If you make one New Year’s resolution for 2019, make sure that it’s to have more fun in the New Forest!

And with events ranging from food festivals to dog festivals, to marathons and fireworks spectaculars, there really is something for everyone to enjoy.

So grab your diary and a pen and start making a note of these important dates…because who’d want to miss out on the following?

The British Wildlife Photography Awards 2019 start on January 19, safely inside at the St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery in Lymington.

This exhibition of more than 90 photographs presents the winning pictures chosen from thousands of entries for the British Wildlife Awards and is a showcase for the country’s leading photographers. Each image is accompanied by the photographer’s personal insights into the circumstances and inspiration behind the shot so you’ll really understand the story behind it.

It may seem mad, but February Half Term is just over 1 month away so you need to start planning loads of exciting activities for everyone – so for details of all the activities taking place, make sure you bookmark our What’s On pages for all those important updates.

March sees the re-opening of Exbury Gardens, on the 23rd with plenty of new and refreshed areas to celebrate their centenary year.

During 2019 visitors will get their first glimpse of the new Centenary Garden designed by RHS gold medal award holder, Marie-Louise Agius, great grand-daughter of Exbury Gardens’ founder, Lionel de Rothschild.

On April 13 and 14 it’ll be time to saddle up for one of the new season’s earliest rides - the New Forest Spring Sportive Cycle, which starts and finishes at Somerley House, Ringwood.

The month of May will be even merrier if you’re a dog lover because this is when we see our first Dogstival – two days of total fun for you and your pooch at Pylewell Park on the 18th and 19th of the month.

Along with the ShadowQuest, Paws For Thought and the Rockwood Display Teams they’ll have lurchers, terriers and hawks, chasing, swooping and wowing the crowds.

They’ll be hundreds of stalls, including places to eat for you and your pet, as well as a Dogstival cartoonist and a Dogstival Photobooth, where you can capture the day in your own unique way. It’s the day out your dog’s been waiting for!

In June the New Forest Film Festival will be celebrating movies of under ten minutes from around the world. There will be seven categories and live screenings, with prizes in all categories and an awards ceremony at Brockenhurst College.

The month of July is bookended by the seriously boutique Smoked & Uncut festivals. On July 6 mellow out at The Pig at Brockenhurst for one of the Forest’s biggest celebrations of food and music.

Then, On July 27, do it all over again, this time at Lime Wood for a day of al-fresco dining, drinking and chilling to the sounds of summer.

The last two days of the month see the return of the annual New Forest Show, going on to August 1. Over three days you’ll catch the very best of what the New Forest has to offer; from heavy horse displays to top-class eventing, to delicious local food, flour milling and baking demonstrations and the chance to really discover the stories behind rural life in this unique part of the world.

If four wheels are more your thing then it’s got to be the Beaulieu Supercar Weekend on August 3 and 4, which sees some of the world’s most exclusive and desirable motors revving their engines at the National Motor Museum. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be up close and personal to ultimate driving machines like Ferraris and McLarens, this one’s for you.

A week later sees the third Lymington Seafood Festival getting underway on August 10 and 11.  Artisan drink and food producers will all be there, along with a selection of other fascinating stalls, some fab sounds and a line up of talented chefs in the demonstration kitchen.

As summer draws to its end our New Forest autumn gets underway – look out in September for our adorable Pannage Pigs – porkers let loose to snaffle up all the acorns as well as being one of this region’s most Insta-worthy sights!

Meanwhile, in Beaulieu, their International Autojumble takes place on September 7 and 8 – now the biggest outdoor sale of motoring items this side of the Atlantic.

With over 2,000 stands at this signature Beaulieu event, each one groaning with all kinds of vintage and classic motoring ephemera, it is often said ‘If you can’t find it at Beaulieu it doesn’t exist!’

This busy weekend also sees what’s been described as Britain’s most scenic marathon taking place - the New Forest Marathon. On Sunday September 8 thousands of runners will be on the starting grid at New Park Farm showground in Brockenhurst, to run a variety of distances, from a full marathon to a Junior 1k.

There’s a Race Village which includes camping, parking, entertainment and plenty of food and drink.

October sees another half term with plenty of spooky goings-on for Halloween witch(!) we’ll keep you up to date with if you keep checking our website for new events!

It’s also the season for fireworks, too. One of the largest displays in the south takes place at Beaulieu on Saturday October 26. Themed ‘Out of This World’ it will celebrate the Moon Landings, which happened 50 years ago in 1969, and promises to be a spectacle to remember.

Keeping your feet firmly on the ground, look out this month for the trips and trails included in the annual New Forest Walking Festival. In 2018 more than 1,500 walkers attended expert led walks during the two-week event. Walks cover a diverse range of activities, including wild play for children, behind the scenes tours of historical sites, photography tuition and mindfulness.

Look out, too, for the New Forest Food and Drink Week, going into early November and perfectly timed to ensure you enjoy the best of the Forest’s autumn larder. Food will be presented by our producers, makers, brewers and chefs at restaurants, cafes, tastings and special events under 15 mouth-watering categories, including Cheese & the Forest Larder, foraging, and The Very English Afternoon Tea.

December sees a heavenly host of festive treats, from Paulton’s Park’s Christmas extravaganza – who doesn’t want to see Peppa Pig World at Christmas? – to the annual winter events at Beaulieu and Longdown Activity Farm.

Whatever you do, remember to keep checking our What’s On page, sign up to our enews and follow us on social media to hear more about events in the New Forest and make sure you don’t miss out.

And, if you’re running an event, let us know via our online submission form – we’d love to add it to our list!

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