Things to do

October events in Dorset

There's loads going on to keep you busy in Dorset this October. For avid readers there are two literary festivals, for those seeking adventures in culture there are several arts festivals and performances, for the classic trick-or-treaters head to Corfe Castle for some spooky goings-on. Whatever you choose, Dorset is a fantastic place to visit and explore in the autumn.

First week of October 

29th September to 6th October: Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival


A collection of intriguing, spectacular and curious arts experiences across the seaside town. With over 60 events to enjoy in plenty of beautiful spaces and places, this is a festival not to be missed.


4th to 7th October: Swanage Blues Festival

Boogie on down to the Swanage Blues Festival for contagious rhythms and a weekend to remember.


5th to 6th October: Weymouth Octoberfest Beer Festival

The annual CAMRA Octoberfest returns to Weymouth once again featuring over 60 real ales and 12 ciders from Dorset and the South West.


Second week of October

10th to 14th October: Sherborne Literary Festival

With various talks from biographers, novelists, historians, presenters, politicians and columnists, there's plenty to see and do for the bookworm in you. Casual readers welcome too.


12th to 14th October: Autumn Steam Gala, Swanage

A classic autumn event with an intensive timetable of operating passenger and freight trains giving you some amazing photo opportunities and the chance to ride behind as many engines as possible.


12th to 27th October: Purbeck Film Festival

The perfect place for anyone who loves a trip to the cinema. There's a whole host of talks and screenings going on.


Third week of October

17th to 21st October: Dorchester Literary Festival

Another Dorset literary festival to quench your reading thirst this October. The home of Thomas Hardy seems like a fitting place for some literary musings.


Final week of October

20th to 28th October: Halloween at Corfe Castle

Celebrate Halloween this half term with the ghosts and ghoulies at Corfe Castle. Take part in the horrid spooky trail and scare yourselves silly.


20th to 28th October: Boo at the Zoo, Marwell Zoo

Join the team at Marwell Zoo this Halloween for spooky activities in the Pumpkin Patch and scary storytelling in the Haunted Hall.

Dorset events in October

Throughout the Month


18th to 28th October: Enchanted Floodlit Gardens, Abbotsbury

The annual illuminations of the Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens are set to be a breath-taking experience. Take a romantic stroll around the 'Long Walk' and see the gardens ablaze with colour and illumination.


Enjoy the October excitement with a stay in one of our Dorset cottages.

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