Make 2023 the year of fun and enjoyment, with loads of exciting events taking place in the New Forest! Plan for the year ahead and make sure you add these top New Forest events taking place in 2023 to your calendar.

Summer country shows

One of the biggest events of the year is, of course, The New Forest and Hampshire Show. Taking place on 25, 26 and 27 July 2023 at New Park Showground! 3 days full of sensational main ring attractions and competitions, over 600 shopping and trade stands and delicious local food and drink!

Image - New Forest and Hampshire County Show

Another wonderful country show taking place again this summer is Ellingham Show! This year, the show is taking place on Saturday 12 August at the gorgeous location of Somerley Park. From Heavy Horses, dog shows, steam engines, Shetland pony racing, and so much more, this event is a fantastic New Forest day out.

Foodie experiences

Don’t miss Lymington Seafood Festival this year! Happening on 14, 15 and 16 July in 2023, this boutique festival is the best place to go for mouth-watering seafood, lots of other delicious local produce, live music and top entertainment, in a remarkable water-side location.

Image - Lymington Seafood Festival

There’s a whole host of local food and drink markets that will be taking place over the year in the New Forest, including weekly town and village markets, specialised artisan fayres and lip-smacking events at local pubs and restaurants too.

Dog & family friendly events

Invite all your dog’s friends and their owners to Dogstival – a wooftastic show on the outskirts of the New Forest. This year’s dates for Dogstival are 3 & 4 June! It’s a dream come true weekend for dogs and dog lovers, with dog shows, have-a-go activities and assault courses, interesting talks, brilliant live music and lots of local food, for you and your pooch.

Image - Dogstival

Keep an eye out for amazing seasonal events taking place over the year at Sunnyfields Farm in Totton and the Picking Patch near Fordingbridge. Their summer sunflower and autumnal pumpkin events are some of the most popular family events in the New Forest – you can pick your own sunflowers or pumpkins, enjoy local food and there’s sometimes even a maze to find your way out of! Dates are to be confirmed for 2023.

Add Foxlease Activity Centre February Half Term Holiday Club to your diary, an epic event for kids aged 8-16 to get outdoors, try something new and enjoy fun-filled activities. The exciting activities across the week may include zipwire, archery, climbing and bushcraft and many more.

Image - Foxlease Activity Centre

Wildlife and outdoor adventures

Wild New Forest have a jam-packed calendar of events for 2023! From their relaxed guided New Forest discovery walks, full of stunning views and education about the wildlife and history of the New Forest, to their wonderful guided boat trips along Beaulieu River, looking at all of the incredible nature in this beautiful part of the New Forest. Take a look at their dates for 2023 and book on to some great and informative guided walks.

Image - Wild New Forest 

Other great events to get you outdoors and learning a new skill are Photo Treks! Taking place on 16 February, 26 March, 23 April and 28 May this year, these guided events are an ideal way to see some magical areas of our National Park and capturing your journey through our ancient woodlands and across our vast heathlands, learning lots of great tips about wildlife photography along the way.

Cyclexperience in Brockenhurst are hosting a special event in January, with 20% off weekday bike hire over the whole month. Hire a bike at a great discount and get out and about in the New Forest, discovering enchanting views and unique wildlife on 2 wheels.

Image - Cyclexperience

Learn all about the various methods and approaches needed to manage woodland efficiently at Introduction to Woodland Management at New Park on 26 February. An outdoor event aimed at those who have bought or are thinking of buying an area of woodland, or for those who are interested in the subject.

Motoring matters

National Motor Museum in Beaulieu have a huge list of amazing motoring (and some non-motoring!) events taking place over the next year. From the Spring Autojumble on 13 & 14 May, Supercar Weekend on 5 & 6 August and International Autojumble on 2 & 3 September, plus the BBC Gardeners World Spring Fair from 28 – 30 April, check out all their events and note down the dates for the shows you want to enjoy!

Image - Autojumble at National Motor Museum Beaulieu 

Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum have also released their amazing calendar of events for this year, from bike ride-outs to motorcycle days at the museum, it’s all happening in 2023.

Exhibitions and displays

Over the year, the New Forest is full of marvellous exhibitions and displays of art work, craft, writing, research and more. One of the top places to visit for brilliant exhibitions throughout the year is St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery, with 2 new exhibitions taking place from 14 January to 18 February - Denizens of Discworld - 30 Years of Paul Kidby's Illustrations and Wycinanki – Polish Paper Cuts!

Image - St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery

New Forest Heritage Centre also have loads of great exhibitions and galleries showcasing across 2023, in the heart of the New Forest.

Make sure you keep and eye out for even more events added to our website across the year – plus, sign up to our Weekly What’s On enewsletter for a weekly update of amazing upcoming events in the New Forest.