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To celebrate the arrival of J.M.W. Turner’s painting an exciting and varied programme of events has been brought together, with something for everyone to enjoy.

You can download your programme of events here:

Turner Programme

All events are free unless otherwise stated.

Events will be held in a variety of venues throughout Bridport & West Bay.



25 South Street, DT6 3NR



9 South Street, DT6 3NR



Bridport, DT6 3JU



5 West Bay Road, DT6 4GD



South Street, DT6 3NY



51 East Street, DT6 3JX



The Chapel on the Beach, DT6 4EN



Various Locations



East Street, DT6 3LJ


EXHIBITION: Turner in Bridport

29 June to September | Bridport Museum

An Exhibition which includes the loan of J.M.W. Turner’s watercolour of Bridport Harbour, painted in the 1800’s on a tour of the south  coast.

SHIPS & SUNSETS: Turner Trail Competition

25 May to 1 June Bridport Museum 

We are looking for Turner-inspired creations from the young people of Bridport to be displayed in miniature in the Museum. Pop in to use our resources in the May half-term, or create your own paintings or drawings at home. More information on the website.

EXHIBITION: Down the Slipway

25 June- October West Bay Discovery Centre

The shipyard will be brought back to life! Come and discover some of it’s secrets in this anniversary year – with something for all ages.

STORY TRADERS: Short Stories and Poems Inspired by Turner and the Sea

3 July, 2.30 – 3.15pm  | Bridport Library

Come and hear Story Traders, telling a variety of short stories, flash fiction & poetry inspired by Turner’s visit to Bridport. 45 minutes of intrigue, facts and fiction to take away with you.

EXHIBITION: Igniting Sight~ Contemporary Painters Inspired by Turner

29 June to September Sladers Yard

A selling exhibition of paintings by highly acclaimed contemporary artists: Fred Cuming RA, Luke Ekwes, Vanessa Gardiner, Janette Kerr, Alex Lowry and Frances Hatch, all of whose work has been influenced or inspired in different ways by Turner.

STORY TRADERS: Turner Stories for all to Share

12-2pm 10 July, 12-2pm Bridport Museum

“Pop-Up” performances of short stories, flash fiction and poetry inspired by Turner.

TALK: J.M.W. Turner in Dorset and the West Country by Nick Reese

12 July, 6.30pm Sladers Yard

Nick Reese has been on the committee of the Turner Society for many years and has lectured at top universities, at the Turner Society and has given Tate study room talks on many occasions. Tickets £10 or £28 with dinner to follow, available from Bridport TIC or Sladers Yard.

Bridport Artists Celebrate Turner

13-14 July Various Locations

Local artists who have been inspired by Turner will be opening their studios for the weekend. More details at

TALK:  Women of the RNLI by Sue Hennessey

22 July, 3pm Bridport Town Hall

Tickets £5 (£4 for members) to include afternoon tea. Organised by the Friends of Bridport Museum.

TALK: Turner’s Paper

25 July 3pm Bridport Museum

A fascinating talk and demonstration of hand-made paper, such as Turner would have used, by the owner of Two Rivers Paper Mill. Tickets £7.50 from Bridport TIC.

FAMILY TRAIL: We Love the Sea!

27 July to 31 August Bridport Museum

From funny postcards to fossils of sea creatures that once swam here millions of years ago, there’s much more to find. What might you discover about Bridport’s seaside past?

TALK: All Boats have a Story to Tell

1 August, 4.30pm West Bay Discovery Centre

Renowned local traditional boat builder Gail McGarva will be entertaining us with the stories that lie behind boats; a fitting way to celebrate West Bay Discovery Centre’s 1st Birthday!

Try Your Hand at Boat Building

1 August, 11am-4pm West Bay Discovery Centre

Gail McGarva, at traditional wooden boat builder based in Lyme Regis will be joining us with her boat Freda. Come along and rivet a miniature boat plank and learn more about traditional boat building.

EXHIBITION: John Boyd – ‘En plein air’ Paintings and Drawings inspired by Turner

1 to 30 August LSi Bridport

DEMONSTRATION: Impossible Bottles

10 August, 1-2pm LSi Bridport

With Alan Rogers from the European Association of Ships in Bottles makers. Suggested donation £3.

FILM: Mr Turner, Directed by Mike Leigh

8 August, 7.30pm Bridport Arts Centre

Turner Twists

14 August 2-4pm Bridport Library

Come along for a messy art session, making a giant picture together inspired by Turner’s watercolour. All ages welcome but please wear old clothes.

July to September

Turner Corner: Information point about JMW Turner

Turner Reaction: Pick up your postcards from the library and bring back your own picture, drawing, poem, photo or your reaction to the Turner watercolour. Open to all age groups.

The Storyboat

15 & 16 August, 10am – 4pm Bridport Arts Centre

The Story Boat is a iniature maritime museum created from an upturned 1923 Dorset fishing boat, Vera. Come and visit Vera and meet her creator and curator: traditional wooden boatbuilder Gail McGarva.

A Sketch of the West Dorset Coast in Song & Story

16 August, 7.30pm Bridport Town Hall

Featuring Tinkers Cuss, The Bride Valley Band and Gail McGarva. An evening exploring the coast from Lyme Regis to Bridport Harbour at the time of JMW Turner’s Visit. Tickets £8 from Bridport TIC.

Bridport Arts Society Secret Art Sale

17 August to 11 October Bridport Arts Centre

Members od BAS have been invited to submit their own paintings inspired by the Turner painting of Bridport Harbour. A selection will be mounted and displayed by the Arts Centre and sold for £50, profits from which will be shared between the artist, BAC and the museum.

EXHIBITION: Bridport Un-Sea-n

17 August to 11 October Bridport Arts Centre

From fossils to fishing, seashells to ships: an exhibition celebrating the sea from Bridport Museum’s collections.

EXHIBITION: Colfox Inspired by Turner

17 August to 11 October Bridport Arts Centre Cafe

An exhibition of work by Year 9 students from Sir John Colfox School, inspired by Turner and their own love of the sea.

Apothecary Presents…New Ways of seeing: Visualisation and the Spoken Word

20 August, 7.30pm LSi Bridport

An evening of spoken word from Bridport’s Apothecary collective. Exploring the relationship between visual imagery and language, local writers present new work inspired by Turner’s own imagination, combining literary expression with live performance. Tickets £3 on the door.

Community Collection Exhibition: Impossible Bottles!

25 August to 13 September LSi Bridport

Come and display your own ‘Impossible’ bottles!

Shanty Shenanigans: An Evening of Songs from the Sea

5 September, 7pm Bridport Town Hall

Tickets from Bridport TIC, £8 in advance, £10 on the door.

St. Gabriel’s Players: Walking in Turner’s Footsteps

6 September, 7pm Bridport United Church

Lively readings of poetry and prose from the 1800’s, including a poem by Turner himself! Tickets from Bridport TIC.





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