AROUND a quarter of a million visitors are expected to head to this year’s Great Dorset Steam Fair which is celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Here’s everything you need to know about the event at Tarrant Hinton which runs for five days from Thursday, August 23 to Monday, August 27.

Five things not to miss:

1. The 500 at 50 display. Five hundred steam engines from across the globe will be making their way to the showground for the special 500 at 50 display to commemorate the fair’s golden anniversary.

Among those making the pilgrimage, will be road racer Guy Martin’s 30-tonne replica First World War tank, Deborah II.

2. Horse play. Around 100 heavy horses will take part in various displays.

Each day, in the working area, heavy horses will be working the land using various cultivation implements. On the Thursday there is a friendly ploughing match.

On the Sunday, the ring is reserved for the showing classes which begin at 9.30am with the presentation of trophies at around 3.30pm.

3. Live music. This year’s live music festival will be the biggest in the event’s history, with more than 100 acts performing on six stages over five days.

Organisers promise a range to suit all tastes including Dr Busker and the Steam Fair Choir. The Wurzels are also back by popular demand, as are some of the UK’s best known tribute acts.

4. Stunts. Big Pete’s Monster Truck Display Team, Paul Swift’s ‘Britalian’ Job and Xtreme Stunt Team.

There will also be original variety act shows and fairground organs from the Victorian and early 1900 eras.

5. WW1 tribute. A display to mark the centenary of the First World War includes an authentic replica Western Front trench system and original steam and historic vehicles from the 1914-1918 conflict and WW1 horse displays.


There are several large car parks for day visitors which open at 7am and are free. There is also a car park for disabled drivers. Car parks open at 7am, gates open at 8am.

There’s an overnight car parking facility for £22 per night so you can sleep in your cars.

Camper vans and caravans are allowed but trucks and lorries are strictly forbidden.


Adults: £20. OAP (aged 60-plus) £17. Child: £8. Sunday ticket: £12 (Adult/OAP – children free on Sunday). Evening ticket: £10

There are reduced prices for advance bookings and pay on the day Monday tickets. (This is due to the show ending at 5pm, not due to less attractions).

Children under 16-years have free entry on Monday. OAP rates apply to people aged 60-plus.

Evening prices apply from 5pm.

Children under-16 years gain free evening entry.


Facilities on site include showers, water, toilets, and a Calor gas store.

There is also 24-hour emergency medical cover and a hop on and off shuttle bus service is available around the perimeter of the showground.

Tickets £4 per person per day (pre-paid) or £5 on the day.


Dogs are allowed on leads.


The Great Dorset Steam Fair is situated on the A354 between Blandford and Salisbury at South Down Farm, Tarrant Hinton near Blandford.

Follow the yellow AA road signs.

Postcode for sat navs is DT11 8HX

Damory Coach Company will also provide buses directly to the site from Salisbury and Blandford.

The nearest train station is Salisbury. For more details, please call 0845 072 7093.

For further details, see website


There’s something to suit all tastes including Indian, Oriental, Mexican, crepes, pizza, hog roast/carvery, steaks, Cornish pasties, jacket potatoes, toasted sandwiches as well as the good old English fish and chips and hot dogs.

There will also be food hall marquees providing a selection of wholesome country ‘tucker’ including fresh cooked bread, cakes and pastries, homemade speciality sausages and pies, strawberries, cream teas, local jams, cheeses, pickles and ploughman’s lunches.