Summer is well and truly here! If all the recent hot weather has got you thinking about your summer plans, then take a look at some of the exciting events and activities taking place in the New Forest next month.

Catch some musical events

Start the month in style by heading to the Balmer Lawn Hotel for some live music from the Blue Tides. Relax over a drink or a bite to eat whilst you soak up the atmosphere. Also running on 1 July, at Hanger Farm Arts Centre, Ashurst, is a great one for Coldplay fans… cover band, A Head Full of Coldplay will be performing some of the band’s biggest hits, as well as some of their latest songs.

From 1-3 July, Fordingbridge will come to life with the Ragcity festival. Dubbed as “an epic weekend of listening and enjoying some of the best unsigned and unrecognised artists you've ever heard or seen” – either book for the full weekend or opt for day tickets.

On Sunday 3 July, aboard Steamship Shieldhall for an American Independence Day cruise from Southampton to Hurst Castle. Whilst you sail away, the Soulcatchers will be entertaining with some soul classics as you pass by some of the departing cruise ships and soak up the views.

Love your cars?

Then be sure to check out the various car meets due to take place at National Motor Museum Beaulieu. This month, you can expect a National Austin Seven rally and a 1970s classic car drive-in day both on 3 July, Simply Land Rover on 10 July, Simply Vauxhall on 16 July, Simply French on 17 July and last but not least, Simply Japanese on 24 July! Why not combine your visit with exploring the rest of Beaulieu or perhaps taking a trip to nearby Buckler’s Hard to discover the maritime history and fantastic views?

Check out some of the forest’s flagship festivals and shows

A popular festival for foodies, Lymington Seafood Festival returns on 15-17 July. It offers a fabulous family day out jam packed with delicious food, drink and shopping from the region's top local producers. There’s a full schedule of live music across the weekend to add to the atmosphere. Tickets for the festival must be purchased in advance.

From traditional steam engines to arts and crafts stalls, the Netley Marsh Steam and Craft Show celebrates its 50th year over the weekend of 22-24 July.

Arguably the biggest event in the New Forest calendar each year, the New Forest and Hampshire County Show returns 26-28 July. The show is a three-day celebration of farming, food and fun which is rated among the top agricultural shows in the country drawing in the crowds from far and wide. Watch show jumping, livestock competitions and browse the shopping area where you can pick up treats for you and your animals!

Make the most of the summertime

Enjoy the warm days and balmy nights by exploring our great outdoors. Perhaps try a walk that you haven’t been on before – we’ve plenty of inspiration to get you started with our walking routes. Or why not try something new? Whether it’s venturing out on horseback with a hack from one of our equestrian centres or a relaxed sunset paddling tour along the Beaulieu River with New Forest Activities. Find out more about our outdoor activities.

Summer holiday fun

As the schools begin to break up, you’ll see a whole host of family-friendly events appear on the calendar. Why not combine some of these with a holiday here and make the most of our family days out too?

Got fans of dinosaurs in your family? Then pop along to the St Barbe in Lymington for their Dinosaurs on your Doorstep exhibition from 23 July. This exhibition of original fossils, impressive casts, models and photo-realistic graphics looks at important dinosaur material found along the south coast – with remains all found within a 75-mile radius around Lymington. (The exhibition runs right up until 10 September).

Sunnyfields Farm, Totton, will be open from 23 July and throughout the summer holidays for their Summer Time @ Sunnyfields Farm event. Activities include things like tractor and trailer rides and a willow maze.

From 28-30 July, Furzey Gardens will come to life with swash-buckling performances of The Three Musketeers and outdoor theatre is set to return to Exbury Gardens, with a performance of Cinderella on 30 July.

We’ll be featuring more summer holiday breaks in our next blog, so do watch this space for more summer holiday inspiration!