Isle of Purbeck – Events Autumn/Winter 2017

The summer may be well and truly over, but that doesn’t mean that there’s not plenty of things to keep you busy in the quieter season. Here are our top picks of events happening between now and the end of the year.

Purbeck Outdoor Weekend – 15-17th September

Although entries have now closed for this outdoor athletic event, there’s still plenty of opportunities to watch the runners, cyclists and walkers along their courses. With each event starting from either the Downs or Sandpit Field in Swanage, the atmosphere in town is sure to be busy. There are also individual events happening throughout the town; including yoga, kayaking and talks with a real-life explorer available for the adults and the kids. Use the link above to find out more and to book a space.

Film Nights @ Purbeck Golf Course – Various Dates

Set within the stunning surroundings of the golf course, these film nights are a wonderful way to spend a cosy evening. Cheap and cheerful, the films being shown are Rocky Horror (25th of September), Lion (15th November) and Hackshaw Ridge (29th November). Each film will be showing from 7pm, and the bar will be open for ice cream, snacks and drinks. The course has exquisite views over to Poole Harbour, as well as valleys and generally lovely countryside. You can book in advance from the reception.

Stargazing at Durlston Castle – 29th September

These stargazing events offer the chance to use the various telescopes at Durlston, including their main telescope inside the new observatory. There is also a short talk beforehand to give you more of an idea of what you’re looking at and what specifics to look out for. The Purbeck skies are extremely clear and offer a really good chance to enjoy stargazing without light pollution. The new observatory is supported by members of the Wessex Astronomical Society, which means the talks are informative and interesting.

Swanage Blues Festival – 5th – 8th October

The biannual Swanage Blues Festival is the towns last music based festival of the year. Growing ever more popular as the years go on, the Blues Festival takes place in almost every venue in Swanage, with over 30 bands and 15 indoor venues taking part. The support wristbands are only £10, and although they’re not compulsory for each venue, buying one supports the festival and allows it to continue each year. There are also jams and open mic nights, so if you want to get more involved you can!

Purbeck Film Festival – 13th -29th October

A huge number of films are being shown at various venues throughout Dorset and the Purbecks over this festival. There’s everything from indie comedies, blockbuster dramas and kids flicks, so no matter what your taste, you’ll definitely be able to find something to suit you. The film festival is also showing several foreign language films as well, which really backs up the idea of education through film that the charitable trust behind the event stands for. For more information, including how to book tickets, use the link above.

Santa Special Trains – Various Dates

These ones are perfect for the kids! A return journey on the steam train, with the opportunity to meet Santa, these trips are really quite magical for the little ones. Starting from and returning to Swanage train station, the journey is an hour long and includes a gift, soft drink and biscuit for the children, and a mince pie and seasonal drink for the adults. Whilst taking in the beautiful Purbeck countryside, you’ll also be entertained on board. The trains run four times a day, on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the beginning of December, and every day throughout the week from the 18th to the 24th. There is also a canapé and champagne version for the grown ups, held in the luxurious Pullman Observation Car, and Christmas Luncheons on the Wessex Belle as well.

Your Purbeck Event Guide 2017

The Purbecks are well known for their wide-ranging events throughout the year. With Swanage playing host to numerous themed festivals, and more exciting events happening in locations around the Purbecks, it can be difficult to keep up with! So, we’ve put together a handy guide;

Think your Purbeck based event should be here? Get in touch with us and we’ll add it to our guide.

Swanage Fish Festival (10th June – 11th June)

Chefs demonstrations, music and food stalls – this festival is for you if you’re even slightly partial to fresh seafood (or indeed, fish finger baps!) This year, the festival will be sharing the town with the European Paddleboarding Championship, so it’s sure to be a busy, festival atmosphere.

Purbeck Pirate Festival (1st July – 2nd July)

Equally as fun for the kids and the adults, the second Pirate Festival will feature stalls, music and ships. You might want to make sure to pack some fancy dress costumes, to don as Swanage Bay gets ‘invaded’.

Swanage Jazz Festival (14th July – 16th July)

The Jazz Festival has become a mainstay in Swanage over the years. Although it has been decided that this year’s will be the last, the organisers have certainly not let the standards slip. With music from around 50 acts, this year’s festival will be split over multiple venues in and around Swanage town centre. There will be plenty to keep both jazz enthusiasts and those less knowledgeable happy!

Camp Bestival (27th July – 30th July)

Making the move from the Isle of Wight, this year’s Camp Bestival will be held in the grounds of Lulworth Castle. It’s packed full of a wide variety of acts (from Mark Ronson to The Skints) so there’s something for everyone. Plus, this year will see the cast of Andrew Lloyd Webbers ‘The School of Rock’ performing, not one the kids will want to miss!

Swanage Carnival (29th July – 5th August)

It’s famous for a reason – Swanage Carnival is a huge, lively and ambitious event held annually. The two mile carnival procession, along with stalls, music, food, a talent show as well as all kinds of watersports is definitely not one to miss. Perhaps the best part is the fancy dress human wheelbarrow race, which is always a laugh. This year will also see the return of the Red Arrows, who will be doing a air display in Swanage for the first time in four years!

Purbeck Rally (11th August – 13th August)

Held just outside of Wareham, the Purbeck Rally involves tractors, classic cars and motorbikes, stalls, a beer tent and much more. There will be entertainment from Xtreme Falconry (the Harry Potter owl handlers!) as well as Poole Field Gun Display as well, definitely worth a visit!

Swanage Folk Festival (8th September – 10th September)

This festival aims to celebrate all things folk – with Morris Dancers, workshops and performances taking place across the weekend. There will be performances all over the town, including open air and indoor venues. The craft fair will include over 60 stalls, offering (for example) jewellery, goods from the east, stoneware and clothing. The beer tent will also be open – selling real ales, ciders, wines and soft drinks to keep the dancers quenched!

Swanage Blues Festival (5th October – 8th October)

Throughout the Blues Festival there will be top quality musicians playing all over the town, from pubs to restaurants to golf clubs. The event also hosts open-mic nights for those budding performers! Hosted twice a year (the other is held in March) this event boasts a huge turnout each time.

Isle of Wight Fireworks 2014

It is coming up for the traditional time for fireworks and bonfires and there are some great organised events on the Isle of Wight which celebrate all things pyrotechnic. Yarmouth and Sandown are both hosting events. They are on different nights so you can go to both!

Yarmouth Fireworks on the Isle of WightYarmouth – Guy Fawkes Night and Fireworks – 5th November – 6pm

The Yarmouth Carnival Committee invite you to the Yarmouth Guy Fawkes Night event at Yarmouth Harbour on the night of the 5th November.

There will be music, food, a parade and fireworks. Arrive early for the best views.

Yarmouth is a on the West of the Isle of Wight and a short drive from Freshwater or Shalfleet.

For more details go to –

Sandown Fireworks Isle of WightSandown – Fireworks and Parade – 1st November – 6pm

Sandown hosts a carnival and firework night with a Halloween theme on Saturday the 1st November.

There will be a parade and entertainments as well as the main fireworks event.

Sandown is on the East of the Isle of Wight and a short drive from Shanklin, Bembridge, Seaview and Godshill.

For more information visit –