COMPLETELY free days out in Dorchester are possible this Sunday as part of the nationwide Heritage Open Days scheme.

Parking in most Dorset Council car parks in the town on Sunday, (September 10) will also be free of charge.

People will be able to enjoy free admission to town museums The Keep Military Museum, Shire Hall Museum, and Dorset Museum.

Nina Corey, director of Shire Hall Museum, said: "Dorchester has a rich and interesting heritage landscape, which Shire Hall Museum is proud to be a part of.

"Heritage Open Days offers a rare opportunity to explore different aspects of the town’s history and visit three of Dorchester’s incredible museums for free.

"Here at Shire Hall Museum, you will be able to discover over 200 years of justice, uncovering the stories of people that passed through the cells and the Georgian courtroom.”

There is a huge variety of free guided walks happening on the day too.

High West and High East Street will be closed between 10.45am and 4.30pm for people to admire the street and join in with walks being led by Dorchester Civic Society and local historians Mark Chutter and Steve Wallis.

This is a rare opportunity to explore High East and High West Street with a complete view of the collection of listed buildings that form the historic road.

Book your walks through each individual event at

All are welcome to visit St Peter's Church for free self-guided tours, a children’s trail and bell-ringing tower tours.

You can join in with the monthly choral Eucharists, with glorious choral music in their service at 10.30am.

And visit the Corn Exchange foyer to view plans for the new entrance refurbishments with Dorchester Arts. Pop in between 11 am to 3 pm.

On the outskirts of Dorchester, you can visit Thomas Hardy’s house, Max Gate for free between 10.30am and 4.30pm. Last entry is at 3.30 pm. Booking is advised.

Cafes, pubs and restaurants along High East and High West Street will be offering take away food and sit in menus throughout the day for visitors to the event.

The day will finish off with a giant Hokey Cokey outside Tom Browns at 3.30pm followed by free live music with the Chris Davies Band.

In the evening there will be a free Dorchester Arts evening concert at Corn Exchange at 6pm with piano music and songs by the Smith family, no booking required.

Dorchester Mayor, Cllr Alistair Chisholm said: “One of our many heritage assets is the High Street, West and East, with, it is claimed, more listed buildings that any other High Street in the country.

"On Sunday we’re taking back this finest of streets and you can delight in its splendours, relish the stories it holds and be reminded of the many centuries it has served as one of the main routes linking London with the west country." 

For more information visit and check out the Discover Dorchester Facebook page.