If you’re looking for some well-deserved fun this summer, you’ve come to the right place!

The New Forest has got food festivals, folk festivals, fabulous pop-up dining, cruises and exhibitions both inside and out.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your calendar and your diary and start booking yourself into some amazing events!

Foodie?

Make sure you’re free from July 16-18 for the fifth Lymington Seafood Festival, a little boutique festival that brings together the region’s best food and drink producers, then drizzles a lip-smacking dollop of great live music on top.

You’ll be rocking to the UK’s top Elton John Tribute Band, as well as soul and blues, acoustic Celtic Folk and the Nova Forester Orchestra You’ll get the chance to see some top street performers and, of course, to buy, eat and find out more about this region’s incredible food and drink.

Ritual Feast are hosting gourmet experiences of a lifetime in the New Forest this summer. As featured on James Martin’s Islands to Highlands show, the company creates exquisite, fire-cooked banquets and will be running their fabled open kitchen at secrets location in the New Forest. All tickets are now sold out for their various dates this summer, but keep an eye out for when ticket’s go on sale for their next feasts!

Don’t forget, too, that our year-long Taste the New Forest food event will be showcasing the very best of our local wine, food and drink producers, so keep checking our site for more news and events as they are added.

Fancy a cruise?

The beautiful Steamship Shieldhall will be running a number of trips on various dates during the summer. On July 4 they’re setting off on an Independence Day cruise with the lively 'Soulcatchers' providing musical entertainment! Listen to some favourite soul numbers and get close to the departing cruise ships (subject to confirmation) and learn about Southampton's links with the USA, including the role the city played with The Mayflower and The Pilgrim Fathers; the Blue Riband Trophy and tales of Atlantic crossings, WWII and the GI brides.

As part of your cruise, which departs from Southampton, you’ll see the impressive engine room with its original steam engines at work and the bridge, with its traditional instruments and gleaming brasswork; admire the ship's steam assisted steering gear  and talk to the Captain and volunteer crew. You’ll also pass close to the great ocean liners and container ships and relax in the Saloon with a wide range of refreshments including tea and coffee, bottled beers, wine and hot and cold food available on all trips.

Lover of the arts and crafts?

Enjoy art outdoors, with Sculpture at Beaulieu from June 19 to August 30, where they’ll be showcasing works by over 55 renowned sculptors, including Dawn Rowland, Frederic Chevarin, Helen Sinclair and Neil Wilkin. Ranging from figurative to abstract, and covering a diverse range of media, the exhibition provides something to suit all tastes.

And if you love hunting for treasure, you’ll adore the village of Lover’s annual bumper garage sale, on July 3 from 8.30am. They are expecting more than 50 locations in the Wiltshire village to participate and so, with all that walking, make sure you remember to buy a bacon butty at the Village Hall!

Interested in animals and the environment?

From June 19 to September 4, St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery are welcoming children and families to visit their WILD exhibition, run by Blue Tokay, where you can learn about some of Britain’s finest wildlife and how you can conserve their wild habitats to help environmental pressures these animals face. Meet some of the animals, and enjoy interactive and fun activities and workshops.

Missed live performances and music?

Boxtree Productions presents Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland on Thursday 22 and Friday 23 July outdoors at Beaulieu. Join Alice as she tries to navigate this curious world of curiouser creatures but don't lose your head! A ‘wonderful experience of original toe-tapping songs, colourful characters, costumes and hilarious comedy,’ is promised, with inventive staging, original songs and magical storytelling as this beloved classic unfolds in the great outdoors.

New Forest Folk Festival has you covered, too. Taking place at Powells Farm at Plaitford near Romsey, the event promises five days of fabulous folk, including Home Service, Cregan & Co, Feast of Fiddles and the Phil Beer Band. The festival starts on July 7 and continues until July 11.

Fun?

New Forest Activities have a whole host of dates across the summer months for their Sunset Chasers Paddling Tours, where you can enjoy the warm glow of the sun’s last rays of the day as you paddle along Beaulieu River in a canoe or kayak, exploring the nature that comes alive around the picturesque river at dusk.

Don’t miss the Adventure Bike Ride-In at Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum. If you ride an adventure bike, take a ride to Sammy Miller from your home on July 18 for a great day out, or if you don’t have an adventure bike, you can still come along to see them all and chat with the riders, who definitely have some interesting stories to tell of their travels!

Another perfect event for petrol-heads is Beaulieu Motor Museum’s high-octane Supercar Weekend on August 7 and 8. Although the museum his holding plenty of specialist car weekends and days over the summer, this two-day event is the one with the big noise and the big cars – 900 in all! It’s a chance to get up close to the Supercar of your dreams and chat to their proud owners as well as explore every good thing that Beaulieu has to offer, as the museum and gardens are included in your entry price. Beaulieu have a huge calendar of events this summer, check them all out here.

As with everything these days, check the event’s website before you book, for Covid-related information. And keep coming back to thenewforest.co.uk as we’ll be keeping you up to date with more events and information.

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