This was our first visit to the Stock Gaylard’s annual Oak Fair that takes place over the August bank holiday weekend. With over 200 stalls on the beautiful 1,800-acre estate, the fair was a perfect setting and we were blessed with the most amazing weather!
Just over 4 miles from Sturminster Newton and 8 miles from Sherborne, the Stock Gaylard Fair is one of the most well thought out, welcoming events in Dorset that we have ever attended. For those not able to walk around the vast site, there was the option to pre-book mobility scooters. Plus, there were plenty of watering points for the family to refill water bottles, as well as for our four-legged friends, for which we were particularly grateful, especially on such a hot day.
The stalls and exhibitions were so varied, from eco builds and plants to woodcraft and conservation, arts and music, and even a medieval bagpipe player! We watched clay pots bake (Beaker Pottery) in an open kiln and foresters prepare timber for domestic and industrial use.
For younger children, there was tree climbing, a zip wire and circus workshops, while for older kids and adults, there was archery and the opportunity to learn how to throw an axe with the men from Avalon Axes.
Displays were staggered throughout the day so that you had the opportunity to watch everything, from Adam’s Axemen who could be seen axe-wielding up tree trunks to impressive falconry displays and thrilling heavy horse shows.
The food and drink
The food area did not disappoint! With more than enough seating to either picnic, rest or partake in Dorset fayre, we were spoilt for choice. Local ciders, ice cream, wild game burgers, cheese, pickle, cakes and vegetarian were all available. We left the fair with Dorset Blue Vinney, Oakwood Smoked Farmhouse Cheddar and locally made chutneys and bread which were delicious.
Although we arrived before the gates opened and left as the gates closed, we still didn’t manage to see everything. We had a fantastic day and will certainly be returning to Stock Gaylard Oak Fair next year!
A great way to make the most of this exciting Dorset event is to stay in one of our holiday cottages near Stock Gaylard Oak Fair. From romantic retreats for two to large cottages for families, we offer a variety of self-catering accommodation where you can rest your weary legs after a fun-filled day. We also have a collection of dog-friendly escapes, so even the four-legged member of the family can join in the adventure!