It’s traditionally seen as summer’s last hurrah – three amazing days of fun before we all go back to work, to school, and to our winter routines.

And there’s no better place to spend August Bank Holiday weekend than the magical New Forest.

We’ve found some great ways to enjoy it; from food festivals, to sheepdog events, to artist pop-ups, family canoe trips and some truly special weekend rates - we really do have something for everyone.

Lovers of fine food and great music should plan to be in Burley where they’ll be holding their Food, Arts and Drink Festival.

The deer park opposite beautiful Burley Manor will be festooned with marquees offering tasting, demonstrations, crafts and wonderful food and drink to buy, as well as lots of activities for kids.

Foodies can take their pick from an amazing array of stalls including Beachcomber Gin, Chilled New Forest ice creams, gourmet vegan hot dogs, a free-range hog roast from the Tasty Pig and loads more.

Local artists will be showcasing over the weekend and have organised bookable workshops for children and adults who are looking to expand their artistic skills.

Make time, too, to visit the village of Burley itself, where there’ll be trails and competitions for children, working artists in local gardens and a pop-up art-in-situ shop.

And because no festival is ever complete without great music, the legendary Pete Harris Blues Band and The Vinyl Beats will be joining other musicians to perform over the weekend.

There are more artists at Buckler’s Hard, which is featuring the south coast’s most picturesque pop-up art gallery over the holiday weekend. Entry to Art by the River is included in your admission ticket to Buckler’s Hard, which also includes entry to the historic village, Maritime Museum, Shipwright’s Cottage and all day car parking.

Nearby National Motor Museum in Beaulieu invites everyone to step back in time over August bank holiday weekend. Characters and cars from the past will spring into action, including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.  And everyone from medieval monks to Victorian butlers will be in costume to help visitors delve into over 800 years of history, get hands-on with traditional games and see historic motors in action in the daily parades.

Looking for something to entertain your little ones? Longdown Activity Farm always puts on a show during August Bank Holiday and this year is no different.

They have a full schedule of daily hands-on animal activities, lots of special events, and some fabulous indoor and outdoor play areas. 

Look out for sheepdogs Terena and Sweep, who will be showcasing their skills on Sunday August 25.

Later in the week, Crazy M will be treating guests to lots of cracking capers, gags, and balloon-twisting fun on Wednesday August 28, with two side-splitting family shows at 11:30am and 2:30pm. And if you’re still around on Friday August 30, local author and illustrator, Simon Chadwick, will be doing story drawing and junk modelling. Best news of all?  There is no extra charge for these events.

Bank Holiday weekends are great for breaking old routines or doing something a little different. So why not treat yourself to an entirely new experience and grab one of the Open Top Bus Safaris to view the Forest like never before? With three great routes, lots of flexibility to hop off and explore, or to swap routes, it could help you discover some amazing new places. A one-day adult ticket is £17 – groups of five are just £42. They also take well-behaved dogs and bikes.

Talking of new experiences, why not use the long weekend to enjoy a relaxing 90-minute guided paddle on the stunning Beaulieu River on a Family Canoeing tour with New Forest Activities?

After being taught the correct paddling techniques, you’ll explore the hidden creeks and waterways of the river’s beautiful nature reserve. All equipment is provided and it’s great for those aged 18 months and upwards.

And, for the ultimate new experience, make sure you join the celebrated Cream Pie Fight at Sandy Balls Holiday Park near Fordingbridge on August 24. There are no sides, only pies, and we can guarantee the kids will remember the mayhem forever.

For another unusual – and free - event, rock up to Round 6 of the UK National Championships Hovercraft Racing, which take place at Gang Warily Recreation Centre in Fawley on the Forest’s eastern edge, not too far from the spiritual home of the hovercraft’s inventor.

For those prepared to travel a little further, get along to Marwell Zoo near Winchester where their BRICKOSAURS! exhibition now showcases the complete collection of 50 astonishing LEGO dinosaur sculptures, including a whopping, eight-metre T-Rex. Get hands on with a host of extra activities including BRICKOSAURS Base Camp, a free spotter’s guide and photo opportunities in the LEGO brick jeep and check out the BRICKOSAURS! Bonanza on the last weekend of August.

For one weekend only guests can get up close to some of the ‘roarsome’ dinosaur sculptures and discover pre-historic LEGO brick artefacts in Marwell Hall. Dress up in your best dinosaur outfit to join the pre-historic procession with Colin the Compsognathus and his friends.

August Bank Holiday Weekend is also the perfect time to get out and about to explore the wonderful 193,000 acres of the New Forest... and our 40 miles of secret coast! Discover our beautiful nature and wildlife and have fun. We've got loads of great walking routes to follow, whether it's a short and sweet walk you're looking for or a longer one, we have walks for everyone to enjoy!

Finally, if you’re wondering how you’re going to pack it all in we can help there, too! The following great deals will make staying overnight make sense.

Cottage Lodge Hotel in Brockenhurst are offering a romantic late summer break.

All their rooms are individually decorated with some having four-poster beds and their team can help with advice on which rooms to book, what activities to plan and even make dinner suggestions or arrange a bottle of fizz or flowers for your room!

Contact them with the deal quote ROMANCE and get complimentary bucks fizz breakfast and petals on the bed.

Meanwhile Balmer Lawn Hotel are offering three nights starting on Bank Holiday Monday enjoying a 50% discount on the third night of your stay. The offer is subject to availability in all room categories with rates starting from £159 per night bed and breakfast and is based on two guests sharing.

Guests need to quote GOFOREST to enjoy this offer. Hotel terms and conditions apply.

Or take the kids on a true family adventure and camp. Camping in the Forest have ten stunning sites, all waiting to be explored.

Couples can escape to enjoy quality time together and combine scenic woodland walks with local pub stops and a weekend of top quality food and drink in our picturesque towns and villages.

Or maybe you’re a family wanting to make the most of the summer before the little ones head back to school? If so Camping in the Forest offers a great collection of family-friendly campsites, perfect for an adventure-filled bank holiday weekend.

However you choose to spend your August Bank Holiday, you will be sure to have a fantastic time in the wonderful New Forest.

Head to our website to find out even more attractions, activities, events, places to eat & drink and accommodation that you can enjoy over the weekend.

Make sure you sign up to our Weekly What’s On to receive an enewsletter on the Thursday before the weekend detailing loads of amazing events that are happening over the August Bank Holiday in the New Forest (and to keep up to date with events upcoming every week in the future!).




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