‘Tis the season… for mulled wine, festive treats, and shopping for unique artisan gifts! The season for Christmas Markets – and there are plenty popping up across Dorset this year!
A Christmas market is always a great way to get yourself into the festive spirit…
Sip a steaming mug of mulled wine as you browse for unique gifts handmade by local artists and makers. And get ready for your Christmas parties by picking up some tasty locally made foodie treats! You can even stock up the drinks cupboard with Dorset-made beers, ciders, spirits, and wines.
I’ve divided this post into two sections. First up is a list of all the long-term Dorset Christmas Markets which will be running throughout the festive season. The second section is a list of one-off events: markets popping up for just one or two days, listed in order of when they’ll be happening.
If you know of any great Christmas Markets around Dorset that aren’t listed here, leave a comment at the end of this post or get in touch and I’ll add it in. Merry Christmas…
Update Aug 2023: We’ve begun updating this post with all the 2023 event dates and details.
Map of all Dorset Christmas Markets
Long-Term Christmas Markets in Dorset
Alpine Market at Bournemouth’s Christmas Tree Wonderland
2023 Dates: 17 November – 1 January 2024Location: Town Square (for the Alpine Market) and the Lower GardensMore Info
The Alpine Market in Bournemouth is probably the biggest and best-known of the Dorset Christmas markets. Each year this takes over the Town Square as part of the huge Christmas Tree Wonderland event.
The Wonderland is a free trail of festive-themed illuminations throughout the Lower Gardens in the town centre. This year, the centrepiece will once again be the 60ft walk-through Bournemouth Wonderland Tree, situated in the centre of the Lower Gardens.
Amongst all these magical lights and decorations, there’s also a traditional Christmas market, the fantastic pop-up Alpine Lodge Bar, and an outdoor ice rink.
Poole Christmas Maritime Light Festival
2023 Dates: 25 November – 2 January 2024Location: Poole Quay, High Street and Falkland SquareMore Info
Back for a second year, the Poole Christmas Maritime Light Festival will be taking over the town centre with festive fun – including a fab Christmas Market, plus rides, food, and a flotilla of lights.
“Be prepared to be dazzled as thousands of twinkling lights take you on a nautical journey that starts at the gateways to Poole; the Twin Sails Bridge, Hunger Hill and The Lighthouse.”
One-Off / Short-Term Dorset Christmas Markets
Kingston Maurward Christmas Craft and Food Fair
2023 Dates: TBCLocation: Kingston Maurward House, DorchesterMore Info
The 36th Christmas Craft and Food Fair at Kingston Maurward House, with almost 100 stands selling beautiful crafts and delicious food produce.
Longthorns Farm Christmas Market
2023 Dates: 11 – 12 NovemberLocation: Longthorns Farm, Wareham Price: FREEMore Info
A free two-day Christmas Market full of local small businesses selling amazing presents, decorations and more! Wareham town band and a local choir will also be performing, and the farm’s Alpacas will be present for a ‘meet and greet’!
Highlands End Christmas Makers’ Market
2023 Dates: 18 November Location: Martin’s Bar & Restaurant, Highlands End Holiday Park, BridportPrice: £1 for adultsMore Info
The annual Maker’s Market held at Highlands End, near Bridport, is back, with all proceeds going to Julia’s House. There will be over 35 stalls of homemade crafts, art, jewellery and seasonal treats – as well as lots of great food and drink.
Festive Arts & Crafts Fair at Upton Country Park
2023 Dates: TBCLocation: Upton Country Park, PoolePrice: TBCMore Info
The beautiful estate of Upton Country Park are hosting numerous Christmas events this year.
These include a Christmas Woodland Adventure (17th December – 1st January, except Christmas and Boxing Day), Wreath Making Workshops on 3rd and 4th December, and a Festive Arts and Crafts Fair within Upton House. The perfect place to pick up some unique and locally made gifts!
Festive Fair Compton Acres
2023 Dates: TBCLocation: Italian Villa, Compton Acres, Poole
A festive fair, full of unique and beautiful handmade gifts at the beautiful Italian Villa, Compton Acres in Poole. A host of talented local suppliers will be exhibiting across the floors of this distinctive building, selling a variety of wonderful Christmas gifts.
Mapperton House Christmas Market
2023 Dates: 25 – 26 November Location: Mapperton House, Beaminster Tickets: £5 per person including FREE garden entry. Under 12’s free. More Info
Enjoy the magic of Mapperton Estate at Christmas with lots of fantastic stalls focusing on local products and delicious food and drink. You can also explore the Mapperton Gardens in winter!
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Shire Hall Christmas Market
2023 Dates: 25 – 27 NovemberLocation: Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum, Dorchester Price: FREEMore Info
Head to the Shire Hall in Dorchester for the annual Christmas Markets. Free to enter, the market will host over 30 businesses, selling everything from food and drink to jewellery and photography.
Athelhampton Christmas Fair
2023 Dates: 25 – 26 November Location: Athelhampton House, PuddletownTickets: TBC – last year they were £5 (under 12’s free)More Info
Join Dorset Food & Drink at Athelhampton House for this popular Christmas Market. With 40+ stalls around the gardens selling locally made products, delicious food and drink, crafts, and hot food, there’s something for everyone.
Magic of Christmas Food and Drink Market, Gillingham
2023 Dates: 26 NovemberLocation: Riversmeet Leisure Centre, GillinghamPrice: FreeMore Info
Over in North Dorset, Gillingham Crafts are hosting a fab Christmas market at Riversmeet Leisure Centre. There’ll be over 70 stalls, all handmade, offering a mixture of food and craft. They’ll also have choirs, a children’s play area, and Father Christmas! Keep an eye on the Facebook Page for more info!
Littledown Christmas Market
2023 Dates: 26 November Time: 11am-4pm Location: Littledown Centre, Chaseside, Bournemouth BH7 7DXTickets: £1 for adults, £0.50 for children (5 – 15), under 5’s free. More Info
The annual market event at the Littledown Centre in Bournemouth is one of Dorset’s largest indoor Christmas markets.
“There is a wide range of stalls selling Christmas gifts including handmade artisan gifts made by talented crafters, jewellery, fused glass, local preserves, chutneys, award-winning fudge, seasonal cakes, chestnuts, cheeses and much more.
“As well as Christmas decorations, Christmas cards, wrapping paper, wreaths, artisan food and hampers. Plus art from local artists and photographers.”
Leweston Christmas Fair
2023 Dates: TBCLocation: Leweston Manor House, SherborneMore Info
Come along for some festive shopping at Leweston Manor House. Showcasing a wide variety of stalls, highlighting local produce, suppliers and craftspeople who will be selling art, clothing, homeware, gifts, toys, sweets, alcohol and much more…
Swanage Christmas Market
2023 Dates: 2 DecemberLocation: Station Road, SwanagePrice: FREEMore Info
The Swanage Christmas Market will once again be taking place this December. There will be a wide variety of gifts, crafts, food and drink available – as well as rides and performances throughout the day. Oh, and Father Christmas will also be in town!
Cerne Abbas Christmas Street Fayre
2023 Dates: TBCLocation: Long Street, Cerne AbbasMore Info
Long Street is transformed into a picturesque seasonal scene with a wonderful array of stalls selling locally produced foods, Christmas gifts and crafts and hot food and drink.
Poundbury Independent Christmas Market
2023 Dates: 2 December Location: Buttermarket, Poundbury, DT1 3DSPrice: FREEMore Info
This small independent Christmas market in Poundbury always falls on Small Business Saturday, the first Saturday in December. Full of local independent businesses from across Dorset. In 2023, the market will be bigger than ever – with around 100 stalls!
Nothe Fort Christmas Steampunk Market & Yuletide Songs
2023 Dates: 2 December Location: Nothe Fort, WeymouthPrice: Requires entry ticket to the Nothe Fort.More Info
Join the Ministry of Steampunk for another year of Steampunk-themed festivities at the Nothe Fort, including a number of exhibits, a steampunk market, fort tours and carolling.
Symondsbury Estate Christmas Market
2023 Dates: 1 – 3 DecemberLocation: Symondsbury Estate Bridport, DT6 6HGTickets: Free (parking £3)More Info
Symondsbury Estate Christmas Market is back and even better than before! So much so, they’ve now made it a three-day event!
“We have a wide range of local businesses selling handcrafted food, drink and gifts, together with our independent shops, offering luxury giftware, festive decorations, homeware and artisan food and drink.”
Sherborne Festive Shopping Day
2023 Dates: 3 DecemberLocation: Cheap Street, SherbornePrice: FREEMore Info
This fun festive market takes over the main shopping centre in Sherbourne. Cheap Street is closed to traffic for a farmer’s market. You’ll also have the chance to see Santa in his grotto, and browse Sherborne’s great range of independent shops.
Handmade Wimborne Christmas
2023 Dates: TBCLocation: Allendale Centre, WimborneMore Info
The hugely popular craft fair Handmade Wimborne settles in for two full days at the Allendale Centre, for a weekend of Christmas shopping with the hugely talented Handmade Wimborne sellers. Expect a wide array of local designers, artisans and crafters.
Dorchester Christmas Cracker
2023 Dates: 10 DecemberLocation: High Street, Dorchester and inside the Corn Exchange Time: 11am-4pmPrice: FreeMore Info
An all-day Christmas celebration in the Dorset county town, with a Christmas Market on Dorchester High Street and a craft fair in the Corn Exchange.
Shaftesbury Christmas Fair
2023 Dates: TBCLocation: High Street, ShaftesburyMore Info
Last up comes the famous Shaftesbury Christmas Fair, celebrating all that is best about Christmas on the “High Point of Dorset”. Shaftesbury is one of the prettiest villages in Dorset, and makes an idyllic winter setting for a Christmas market!
Later that evening, Shaftesbury Arts Centre are hosting The Spoonfeds’ Christmas Pudding – a night of acapella Christmas songs, with sing-alongs and community carols. Tickets are free but must be pre-booked.
The Ultimate Guide to Christmas in Dorset!
Dorset Festival Dates for your Diary
9 Christmas markets and Events in Bournemouth
Locally Made Foodie Gifts in Dorset
If I’ve missed any fab Dorset Christmas markets from this list, please leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to add it. Have a great Christmas everyone!