Museums At Night 2013 – What’s On In Dorset

Since 2009, museums, galleries and heritage sites have been running special evening events during May under the Museums At Night banner. This Art Council funded campaign ties in with the European “La Nuit Des Musees” and is designed to attract a new base of visitors.

Being based in Dorset I have provided a run down of the Dorset events from Thursday 16th to Saturday 18th May 2013:

  • Dorchester Museums at Night – 18th/19th May 2013 – 8 museums/heritage sites across Dorchester are opening up 5pm til 9pm with special events. Can you make it to all 6 in one night. Participants are Dorset County Museum, Dinosaur Museum, Teddy Bear Museum, Roman Town House, Keep Military Museum, Max Gate, Terracotta Warriors Museum and the Tutankhamun Exhibition. Advance tickets are £8 from the Tourist Information Office.
  • Website:
  • Mapperton Gardens “Celebratory Sandwiches in a Spectacular Setting” – 17th May 2013  – an adult evening as part of Museums at Night and British Sandwich Week at Mapperton, home to the Earl and Countess of Sandwich. For £15 per person you get garden entry, sandwiches, pudding, coffee and folk music. 6.30-10.30pm, near Beaminster.
  • Red House Museum, Christchurch “Look the Other Way: Smuggling Stories of the Solent” – 16th May 2013 – an evening performance for the children as Orange Apples’ Chris Bennett lets the children into the secrets of the New Forest and Solents smuggling past through interactive storytelling performance. The event runs from 5.30-8.30pm and is £4 per person.
  • Website:
Red House Museum, Christchurch
Red House Museum, Christchurch
  • Lyme Regis Museum “The Beast In the Cellar” – 17th May 2013 – The museum is previewing its digital reconstruction of the huge 4.2m Ichthyosaur fossil that is located in the cellar but too heavy to be exhibited. The night also gives the perfect opportunity to explore the museum after hours, meet the geologists and much else. The event starts at 7pm and is £5 for adults, and all children are free. The event is ticketed so it’s advisable to contact the museum asap!
  • Website:
  • Scaplen’s Court, Poole Museum “Secret Garden At Night” – 16th May 2013 – As in previous years Poole Museum is opening up Scaplen’s Court, one of Poole’s best preserved medieval buildings. Usually open to the public only in August, this is a great chance to visit the building, with accompaniment of medieval music, a glass of wine, and other surprises. On a sunny May evening (fingers crossed), what better thing to do but to relax in the physic herb garden. Open from 7pm-10pm and totally free.
  • Website:
Medieval Music in the "Secret Garden" - Scaplen's Court, Museums At Night 2013
Medieval Music in the “Secret Garden” – Scaplen’s Court, Museums At Night 2013

With these fantastic events being run across several days there really is no excuse not to at least visit one. For more information on Museums At Night 2013 visit


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