What’s On in the New Forest & Hampshire

Take a look at what’s on in the New Forest for unforgettable experiences, whether you are on holiday or are a local, plan ahead and book tickets to fantastic New Forest events. Food festivals, country shows, live music and local food markets are just some of the great events that happen in the New Forest every year.

Get excited for incredible seasonal events which take place throughout the year, celebrate in style and make special memories with family and friends at local events in the New Forest.

Major events in the New Forest

Probably the biggest event in the New Forest (and just one of our many festival and country shows), is the three-day New Forest and Hampshire County Show. Which takes place annually in July at New Park in Brockenhurst, the event showcases traditional country pursuits, show jumping, cookery shows and lots of family fun. Come along and investigate some of our local traditions, sample food from the local produce market and shop for antiques, crafts, jewellery and clothing. 

For dogs, dog lovers and dog owners is Dogstival. A fantastic festival all about dogs. At Dogstival, you and your pooch can enjoy loads of doggy activities including Flyball, live arenas, brilliant stalls, local food and drink, live music, talks from the stages, and loads more. If a dog could have the best day of its life, it would go to Dogstival! 

Ellingham and Ringwood Show is a brilliant country show at Somerley Park, which includes many exciting main ring attractions, animals galore and lots of wonderful local food & shopping opportunities too - it's a great day out in the New Forest. 

If you are a keen walker then look out for the annual New Forest Walking and Cycling Festival, usually taking place mid-late October for a fortnight. The festival boasts around 80 guided walks and bike rides featuring many different areas of the National Park. This is a great opportunity to get to see some places of the New Forest that you may not be familiar with and keep fit in the process!

Many local attractions also offer a wide range of show-stopping events throughout the year including Beaulieu's incredible calendar of events, including autojumbles, a supercar weekend and many more special classic and car-brand meets and events. 

Food and drink festivals

From food festivals to regular farmers’ and town and village markets you will love the opportunity to sample our local produce here in the New Forest. Weekly markets occur at Ringwood, New Milton, Hythe and Lymington. Look out for additional themed markets as well including local food and craft markets. 

If you enjoy seafood then be sure to check out Lymington Seafood Festival, which takes place for three days in the summer. The festival brings together a great collection of tasty treats from the sea alongside cookery demonstrations, live music and entertainment.

The New Forest Food Festival is the place to be for all local delights! From artisan food to locally produced drinks, chef demonstrations and loads more entertainment including live music, kids activities and a fun fair, it's fun for all the family! 

For the summer, the Hampshire Food Fayre celebrates local food and drink across the county of Hampshire. This includes events at many locations within the New Forest such as Lyburn Farm, Landford, Ringwood Brewery and at five-star Chewton Glen Hotel and Spa.

Get the opportunity to cook with celebrity chefs at Chewton Glen Hotel’s Cookery School, or to sample the food of some world-renowned chefs in themed dinner evenings.

Take part in a walking picnic as you wander through parts of the New Forest with local guides before stopping to enjoy some tasty local produce.

Keep an eye on all of the new Food and Drink events being added daily, including special seasonal events or special themed food nights in some of our restaurants.

Music, concerts and art exhibitions

If you fancy some culture on your break to the New Forest then be entertained at some of our venues and attractions.

Enjoy outdoor theatre and cinema on the lawn at Beaulieu, where you can watch Shakespearean plays in action in the beautiful settings of Palace House.

Concerts, comedy evenings and film screenings take place regularly at Hanger Farm Arts Centre and the Milford on Sea Music and Arts Festival in July offers a variety of concerts and events each year.

Check out the changing art exhibitions at the St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery in Lymington. Exhibitions often feature works of art on loan from national, regional and private collections. Local artists also exhibit their works during the annual open exhibition.

New Forest Heritage Centre in Lyndhurst stages temporary exhibitions as well such as local photography and artists. Here you can also learn about the rich history and traditions of the New Forest in the museum and centre.

At Exbury Gardens, visitors can enjoy seasonal art exhibitions, talks and themed garden walks at different times of the year.

Want to be entertained whilst in the forest? Check out our music and entertainment events and make sure you get your tickets now!

Family-friendly events

Whether you fancy a guided nature walk through the forest, or a Discovery Day at the New Forest Heritage Centre there are lots of events throughout the year to keep the family entertained come rain or shine.  

During the school holidays many of our attractions run special family events such as children’s trails. Look out for these at Beaulieu, Buckler’s Hard, Hurst Castle and Exbury Gardens.

Sopley Farm and Cat & Fiddle Farm host great seasonal events. 

Special family events take place at Peppa Pig World at Paulton’s Park, particularly during the festive period and children can get hands-on with some nature fun and activities at Blashford Lakes, Moors Valley Country Park and Lepe Country Park.

Make sure you keep an eye out for all of the exciting holiday and annual events posted throughout the year too, including events happening during Half terms and school holidays and look out for our latest blog posts as we showcase some of the top events you can join in with over the school holidays.

Plan your visit to the New Forest 

Planning your visit to the New Forest for one of our exciting events is easy with our comprehensive guide. Whether you're a visitor or a local, our aim is to make sure you have all the information you need for a seamless and enjoyable experience. 

There are plenty of ways to travel to the New Forest safely, quickly, and hassle-free. If you're asking yourself the best ways to drive to the New Forest, or what public transport to take, look no further than our guide on how to get here. 

The New Forest also offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit all budgets and preferences. Whether you're looking for a luxury stay or if you'd prefer to be camping under the stars, we're sure we have options available to make your New Forest stay a magical one. 

Want to know more about what’s on?

Browse our listings to discover what’s on in the New Forest when you plan on visiting, or contact us for ideas. 

Make sure that you sign up to our Weekly What's On in the New Forest Enewsletter to keep up to date with the events happening around the forest every week!

If you are holding an event within the New Forest that you would like to be featured on our website, please submit details of it here.

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