TEN things to do in Dorset this weekend.
1. Head to Weymouth beach for the Beach volley ball festival.
The men’s and women’s competition starts on Saturday morning at 9am and the finals will take place at 3pm on Sunday.
2. Check out the talent (and the fireworks) at Swanage Carnival
It's the last few days of the Swanage Carnival, featuring a Vintage and Classic Car Show, Pavement Artist competition, wheelbarrow race, boules tournament and Carnival's Got Talent final on Friday. Then on Saturday take your seat for the sailing regatta and the firework finale. Lighting up the sky over the bay and reflecting in the water, they are one of the highlights of Carnival Week. Fired from the jetty on the main beach, there are many vantage points to watch the displays, the beach, the seafront, Recreation Ground, Sandpit Field, the Pier, the Downs or near the Old Stone Quay. swanagecarnival.com
3. Sample some open-air Shakespeare
Beautiful Brownsea Island is the location for Brownsea Open Air Theatre's Henry IV this week. As of writing there were four pairs of tickets left for Friday, but if you miss out there are tickets for Monday instead. brownsea-theatre.co.uk
4. Enjoy Dorset's biggest music festival
Even if you haven’t managed to bag a ticket to Camp Bestival at Lulworth Castle, you can keep up to date with all the goings on with the Dorset Echo’s live coverage across the weekend. There will be pictures and video from the site, so even if you’re not there you can soak up the atmosphere.
5. Put some heat in your weekend at the Dorset Chilli Festival
One of Dorset’s spiciest events takes place this weekend as the Great Dorset Chilli Festival returns. The regional heat of a national chilli cook-off competition will be held on Sunday where teams will have four hours to cook a gallon of chilli con carne (or vegetarian chilli) from scratch, using their own combination of ingredients and spices. The festival at St Giles Park, home of the Earl of Shaftesbury, runs from 10am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday
6. Take your dog to a show
Hundreds of people are expected to attend the Margaret Green Animal Rescue’s dog show and family fun day, which takes place at the Church Knowle animal sanctuary and visitor centre on Sunday. here will be stalls and attractions including a dog scurry, bouncy castle and kid’s zone, band and Pimms tent. Entrance is £3 for adults and £1 for children aged 12 and under. 11am-4pm.
7. Celebrate Dorset’s lifesavers
It’s the final day of Weymouth’s lifeboat week on Saturday. So make sure you show your support and go along and visit the lifeboat station on Weymouth Harbouside which will be open from 10.30am-4pm.
Visitors can meet the crew and there will be videos of emergency ‘shouts’ and a liferaft on display.
8. See Alan Johnson at the Thomas Hardy Conference
The Former Home Secretary will be headlining the packed festival programme as people from across the world flock to Dorchester for the 21st annual conference and festival.
Labour MP Mr Johnson will give his talk on Saturday.
9. Celebrate local food at Poundbury- and get free cereal thanks to the Echo.
Tomorrow sees the Dorset Food and Arts Festival at Queen Mother Square, Poundbury, from 9am-10pm.
There will be stalls, a farmers’ market and an all-day musical programme.
And when you buy a copy of the Dorset Echo you will get a free sample of Dorset Cereal!
10. Get into the Spirit of Portland
The week-long event ends with a firework finale on Sunday evening. Here’s a list of what else you can enjoy across the weekend:
SAT AUG 2
Memo sculptures at Bowers Quarry, off Wide Street.11am-4pm
Street party at Wakeham 2.00pm
Breakfasting with moths at Chesil Beach Centre 10.30am
Try windsurfing - £10 at OTC sailing academy, various times
Commemoration start of WW1 event at Eight Kings, Southwell,
Mesolithic Site - open at Culverwell, Portland Bill Road 2-4.30pm Group cycle ride, starting at Cycleccino, Reforne, 10am
SUN AUG 3
Spirit finale including Porsche owners rally at Portland Marina and Harbour Lights, 12noon-9pm Try gig rowing in Portland Harbour at Portland Marina, various times
Free entry to Portland Museum at 10.30am Chesil Beach Clean at Chesil Beach Centre, 11am-12.30pm
Royal Portland Arms Cricket Club, continental and craft ales festival at Drill Hall, Easton Lane, 12noon - 10.30pm
Country dancing at the Islanders Club, Verne Common 1.30-4.00pm
Mesolithic site - open at Culverwell, Portland Bill, 2-4.30pm
Stone carving sessions and sculpture tour at Tout Quarry stone carving workshop 10am - 4pm