Festivals and Country Shows in the New Forest
If you're planning on visiting the New Forest then you won’t want to miss some of our festivals and country shows that take place throughout the year.
Top country shows
One of our not-to-miss events has to be the annual New Forest and Hampshire County Show. Taking place towards the end of each July, this three day festival offers agricultural fun and entertainment in the heart of The New Forest at Brockenhurst. See show jumping, meet prize-winning livestock and browse the large retail sections and marquees. There’s also local crafts, some tasty food and drink as well as cookery workshops and a family-fun area. This event brings the New Forest National Park all together and is a fantastic celebration of the traditions and culture of the local area, plus a fantastic opportunity for visitors to experience it. New Forest and Hampshire County Show is taking place on 25, 25 & 27 July 2023!
Ellingham and Ringwood Show is another fantastic country show that takes place in the New Forest! Located in the idyllic Somerley Park, this show has lots of traditional attractions in the main rings, stalls full of local food and shopping and lots of lovely animals to meet. In 2023, Ellingham and Ringwood Show is taking place on Saturday 12th August.
Calling all foodies
In 2023 we will see our first New Forest Food Festival! Held at Hinton Admiral Events Field on 5 & 6 August. Bringing local producer, artisan makers and foodies, local chefs, great crafts and fun entertainment together for a weekend of foodie love this summer.
Think delicious local culinary and drinks, mixed with amazing music, entertainment and the best summer vibes. We're talking about Smoked & Uncut, held at Lime Wood Hotel every year!
Keep up with the updates from the Milford on Sea Food Week, which takes place over a week usually in late March or early April, in previous years TV stars and celebrity chefs, including previous winners of MasterChef have made appearances with food demonstrations.
Or, enjoy delicious Local Produce at Lymington Seafood Festival. This festival takes place over a weekend in the summer and brings with it innovative food and drink, lots of music and lots of opportunities to taste some of the seafood that is caught nearby. If you aren’t keen on your seafood then that doesn’t have to stop you visiting, there are plenty of food and drink options available to suit a range of tastes.
On the edge of the New Forest, the town of Christchurch comes to life with its annual Christchurch Food Festival. The Festival attracts over 70,000 visitors and includes cookery demonstrations, a food and drink weekend and much more. There are usually celebrity chefs that make appearances including Lesley Waters and Dean Edwards.
Are you a dog lover?
Then you are going to love Dogstival. The new festival for dogs and dog lovers held at Broadlands on the edge of the New Forest get ready for an action packed weekend. The event is taking place on 3 & 4 June 2023. Watch amazing displays in the live arena. Learn more about your best friend at "The Dog House" behaviour stage. Have a go activities such as Flyball and the K9 Aquasports dock and dive pool. Pop to the Dogstival Lounge for guest speakers talks. Indulge in some retail therapy from over 200 stands, fabulous food & drink from New Forest producers, or just relax and enjoy the live music and vintage fun fair!
Celebrate the arts and culture of the New Forest
Whether it’s enjoying music at one of our festivals or admiring art and sculpture, there are any ways to celebrate the arts and culture of the New Forest.
The New Forest Folk Festival is a small, family-run festival which punches high with some of its folk acts.
Visit resident artists, ceramicists and sculptors in the Hampshire Open Studios - taking place for two weeks in August each year. There are many exhibitors who are based in the New Forest who will open the doors of their studios where you can see them at work. There are also opportunities to buy the works - perfect if you are looking for something as a memento to your stay in the New Forest. Other venues include exhibition space at Lepe Country Park, the St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery, Forest Arts Centre and the Salt Marsh Gallery in Lymington.
The Curious Arts Festival takes place at Pylewell Park in Lymington. This festival brings with it novelists, historians, comedy and lots of music. Camping and glamping opportunities to stay in the grounds of the festival are also possible with pre-booking.
Led by the New Forest National Park Authority, the New Forest Arts Festival brings with it storytelling, workshops, poetry, exhibitions and talks at various locations around the National Park.
As you can see, there are lots of ways to immerse yourself in the culture of The New Forest. Take a look at the listings below for more details of what’s on including other smaller festivals that we may not have mentioned. Alternatively, use the date search on this page to search for what’s on when you are planning on visiting.
With entertainment and workshops for all the family, the New Forest Fairy Festival in Burley Park brings with it music, artists, exhibitions and a healing area. You will also find lots of fancy dress and opportunities to buy new costumes and accessories.
Get active with us
If you love to get outside then why not join us for the annual New Forest Walking & Cycling Festival in the autumn? Organised by the New Forest National Park Association, you can take part in guided walks throughout the Forest, a perfect way to meet likeminded people, to keep fit and to experience parts of the Forest that you are perhaps unfamiliar with. Walks vary in length and location, this is a fantastic way to explore our national park.
If you fancy something faster paced then there’s the annual New Forest Marathon (with shorter running races as well) plus a variety of cycling events taking place.
Visitors staying over the festive period can watch the traditional New Forest point-to-point which takes place on Boxing Day. It featured in the Channel 4 TV series, a Year in the New Forest.
Although not technically in the New Forest, Cowes Week is one of the major events on the Isle of Wight’s calendar. You can see many of the yachts and boats that are taking part on the Solent from the seawall at Lymington.
Keep an eye on our listings below for details of any other upcoming sporting events.
Calling all petrol heads
If cars are your thing then Beaulieu is the place to go. Look out for various car rallies and car festivals taking place throughout the year from amazing supercar weekends through to classic cars and campervans.
Motorcyclists are not left out either, Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum at New Milton regularly has bike meets and bike events.
Anyone with a VW camper should keep a look out for the Hythe Dubfest. With music, family entertainment and a celebration of this iconic vehicle!
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