Christmas in Dorset – events

We’ve attempted to provide a list of everything you need for the perfect Christmas in Dorset. From church services and seasonal events to local farm shops and fishmongers. Wherever you are in the county, you can be sure that there will be plenty to do and enjoy throughout the Christmas week. Part one is events.

Christmas Events

There are many events taking place along the coast this Christmas, whether it’s an invigorating Christmas day swim or a more relaxing steam train journey through the countryside.

Runton Road Christmas Lights – Branksome, Bournemouth

For almost 50 years the residents of Runton Road have decorated their houses with Christmas lights to raise money for charity. One of the original Christmas lights roads they have raised thousands of pounds for local charities and brought pleasure and fun to many thousands of people. Lighting up date is 8th December.

Swanage RailwaySwanage

Swanage Railway
Enjoy a relaxing trip on a steam train. Take one of the ‘Santa Specials’ – with a gift from Santa for every child and a mince pie and seasonal drink for the grown-ups. Or if you’d prefer it without the kids, take the ‘Christmas Belle’ and enjoy champagne and canapés. Click here for details.



Corfe Castle

Christmas Carols in the Castle – Step inside the ruins and join in with songs old and new. A selection of delicious winter warmers will also be available from the tea room. Sunday 9th December  5:00 – 6:30pm

Corfe Winter Lights – Christmas is a magical time at Corfe Castle. Take in the festive atmosphere with contemporary lanterns, braziers, beacons and lighting as you explore the castle. Open until 7pm (weather permitting) you can also share your special memory or wish and place it on one of the ” Christmas Wish” Trees. Mulled wine (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) will be available along with other festive treats in the tea rooms.

14th–16th December

21st–23rd December

28th–30th December

Get Crafty at Corfe Castle

Make your own natural Christmas decorations when you visit Corfe Castle this Christmas. Taking place at weekends between 1st and 24th December. Normal admission fee applies plus £1.50 for the craft activities.


Vintage Christmas Wareham

Step back in time “Vintage Christmas” Brings fantastic entertainment, an incredible festive market and historical education in a unique setting. Shop til you drop in the vintage market for all those unique Christmas gifts that you will not find anywhere on the high street. Learn more about what life was like in the 1920s to 1940s post war era. 1st – 2nd December.

See Father Christmas in Wareham

Father Christmas with his golden boots comes to Wareham on 9th December. The parade starts at 4 pm come and join the residents of Wareham for their traditional Christmas celebrations. The event has a lovely family atmosphere and generations come together to enjoy the traditional spectacle of Father Christmas going down the chimney of the Red Lion Hotel! Afterwards in the Grotto at the back of the Red Lion – Have you been good this year? Hot refreshments in the Town Hall.

Monkey World

Enjoy a winter warmer at the park from 15th – 23rd December. Keep the little monkeys entertained with fun and games while you enjoy some festive fare.


Chase the Pudding Santa Run along Weymouth beach on 16th December

Weymouth’s BIG Christmas has a real ice rink, real Christmas Tree, real reindeer, markets, entertainment and more from 4th to 31st December, more information here.

Christmas PantomimeDick Whittington at The Pavilion from 15th December until 5th January.

Harbour Swim –25th December
Work up an appetite for your Christmas lunch! Find out more here.

New Year’s Eve in Weymouth – hosting one of the biggest events anywhere, Weymouth is in the top 10 of places to celebrate New Year’s in Europe


The Great Reindeer Hunt at The Teddy Bear Museum from November 18th to January 4th.

Skating in the Square the outdoor skating rink returns to Brewery Square, from Saturday 24 November to Saturday 5th January.
TICKET PRICES — Adult £6.50 / Child £6.50.

Dorchester Christmas Cracker & Lights Switch on – The official start to Christmas in Dorchester is Thursday 6th December.


Bridport Christmas Cheer Wednesday 5th December A free community event for all to enjoy, with Reindeer Cupid and Comet with their snow queen and a Santa’s Grotto. Enjoy the marvellous lights lining the streets and notice the trees above all the shops.

West Bay

West Bay WallowBoxing Day Swim, 26th December – West Bay, Bridport. Entrants sign in from 10:30 am. Start 12 noon SHARP! Join in the fun with this Fancy Dress wallow or watch from the relative warmth of the harbour side.


Carols and Cheer on 1st December at Charmouth Village Hall – doors open at 11:30 for a 12-2pm event – Tickets £8.00

Christmas Fayre at Charmouth Village Centre on Thursday 6th December

Christmas Morning Fancy Dress ‘Swim’ 25th December – Charmouth Beach. 11:00 am sharp. Be there by 10:30 am to enjoy seeing all the fund-raisers in their (dry) fancy dress! In aid of Lyme Regis RNLI. The beach Charmouth. Just turn up and take the plunge.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks on Charmouth Foreshore Monday 31st December

Lyme Regis

The Marine Theatre is hosting The Little Match Girl on Thursday 20th December – A family show for Christmas inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s traditional tale.

Lyme Lunge – Get your fancy dress costumes ready for the Lyme Lunge on January 1st at the sandy beach near the Cobb in Lyme Regis. 1pm Sharp!

Lights in Lyme Regis – The tree and decorations adorning the streets of Lyme Regis are wonderful and these are only enhanced with carols around the Christmas Tree with Lyme Regis Town Band and a plentiful supply of hot soup, roasted chestnuts and good cheer! 22nd December.

Christmas church services

A village church service is something a bit special. The church will be decorated beautifully and there will surely be a large congregation, a perfect time and place to celebrate Christmas.

We’ve put together a list of a few services that we anticipate following last years list of services, visit the following websites you can find additional services for Church of England or Catholic churches.

Tyneham ChurchSt Nicholas Church, Studland

24th December – Midnight Mass – 11:30 pm

25th December – Family Communion – 10:00 am

St. Andrews, East Lulworth

24th December – Crib Service – 4:00 pm

Holy Trinity, West Lulworth

25th December – Holy Communion – 10:00 am

Holy Trinity, Weymouth

24th December – Midnight Mass – 11:30 pm

25th December – Holy Communion – 8:00 am

St Mary, Bridport

23rd December – Nativity Play with carols 11:00 am

24th December – Crib Service – 3:00 pm

24th December – Midnight Service – 11:00 pm

25th December – Christmas Day Service – 8:00 am

25th December – Christmas Service – 9:30 am

Browse our Christmas and New Year cottages in Dorset.