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Dorset

DORSET

With its temperate climate, blissful countryside and rugged, fossil-strewn coastline, Dorset is a superb place to visit at any time of year. You’ll find it in the South West, bordered by Wiltshire, Hampshire, Somerset and Devon. It’s not just the scenery and the attractions that bring people back year after year; pay a visit and you’ll see just how the pace of life can slow down to a thoroughly relaxing tempo.

Monkey Around in Dorset

Dorset is an ideal location for those with families looking for an interesting and exciting holiday in the UK with some more unusual attractions thrown in. There’s plenty for younger visitors to enjoy, such as Monkey World, where you can meet rescued monkeys and apes and even adopt one! Alternatively, if you want to really unwind, you can pay a visit to one of Dorset’s clean and spectacular beaches.

From Fossils to Tanks

History buffs will be in their element, with relics from virtually every era in man’s past. The beach at Charmouth is always dotted with fossil hunters, cracking rocks and hoping for that next, big find. If you prefer your history a little more recent, be sure to explore the Tank Museum. However, there are plenty of castles spanning the centuries in between; the ruins of Corfe Castle have seen many kings come and go, such as King Henry I.

Eating Out in Dorset

Food is an integral part of life in Dorset and with the fertile soil and bountiful sea on the doorstep, many chefs and restaurateurs have settled here. The Crab House Café in Wyke Regis is a must for seafood fans, while Wild Garlic was set up by the 2009 winner of Masterchef and offers superb, fine dining.

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July

Camp Bestival
Camp Bestival

Taking place at the majestic Lulworth Castle, set against the backdrop of England’s dramatic Jurassic coastline in Dorset. (photo - VisitEngland/Isle of Wight Festival Isle of Wight Festival)

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Yeovilton Air Day
Yeovilton Air Day

The Royal Navy’s premier airshow

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August

Bournemouth Air Festival
Bournemouth Air Festival

See the red arrows in full display

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Bristol Balloon Festival
Bristol Balloon Festival

Europe's largest annual hot air balloon festival. (photo - VisitEngland/Destination Bristol /
Destination Bristol)

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Lyme Regis Regatta & Carnival Week
Lyme Regis Regatta & Carnival Week

Nine days of action packed activities for the whole family.
Carnival programmes are available from the Carnival Kiosk on the Marine Parade, the T.I.C on Church Street and in various shops around the town.

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September

International Autojumble at National Motor Museum
International Autojumble at National Motor Museum

Beaulieu’s most famous motoring event, the International Autojumble is the biggest outdoor sale of motoring items this side of the Atlantic (photo - VisitEngland/Isle of Wight Festival).

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Lyme Regis ArtsFest
Lyme Regis ArtsFest

Meet artists in their studios and find out about them and their work.
Follow the art trail through the town, enjoying a great variety of work displayed in over 100 shops and businesses.(photo - VisitEngland/NewcastleGateshead Initiative)

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Swanage & Purbeck Walking Festival
Swanage & Purbeck Walking Festival

There are new and exciting range of walks for all ages and abilities. The beautiful Isle of Purbeck is a walker's paradise. (photo - VisitEngland Visit Hull and East Yorkshire)

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October

Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival Grand Firework Display
Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival Grand Firework Display

Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival Grand Firework Display, this firework display is the Curtain Raiser to Bridgwater's biggest night of the year. (photo - VisitEngland/Marketing Gloucester/Tony Hickey)

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Fireworks Spectacular at National Motor Museum
Fireworks Spectacular at National Motor Museum

Be wowed by the explosive and dynamic fireworks display. (photo - VisitEngland/Marketing Gloucester/Tony Hickey)

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Sherborne Literary Festival
Sherborne Literary Festival

For lovers of good books and creative expression.
An annual festival in the town of Sherborne including a variety of author talks, writing workshops, and children’s events. (photo ©VisitEngland/Isle of Wight Festival Isle of Wight Festival)

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November

Bridport Literary Festival
Bridport Literary Festival

Writers of fiction and non fiction will intrigue, enlighten and entertain audiences who are encouraged to engage in discussion on subjects of all kinds in venues all around the town. (photo ©VisitEngland/Marketing Gloucester)

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December

Christmas Celebrations at National Motor Museum
Christmas Celebrations at National Motor Museum

Christmas at Beaulieu is a time of magic with fun, activities and entertainment for all the family

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February

Bath Literature Festival
Bath Literature Festival

The Independent Bath Literature Festival is at the centre of local, national and international debate featuring some of the most intelligent, creative, and cutting edge thinkers alive today. (photo ©VisitEngland/Marketing Gloucester)

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Bristol Classic Bike Show
Bristol Classic Bike Show

A huge selection of bikes old and new. (photo ©VisitEngland/Marketing Gloucester)

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Purbeck Literary Festival
Purbeck Literary Festival

Exploring the landscape through literature. Creative, comedy and blog writing workshops, poetry, performances and events featuring the works of Enid Blyton, T.E. Lawrence, Thomas Hardy and contemporary authors many of whom lived in or were inspired by Purbeck. (photo ©VisitEngland/Marketing Gloucester)

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March

Beerex Beer Festival Wareham
Beerex Beer Festival Wareham

An exhibition of fine real ales from across the country on your doorstep. (photo - VisitEngland/Isle of Wight Festival Isle of Wight Festival)
 

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Lyme Regis Beer Festival
Lyme Regis Beer Festival

2 unplugged stages, a greater selection of beers, extra ciders, kids’ circus skills workshops and even a fire-eater, the Lyme Regis Easter Season definitely starts here. Everything involved in this show is locally sourced. (photo ©VisitEngland/Isle of Wight Festival Isle of Wight Festival)

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April

Boat Jumble at National Motor Museum
Boat Jumble at National Motor Museum

Beaulieu Boatjumble has over 1000 stands of boating bits, new trailerable boats, dinghies, equipment and craft from classics to nearly new. With thousands of new and used boating bargains, it makes for an unmissable event for all sailors. (photo ©VisitEngland/Marketing Gloucester)

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From Page To Screen Festival
From Page To Screen Festival

The UK’s only film festival dedicated to the adaptation of books into films. (photo - VisitEngland/NewcastleGateshead Initiative)

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May

Bournemouth 7s Festival
Bournemouth 7s Festival

As the largest sport and music festival in the world, Bournemouth 7s Festival is a must attend event in 2014. With over 320 rugby, netball, cross fit and dodgeball teams competing in a range of competitive and social competitions, the festival is an action packed weekend of sport, music and more

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Dorset Knob Throwing & Frome Valley Food Festival
Dorset Knob Throwing & Frome Valley Food Festival

The world-famous Dorset Knob Throwing competition returns as part of the Frome Valley Food Festival. (photo - VisitEngland)
 

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Dorset Wedding Fair
Dorset Wedding Fair

Dorset's very own wedding festival. It's like a wedding fair only way bigger!
Featuring live music, entertainment, exhibitors, vintage wedding fair, food, wedding bazaar, makeovers, groom's tent. (photo - VisitEngland/Isle of Wight Festival Isle of Wight Festival)

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Lyme Regis Fossil Festival
Lyme Regis Fossil Festival

All the best local finds from collectors and local traders. Talks about the fossils found on the Jurassic coast. (photo ©VisitEngland/Marketing Gloucester)

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Lyme Regis Jazz, Blues and Real Ale Festival
Lyme Regis Jazz, Blues and Real Ale Festival

Lyme Regis Jazz and blues Festival featuring live music at various venues around the town. (photo ©VisitEngland/Marketing Gloucester)

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Purbeck Art Weeks Festival
Purbeck Art Weeks Festival

An impressive cultural programme, encompassing visual art, music, dance, film and story-telling. (photo ©VisitEngland/Isle of Wight Festival Isle of Wight Festival)

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Sherborne Abbey Music Festival
Sherborne Abbey Music Festival

Music and arts events, a celebration of life in Sherbourne. (photo ©VisitEngland/Marketing Gloucester)

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The Tank Museum - Sci-Fi Invasion
The Tank Museum - Sci-Fi Invasion

Start your May Half Term with a bang with sci-fi themed talks and tours, market stalls, characters and props around the Museum.

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June

Beaminster Festival of Music & The Arts
Beaminster Festival of Music & The Arts

Includes a brilliant programme of music, both classical and jazz, literature and an art exhibition of the work of local artists, potters, sculptors and furniture makers. (photo- VisitEngland/VisitDerby/Matthew Jones Photography)

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Bournemouth Wheels
Bournemouth Wheels

Celebrating all types of vehicle with wheels. (photo ©VisitEngland/Marketing Gloucester)

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Glastonbury Festival
Glastonbury Festival

The finest live acts and biggest names attend this huge festival.

(photo - VisitEngland/Marketing Gloucester)

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