Food festivals in Dorset 2024

Things to do

Food festivals in Dorset 2024

It might not be the biggest county, but boy does Dorset pack a punch when it comes to food festivals. Known for its pretty coastline and sweeping countryside made for walking, it’s easy to see why this peaceful county produces such good food and drink - many of its restaurants are Michelin recommended!

With enough food festivals to feed, well, a bunch of people who love food festivals, and some of the best music events in the country, Dorset has something for everyone in its jam-packed social calendar – there’s even something for dinosaur lovers! Here are just some of the best food festivals in Dorset in 2024…

 

Christchurch Cheese & Chilli Festival

The demo tent at the Christchurch Cheese and Chilli Festival

When: 18th – 19th May

Where: Christchurch

Access: Free parking on site

Whether you love chillies or cheese or a mix of the two (and who doesn’t love a combination of dairy and daring), the Christchurch Cheese & Chilli Festival is the only place to find both in a dog-friendly, festival setting - and 2024 it's celebrating its 10th year! What does this mean? You can spend two glorious days chowing down on cheese and chillies from around the world while enjoying fantastical merriment in the form of circus performers, live music, and everyone’s favourite past-time of watching a group of teary people consume increasingly hot chillies. Now that’s entertainment!

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Christchurch Food Festival

People bustling around the stalls at Christchurch Food Festival

When: 25th – 27th May

Where: Christchurch

Access: Plenty of car parks around the town

In 2024, the Christchurch Food Festival is back and bigger than ever, which means three days of fabulous food and entertainment. Over the weekend you’ll get to follow your nose as you sniff out your next culinary adventure with lots of great food from all over the south and south west. Watch how the professionals get it just right in a slew of cookery demos and enjoy a gargantuan array of activities that are sure to entertain everyone, whether you’re fifty or five!

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Bridport Food Festival

People sat on the grass in front of the tents at Bridport Food Festival

When: 15th June

Where: Bridport

Access: Parking will be available at the Bridport Leisure Centre Rugby Pitch

Showcasing fantastic local growers, producers and makers, the Bridport Food Festival is one of the best places to go to get a true taste of the south west. Fill your bags (and belly) with copious amounts of artisan cheese, bread and cakes while checking out the area’s best tipples – we mean, who doesn’t love the taste of locally made gin! Local musicians will lend their melodious talents to the festival, providing a glorious background sound to the day’s foodie delights. If you like to wet your whistle alongside fabulous foods, head along to the beer festival the night before on the 14th for a range of local brews and some foot-tapping entertainment. 

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Weymouth Food & Family Festival

People walking along the stalls and harbour at Weymouth Food Festival

When: 27th – 28th July

Where: Weymouth

Access: Parking at Lodmoor Country Park and Beach road car parks, both just five minutes’ walk away

Whether you love eating food, watching food be professionally prepared, or eating food (wait, did we say that twice?), Weymouth Food & Family Festival has something to suit your discerning taste buds. Food might be what brings you, but you’ll stay for the fantastic live music and chilli eating competition (yes, you read that right). Are dogs allowed you might ask? Well, we’ll answer that with the other draw to this family-friendly festival: the Dog Talent Show, where everyone can enter their beloved pooch in a variety of categories including waggiest tail.

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Great Dorset Chilli Festival

A mariachi band performing at the Great Dorset Chilli Festival

When: 3rd – 4th August

Where: Sturminster Newton

Access: Parking on-site

Whether your chilli interests lie in condiments, plants or ceramics, it’s safe to say that there’s something for everyone at this taste explosion of a festival – even some much-needed ice cream for when things really heat up. See how high you can go on the Scoville scale – are you more bell pepper or ghost chilli – while sampling your way through the countless stalls. There’s lots of entertainment on offer too, so you can slip into your dancing shoes for some musical interludes in between each chilli tasting.

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Seafest

People walking along the seafront at Seafest in Dorset

When: 7th - 8th September

Where: Weymouth

Access: Town centre car parks fill up quickly, so we recommend using the Weymouth park and rid

This award-winning Dorset Seafood Festival in Weymouth is all about celebrating and understanding the incredible seafood that’s available to us all around our beautiful coastline, from cockles to cod. Pair your seafood explorations with some delicious local wines and ales while making the most of the terrific entertainment, which includes countless demonstrations and some fab live music. There’s a great focus on sustainability and responsible sourcing, which means visitors can learn all about ocean health and underutilised alternatives. And of course, the entire event takes place next to one of the stunning Dorset beaches.

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Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival

A band performing at the Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival

When: 14th – 15th September

Where: Sturminster Newton

Access: Car park at Durrant Field, opposite the venue

Now what kind of cheese festival would this be without all the Babybels and whistles! You’ll find plenty of chilli jams, ciders and maybe even a cracker or two to compliment your favourite and newly discovered cheeses. Alongside dairylicious dreams you can take home, you’ll also find a mouth-watering array of food vendors from pancakes to gelato! Throw in some cracking food demos and you’ve got a weekend that Wallace and Gromit would be proud of.

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The Gin to my Tonic Festival

Three gin and tonics at The Gin to my Tonic Festival in Bournemouth

When: 12th October

Where: Bournemouth

Access: Car parking on-site

Now, this is our kind of festival! Over 120 gins await at this gin-spired festival with a difference. As you enter, you’ll be handed your very own, specially-made glass and guides, giving you everything you need to make the most of this botanically-infused experience. Live music makes up the soundtrack to the event as a host of artisan distillers join to celebrate all things gin…. as well as a few other craft spirits for good measure!

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Book your stay in one of our welcoming cottages in Dorset and make the most of this action-packed calendar.

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