poole Seafood Festival is Dorset’s only free seafood festival. This is three days celebrating the best in local seafood, produce as well as plenty of live music all weekend!

READ MORE: Things to do in Poole

Dates: 15 – 16 June 2024
Location: Prince Albert Gardens, Swanage, BH19 2AR
Tickets: Free

Back to the seafood again now with the Swanage Fish Festival. This annual event is a tribute to the town’s long-running heritage of fishing and the sea. It’s held in the Prince Albert Gardens, overlooking the beautiful bay.

There are lots of stalls offering a huge array of fish, including both locally sourced and more exotic fare. Whether you’re after a classic fish n’ chips, or champagne and oysters, there’s something for every seafood lover!

RELATED POST: 17 of the Best Things to do in Swanage

Dates: 8 – 9 June 2024
Location: Highcliffe High Street (Lymington Road)
Tickets: Free

The Highcliffe Food and Arts Festival is a two-day event focusing on both local and regional food, drink, and art. With arts and crafts on sale, as well as plenty of musical and other entertainment, this is a brilliant way to enjoy the local culture.

And, of course, there’s plenty of great food too! Expect celebrity chefs, cooking demonstrations, and a huge array of stalls selling products from local food producers and independent restaurants and retailers.

Dates: TBC
Location: Askers Meadow, Bridport, Dorset, DT6 4SB
Tickets from: TBC (2023 tickets were £3.50 adults)

A week-long event promoting local food and drink, as well as healthy, sustainable eating, The Bridport Food Festival is full of local flavours and produce. With cookery demonstrations, baking competitions, and a beer festival, there’s plenty to excite the senses. There’s also a children’s marquee packed with free hands-on cooking and play sessions. So this event is perfect for families.

Dates: TBC
Location: Hall & Woodhouse Brewery, Blandford St Mary, Blandford Forum DT11 9LS
Tickets from: TBC (2023 tickets were £10 including glass, programme and 1 pint)

Another exceptional beer festival is the Hall & Woodhouse Beer Festival. It’s run by one of the most popular breweries in Dorset the producers of Badger Beers – at their brewery in Blandford Forum. Expect hot food, live music, entertainment, and – of course – a great lineup of real ales, ciders, and perries. It’s a great community event showcasing one of my favourite local producers.

Dates: 27 – 28 July 2024
Location: Lodmoor Country Park, Preston Beach road, Weymouth, DT4 7SX
Tickets from: £5 adults, £3.50 concessions, £2 children (under 5’s free)

The Weymouth Food & Family Festival was a popular new addition to the Dorset food festivals calendar a few years ago, and it’s still going strong! The two-day event sees over 60 food, drink, arts and retail craft stalls to explore, as well as a hot food court.

On top of that, the festival has tons of great entertainment lined up, including a live music stage, dog talent show, bubble party, crazy golf, a chilli-eating competition, and a fun fair. 

READ MORE: A Local’s Guide to Weymouth Dorset

Dates: 3 – 4 August 2024
Location: Stock Gaylard Estate, Sturminster Newton, DT10 2BG
Tickets from: TBC (tickets go on sale in May – in 2023 they were £8 for adults when booked in advance)

three men in traditional black mariachi outfits with white hats walking through a field at the dorset chilli festival with a few food stalls and a crowd behind them, two of the men are carrying guitars

The Great Dorset Chilli Festival has everything a chilli enthusiast could want! Expect stalls selling everything from sauces and chilli jams to chilli fudge and chilli cider.

It’s not just chilli, though! Now in its 12th year, this is a top-notch food festival with stalls covering charcuterie, cheese, gin, ceramics, ice cream, jewellery, brownies, olive oils, dressings and more.

There are also bands, buskers, mariachi, chilli-eating competitions, falconry, beer tent, cider tent, gin bar, street food, cooking demonstrations, bouncy castles, and more!

Dates: TBC (usually mid-August)
Location: The Borough Gardens, Dorchester, DT1 1RG
Tickets: Free

Held in the Victorian Park of the Borough Gardens, The Dorchester Cider Festival features over 75 ciders from local and national suppliers. There’s also hot and cold food, live music from local artists, and entertainment to keep the kids occupied as you sample your way through some of the best ciders in Britain!

READ MORE: 20 of the Best Places to Eat in Dorchester

Dates: 14 – 16 June 2024
Location: Upton Country Park, near Poole
Tickets from: From £3 Adult / £1 Child / £8 Family!

Upton Country Park‘s fantastic Food and Music Festival is back again this summer. Expect a gastronomic weekend packed with interactive experiences, food stalls, and live music. Get ready for top tribute acts – as well as local musicians and kids’ entertainment! The perfect family friendly weekend.

Situated on the front lawn, with the stunning backdrop of this grand Grade II listed Georgian House, the festival will be an opportunity to celebrate delicious regional and national produce from a diverse selection of stallholders with plenty of entertainment for all the family.

Dates: 23 – 26 August 2024
Location: Bredy Farm, Bredy Ln, Burton Bradstock, Bridport DT6 4ND
Tickets from: £90 for the weekend (adults), £33 for day tickets (adults)

BeCider Seaside 19 is the follow-up to the May bank holiday festival, held across the August bank holiday weekend in Burton Bradstock. This is a celebration of Dorset food, drink, and cider – as well as music, held on a family-run farm nestled in the rolling hills of West Dorset.

There’s a packed lineup of music, featuring local favourites as well as talent from around the world. You can come for the day, or bring a tent and camp for the weekend to really make the most of it!

Dates: TBC
Location: Weymouth Harbour, Weymouth DT4 8BG
Tickets from: TBC (in 2023 tickets were £10 – kids free)

The annual Dorset Seafood Festival on Weymouth Harbour is my favourite Dorset food festival event. In fact, it’s one of my favourite events of the year! The festival is a celebration of local seafood – as well as lots of other incredible produce from around Dorset.

There’s usually plenty of fizz flowing alongside the delicious food. Don’t miss the chance to have champagne and oysters on the harbourside overlooking the masts of yachts and fishing vessels. Stalls from local suppliers and independent restaurants line both sides of the harbour, while two stages offer live shows and cooking demos.

Dates: 14 – 15 September 2024
Location: Sturminster Newton Recreation Ground, Sturminster Newton, DT10 1BY
Tickets from: TBC (in 2023 tickets were £7)

The Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival is a MUST for cheese lovers! It’s held in the hometown of the famous Dorset Blue Vinney cheese, so this is a real celebration of local and regional cheeses.

It’s a huge event with demos, music and entertainment, and street food – as well as heaps of stalls piled high with incredible local cheeses and cheese-related products. With 25 cheese producers in attendance this year, you’ll have no shortage of things to try. It’s not just cheese, though. There are also dozens of local food suppliers, serving up everything from my favourite Dorset Conker Gin to local shellfish!

Read More

8 of the Best Dorset Music Festivals

Dorset Festival Dates for your Diary

Locally Made Foodie Gifts from Dorset

Are there any Dorset food festivals I’ve missed from this round-up? Scroll down to leave a comment and let me know!

9 thoughts on “19 Dorset Food Festivals for your 2024 Calendar”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing these Serena. I went to both of them last summer, can’t believe I forgot about them!! Poole Seafood Festival was gorgeous when I went, such nice weather!

    I’ve just added both festivals into the post 🙂

  2. Hello You forgot the Athelhampton Manor Christmas Foodfestival and the one at Lychett
    Minster which use to be the Venison Festival.
    All the best, Brian.

    1. I think that’s the Food and Arts Festival in Poundbury – that’s definitely one I need to add in as it’s getting bigger every year. There were still a lot of ‘TBC’ dates when I was updating this post in January so I will be updating again asap 🙂

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