Christmas Markets in Dorset

Christmas Markets in Dorset

Christmas is well and truly on the way, and we are fully embracing the opportunity to indulge in mulled wine, mince pies and festive celebrations. Combining all of our favourite things about Christmas, Dorset’s Christmas markets offer the perfect opportunity to mingle with loved ones, savour the festive atmosphere and pick up a Christmas gift (or two, or three) to pop under the Christmas tree.

If, like us, you can't wait to get stuck into festivities, here are some of the best Christmas markets in Dorset to visit this year.

Poole Christmas Maritime Light Festival

Dates TBC

The Poole Christmas Maritime Light Festival usually runs from November until January for a weeks-long festive extravaganza. Featuring enchanting illuminations that light up the town from Poole Lighthouse to Falkland Square, and from the High Street all the way down to Poole Quay, it transforms the coastal resort into a magical Christmas haven. With a Christmas market, pantomime, Christmas choirs, food stalls and many more family-friendly attractions, all generations will be captivated.

Hennings Christmas Market

Dates TBC

Also taking place in Poole is one of Dorset’s newest Christmas markets. Organised by Hennings Wharf, a flourishing events hub in the town, the market is set to run every weekend until Christmas Eve. Look forward to uncovering festive treasures and purchasing gifts and treats from the market stalls, before extending your Christmas adventures with a wander along the town’s Maritime Lights Trail.  

Bournemouth Christmas Market

Christmas themed beach huts lining the beachfront in Bournemouth

Dates TBC

Some of the largest Christmas markets in the West Country, Bournemouth’s Christmas Market and its Christmas Tree Wonderland are always really popular. Regularly spanning the whole festive season from November to January, the event provides Christmas revellers with plenty of opportunity to celebrate. Skate at the snow dome, wander through a hundred glittering Christmas trees at Christmas Tree Wonderland and satisfy your cravings at the Alpine Market. 

Mapperton Christmas Market, Beaminster

23rd - 24th November 2024

Join the team at Mapperton for a fun-filled Christmas Market this year. With more than fifty fantastic stalls selling a wide variety of local products and divine food and drink, the gorgeous Mapperton Estate is somewhere every Christmas-lover will want to be. Head over with your Christmas list and browse a luxurious range of natural soaps, handcrafted leather goods, hand-blended skincare, unique jewellery and much more. 

Symondsbury Estate Christmas Market

Dates TBC

Nestled within the stunning Dorset countryside, Symondsbury Estate is only a stone’s throw from the jaw-dropping Jurassic Coast. Head over this winter and check out its Christmas market held inside the estate’s Tithe Barn and gardens. With a snow machine and Christmas lights adding festive flourishes, the scene is perfectly set for showcasing the fifty local businesses selling their Christmas wares. There will also be a Christmas Grotto for children, as well as live performances from local entertainers, including the Symondsbury Mummers whose Christmas traditions have been thrilling audiences for centuries.

Poundbury Christmas Market

30th November 2024

From 10am to 4pm on Saturday 30th November this year, Poundbury, an urban village built by King Charles III, is hosting its annual Christmas market. A celebration of local businesses and this mirthful time of year, the market hosts small, independent businesses from the area, offering locals and visitors alike the chance to discover the region’s talent. From dribble-worthy bakes to artisanal spirits to handmade jewellery, the market has a huge array of products and produce to choose from so you can find just the right gift for everyone on your Christmas list.

Swanage Christmas Market

Dried fruit slice decorations hanging from Christmas stalls

7th December 2024

On 7th December 2024, Swanage on the Isle of Purbeck is hosting its much-loved Christmas market. Illuminating the town with Christmas lights and lending an even more magical air to this seaside town, it’s one that all generations eagerly anticipate. As well as food stalls tempting with gastronomical treats, there are also lots of craft and gift stalls lining the town’s streets, perfect for finding unique and thoughtful presents. Youngsters can also look forward to carousel rides and the chance to see Santa’s sleigh.

Cerne Abbas Christmas Street Fayre

7th December 2024

Where better to celebrate Christmas this year than in the picturesque Dorset village of Cerne Abbas? Usually famed for its iconic Cerne Abbas Giant, this season all eyes will instead be on the village’s colourful Christmas street fayre on Saturday 7th December this year. Held along Long Street, the market showcases locally-produced goods, from beautiful Christmas stocking fillers and presents to delicious hot food and drink.

Sherborne Festive Shopping Day

Dates TBC

The historic town of Sherborne lights up for Christmas with its Festive Shopping Day in early December. In true festive spirit, the town entices Christmas shoppers with free parking, Christmas-themed decorations in local shops and a wonderful Christmas display at the Castle Gardens. As well as the town’s shops and boutiques, the festival promises Christmas stalls in the streets, live entertainment, music from Sherborne town band, a Santa’s Grotto, farmers’ market, parade, Christmas tree festival and more. Needless to say, it’s a veritable winter wonderland.

Bridport Christmas Festival

Dates TBC 

Round up family and friends and venture over to Bridport’s Christmas Cheer Festival for an evening of family-friendly fun. There will be market stalls hosted at Bridport Town Hall, Bridport Arts Centre and throughout the town’s streets, offering a wide selection of Christmas goodies to peruse alfresco under twinkling skies. To keep all generations fuelled, there will also be lots of food and drink available so you can tuck into your festive favourite, all the while music dances on the cool night air.

Dorchester Christmas Cracker

15th December 2024

For a cracking start to Christmas celebrations, make your way to Dorset’s county town this December. Set between Poole and Bridport, the charming town of Dorchester on the banks of the River Frome is hosting its Christmas Cracker festival. Providing a full day of multi-generational entertainment, the event beckons with outdoor markets along its High West and East streets, as well as a craft fair in its Corn Exchange, so you can find the perfect gift (or several) for your favourite people.

Shaftesbury Christmas Fair

Mugs of mulled wine topped with brown sugar cubes

8th December 2024

The famous hilltop town of Shaftesbury is inviting festive merrymakers of all ages to take part in its Christmas celebrations this year. Taking place in December, Shaftesbury’s Christmas Fair is flooding the town’s streets with the mouth-watering aromas of hot glühwein, roasting chestnuts and melted chocolate. Wander to the top of the town’s famous Gold Hill (of Hovis fame) and explore the medley of Christmas stalls as families mingle and Christmas music fills the air.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our holiday cottages in Dorset for a magical Christmas break.

Sign up to receive our boutique stories…

Stay connected with retreat magic and be the first to know about our new additions. We promise to only fill your inbox with the dreamiest staycation stories and luxury travel moments.