Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to provide a detailed review of radiation dosimetry techniques based on optical fibre dosimeters. It presents a comprehensive bibliography of the current research activities in the area. Design/methodology/approach - A range of published work on optical fibre radiation dosimeters are presented, with the merits and limitations discussed. Each radiation dosimetry technique is discussed in turn, providing examples of dosimeters using such techniques reviewed. The main focus is on gamma radiation although other radiation dosimeters are considered. Findings - This paper provides information on the wide range of research activity into radiation dosimeters. The dose ranges of these dosimeters are presented, along with the advantages and disadvantages of different dosimetry techniques. Originality/value - A comprehensive review of published research in the area of solid radiation dosimetry is presented in this paper. It provides an individual with a review of the various techniques used and most recent research in that field.