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Getting Here

Eat, Drink and Shop

Eat, Drink and Shop

Enjoy locally sourced breakfasts, lunches and afternoon teas in our airy mezzanine café. The Shire Hall Café, in the heart of Dorchester, can also be booked for evening functions.

Our Gift Shop is full of beautiful and quirky items, including ranges of locally-made jewellery, scarves, cider, gin and beer.

Entrance to the Café and Gift Shop is free.

For Families

For Families

Visit Shire Hall for a fun day out for all the family.

Explore the cells and find out what it was like to be held prisoner at Dorchester’s Shire Hall. Discover the stories of children and adults who were tried here. You can be the tour guide for your family, and even become a journalist for one of our trials. Collect all the tokens on our trail to win a prize.

Explore the digital interactives, quizzes and games, try on the hats, wigs and magistrates’ gowns, and discover many more surprises when you come!

There are lots of fun family activities and events throughout the year. Check the events page for details.

Find family events at Shire Hall

Facilities

Facilities

Important information to help you plan your visit.

Access

Access

We have worked hard to make Shire Hall as accessible as possible. The historic, Grade 1-listed nature of this building does provide some challenges, but wheelchairs up to 60 cm wide and 140 cm long should be able to access most areas.

Assistance dogs are welcome. Wheelchairs, large print paper and digital guides, audio loops and a full access guide to the Museum are available. All disabled visitors are entitled to a free companion ticket to support their visit. Please ask at reception.

Find out more about access at Shire Hall

For Groups

For Groups

There are exclusive rates for groups of 10+ visitors. To ensure your visit, please book in advance by following the link below. Please note that group bookings may not be available on weekends and school holidays.

Book a group visit

For Schools

For Schools

From British Values, to History, English and PHSE, our building and stories can stimulate learning across the curriculum.

Delivered by our Learning team, our schools programme encourages the development of critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills.

Find out about our schools programme