Dorset County Show holiday cottages

Dorset County Show

Kate A 03 April 2019

This year, the biggest two-day show in the South West (and the only one running over a summer holiday weekend) will kick off at Dorchester’s Showground in September.

The Dorset County Show in Dorchester has been around since 1841 and has grown in size and stature ever since. It is now considered one of the most prestigious agricultural shows in the country and with 55,000 visitors walking through the gates last year, who can argue?

What’s it all about?

Sheep judging at the Dorset County Show

Remaining true to its roots, the show is still largely an agricultural event with a variety of livestock competitions and championships (check out the livestock schedule for the impressive list of animals and prizes). However, the show is also a wonderful opportunity for Dorset to show off its equestrian talent and for foodies to try some of the best food and drink in Dorset. You can learn more about how to grow vegetables and plants from the experienced exhibitors while traditional, rural and modern crafts will also be on display in the home craft marquee.


Vintage steam trains at the Dorset County Show

  • Over 2,000 animals including cattle, sheep, horses, pigs, goats, rabbits and alpacas
  • Two food halls offering everything from fudge to free-range meats, preserves, cheeses, cider and live cooking demonstrations
  • Over 500 trade stands featuring Dorset artisan crafts
  • Showjumping and sheep shearing
  • Vintage tractors and working vintage display
  • Funfair and amusements

Useful information

Lots of animals to see at the Dorset County Show

Admission: Advance purchase tickets are £15. Tickets on the gate are £18. Children 16 years and under are free. Available from Dorset Tourist Information Centres and online.

Location: Dorchester Showground (approximately 1 mile from Dorchester town centre).

Opening times: 08:30 – 18:00 on both days.

Pets: Dogs on non-extendable leads are welcome at the show but are not able to enter the food halls, animal marquees, home craft or horticultural marquees.

Parking and transport: Large public car park accessible from the B3163 via Gate 5 (follow the signs from the main trunk road). Bus time timetable and more FAQ’s here.

Prices and times may be subject to change, so please consult the event organisers for up to date information.

Where to stay

Higher Burton Barn | Sleeps 4 + 2 dogs

Higher Burton Barn

Set just outside Dorchester, this inviting 18th-century barn conversion is the perfect place to unwind after a day of fun at the show. Light the wood burner, put your feet up, and drink in the far-reaching countryside views.

Lavender Cottage – Whitcombe | Sleeps 6 + 2 dogs

Lavender Cottage - Whitcombe

Whether curled up in front of the crackling flames of the open fire inside or soaking up the sunshine amongst the fruit trees in the garden, this charming thatched cottage offers a peaceful escape just a couple of miles from the showground.

Make the most of this action-packed weekend by staying in one of our holiday cottages near the Dorset County Show.  Whether you are travelling as a couple, a family or bringing the dog, our collection of cosy holiday cottages in Dorset will offer everyone the perfect place to relax after a fun-filled day.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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