The National Trust hosts fabulous festive offerings to get us all in the Christmas spirit. Here are some seasonal events taking place in Dorset

See Christmas in a new light at Kingston Lacy

From mini Christmas puddings to take home, wrapped up winter walks around the grounds and a warming nip of sherry in the servants hall, there is a lot of Christmas traditions waiting to be formed this year at National Trust property, Kingston Lacy just outside Wimborne.

Kingston Lacy / Wimborne BH21 4EA


December 1, 2017 - January 1, 2018

Monday to Thursday, 11am to 4pm (last entry 3.30pm)

Thursdays 14 and 21, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday and Boxing Day, 11am to 6.30pm (last entry 6pm)

Christmas is a time for children, family and friends and this year Kingston Lacy house will bring back the memories of Daphne, Viola and Ralph Bankes. Entry to the house is by timed entry tickets only which can be booked in advance through our ‘What’s on’ page or by phone on 0344 249 1895. Advance booking of timed entry tickets is strongly advised at this time of year due to the events popularity.


December 1, 2017 - January 1, 2018

Thursdays 14 and 21, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday and Boxing Day, 4pm – 7pm

In addition to the beautiful Christmas lights in the house, the garden at Kingston Lacy will once again be illuminated until 7pm every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening over the Christmas period. New for 2017 enjoy a new illuminated route of the gardens taking in the original Bankes ‘winter walk’ and Lime Avenue. This beautiful display sees the historic cedars transformed by blue, purple yellow and green lights, whilst the fernery is draped with delicate fairy lights like a magical grotto.  


December 1-  24, 2017

Fridays - 4pm to 6.30pm

Saturdays and Sundays - 11am to 6pm.

Santa Claus will be making a few stops at Kingston Lacy this year. Make sure to get a spot on his nice list by paying him a festive visit in the laundry. £5 per child, includes a gift from Santa, pre-booking is essential.

Santa tickets must be booked in advance through at or by phone on 0344 249 1895.

Corfe Castle

Nr Wareham / BH20 5EZ


Sat 9, Fri 15, Sat 16, Mon 18 - Fri 22 and Wed 27- Sat 30 Dec, 4-7pm

Christmas is a magical time at Corfe Castle. Take in the festive atmosphere with our contemporary lanterns, beacons and lighting as you explore the castle grounds. Further details at


Sun 10 - Thu 14, Sun 17, Sat 23 and Sun 31 Dec, 10-4pm

Sat 9, Fri 15, Sat 16, Mon 18 - Fri 22 and Wed 27- Sat 30 Dec, 10-7pm

Join their lord of misrule and walk through the romantic ruins of Corfe Castle, find out about the rich history of Tudor traditions and maybe participate in a play or a game or two. Further details on website.


Thu 21 Dec, 7.15-9.15am

Experience the rare opportunity to watch the sun rise on the shortest day of the year from the castle ruins. Includes hot drink and breakfast bap.

Booking essential 0344 249 1895. Tickets £10.

Hardy's Cottage

Higher Bockhampton / DT2 8QJ


Wed 20 - Sat 23 Dec, 7-9pm

Hardy’s Cottage will embody Tranter Dewy’s Party from Hardy’s novel Under the Greenwood Tree, with music, storytelling and songs from Tim Laycock and Colin Thompson by firelight in the parlour.

Booking essential 01305 262366. Tickets £20.


Thu - Sun,1 - 31 December, excluding 24 Dec, 10am-4pm

Hardy’s Cottage will be decked in greenery for a Hardy-esque Christmas of log fires, mulled apple juice and music. See for further details.

Max Gate

Dorchester / DT1 2FN


Thu – Sun, 1- 31 Dec, excluding 24 Dec, 10am-4pm

A festive Hardy welcome awaits you with the house decked out for a Victorian Christmas, craft activities for children and seasonal treats. Performances by the New Hardy Players on the Sat 16 and Sat 23 Dec. Go to for more.

Studland Beach

Nr Swanage / BH19 3AQ


Thu 21 Dec, 7.15-9.15am

Watch the sunrise on the shortest day of the year with a walk to Old Harry Rocks followed by a full English breakfast at Knoll Beach cafe. Transport is available for the less able. Booking essential 01929 450500. Tickets£15.


Sun 24 Dec, 8.30-11am

A festive 10k run as part of their popular Trust10 trail running series over Ballard Down and Old Harry Rocks. Register at Knoll Beach visitor centre at 8.30am for a 9am start.