2017 calendar of events and activities

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Book securely and directly with us for the best price, delicious breakfasts and lots of little free extras – check availability here. Our online calendar is always up to date.

To help you plan your bed and breakfast trip to Gillingham, Dorset,  here’s a regularly updated listing of events and activities that you might like to see and do.  These are just some of the things that we know people enjoy in the area – but also take a look at the Visit Dorset website for a few extra ideas. Additionally, local attractions such as Monkey World, the Haynes Motor Museum, Longleat and Tank World run events – visit their websites for dates and activities,  then check our online booking system and make your reservation.

As we are so close to the borders of Somerset and Wiltshire, we’ve also included a few things which happen there!

Please make your bed and breakfast booking in good time if you are particularly keen to attend one of these events or to spend time in Dorset during the summer/over the school half terms and main holiday periods.

Look out for:

MARCH

Saturday 4th March: the grand re-opening of Alfred’s Tower at Stourhead; climb to the top and admire the view over three counties!

Friday 17th – Saturday 18th March: The Wimborne Cider Festival

Saturday 18th – Sunday 19th March: The West of England Game Fair (at Shepton Mallet)

APRIL

c. 7th – 23rd April: school holidays, England and Wales (variable, based on county)

Friday 14th April: Easter Egg Hunt at Stourhead (also on other dates, see the NT website for details)

Friday 14th – Monday 17th April: Easter weekend (UK public holidays on Friday and Monday)

Saturday 29th April: The Dorset Venison Festival

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These are Dorset Knobs

Sunday 30th April: North Dorset Village Marathon and Relay

Sunday 30th April: The Dorset Knob Throwing Festival and the Frome Valley Food Festival (joint event)

MAY

Monday 1st May: May Day public holiday

Monday 1st May: Blandford Georgian Fayre (Blandford Forum)

Sunday 14th May: Shaftesbury Food Festival

Friday 19th May: Pizza on the Meadow – pop up pizza restaurant and live music on the Gillingham Town Meadow. 5-9pm

Saturday 20th May: The Salisbury Gin Festival (appropriately enough, on Cleo’s birthday!)

Friday 26th May: Pizza on the Meadow – pop up pizza restaurant and live music on the Gillingham Town Meadow. 5-9pm

Friday 26th – Monday 29th May: Beer and Gin Festival at The Trooper Inn, Stourton Caundle

Sunday 28th May: Open Fun Pony Show and Novelty Dog Show, hosted by the Blackmore & Sparkford Vale Pony Club, Wincanton Race Course

Monday 29th May: Whit Monday public holiday; Sherborne Castle Country Fair

c. 29th May for a week: school holidays, England and Wales (variable, based on county)

JUNE

Wednesday 31st May – Saturday 3rd June: The Royal Bath and West Show (at Shepton Mallet)

Thursday 1st – Sunday 4th June: Colourfest  (at Wimborne; stay with us if you don’t fancy camping!)

Gillinghm Town Meadow
Gillingham Town Meadow, Dorset

Friday 9th June: Pizza on the Meadow – pop up pizza restaurant and live music on the Gillingham Town Meadow. 5-9pm

Friday 9th – Sunday 11th June: The Mere Flower and Music Festival

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GillFest 2017

Friday 30th June – Sunday 9th July: GillFest 2017; Gillingham’s Community Festival, featuring artists as diverse as Pam Ayres, Rick Wakeman and The Manfreds, as well as local performers. Tickets on sale NOW.

JULY

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David Briggs

Saturday 1st July: Classical Fireworks concert at Gillingham Methodist Church, performed by world-famous organ maestro David Briggs. (Part of GillFest 2017 – tickets available online).

Saturday 8th July: Pizza on the Meadow – pop up pizza restaurant and live music on the Gillingham Town Meadow – part of the Town Fete (9am to 9pm) and GillFest.

Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th July: Classics at the Castle at Sherborne Castle – 2000 classic/vintage cars on display.

c. 21st July – 3rd September: school holidays, England and Wales (variable, based on county)

Friday 21st July: Pizza on the Meadow – pop up pizza restaurant and live music on the Gillingham Town Meadow. 5-9pm

Saturday 22nd July: Marnhull Village Fete, Flower Show and Fun Dog Show

28th – 29th July: Bruton Farm Festival

Udder Farm Shop Fun Day_July 2017Saturday 29th July: Vintage Vehicle Rally & Family Fun Day at the Udder Farm Shop, East Stour, 10am-4pm

AUGUST

Saturday 5th August: Dorset Food & Arts Festival, Poundbury

Saturday 12th August: Bridport Folk Festival

Wednesday 16th August: The Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show

Thursday 24th – Monday 28th August: The Great Dorset Steam Fair

Monday 28th August: Bank Holiday Monday (public holiday) 

SEPTEMBER

Saturday 2nd September: The Bridport Hat Festival

Saturday 2nd – Sunday 10th September: The Gillingham Walking Festival

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Say cheese!

Monday 4th September: Novelist Rachel Billington talks about “From Reading to Writing – Books Do Furnish a Room”, 3-5pm, Gillingham Library (tickets: £6 via lydia.everitt@uwclub.net)

Saturday 9th – Sunday 10th September: The Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival

Sunday 24th September: The Wessex Heavy Horse Society Annual Show, held at the Gillingham and Shaftesbury Showground

OCTOBER

Saturday 7th October: Gillingham Carnival and Parade

9th – 15th October: Mere Literary Festival

11th – 15th October: Sherborne Literary Festival

Saturday 21st October: Wimborne Minster Food & Drink Festival

c. 23rd October, for a week: school holidays, England and Wales (variable, based on county)

NOVEMBER

c. 3rd November (TBC): Shaftesbury & Gillingham Round Table’s Fireworks Display at the North Dorset Rugby Club

DECEMBER

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Christmas at Stourhead

Lots of Christmas events – details to be added throughout the year (markets, tree lighting etc), Stourhead House decorated in Victorian Christmas style and so on.