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Festivals and Events in the New Forest 2024

Enjoy various family-friendly festivals & events held across the New Forest in 2024. From food festivals to agricultural and animal shows, there’s lots of fun to be had.

The New Forest is not only a place of stunning natural beauty, but it also boasts a vibrant events scene, with annual festivals and a packed calendar of exciting days out.

Plan your escape to perfection with our insider guide, giving the low-down on all the best New Forest festivals and events that keep locals and visitors coming back year after year!

Dogstival

June

Calling all dog lovers, this one’s for you! Set against the lush expanse of Burley Park and the quaint surrounding village, this event celebrates all things canine, with a range of dog-friendly events and shows taking place on the 1st and 2nd of June 2024.

Whether you have a four-legged friend or not doesn’t matter, there’s plenty of fun to be had by everyone. Take to the main arena to see competitions and displays or put your feet up at The Muddy Paws Tavern to eat, drink, mingle with dog experts and do a quiz or two.

There are countless paws-on activities for you and your pooch to enjoy – with agility courses, barkour and scent challenges to name a few.

New Forest Folk Festival

July

The New Forest Folk Festival is another beloved annual event – this one centering around folk music – which has grown in popularity and scope over the years. The family-run festival is all about good music and good company.

Alongside the main acts, you can also enjoy singarounds, poetry, dancing,workshops and plentiful trade tents with intriguing wares to remember your trip. The beer tent and various food vendors will keep you fueled for a weekend of fun.

The festival takes place from the 3rd to 7th of July 2024 at Plaitford near Romsey. Right next to the forest, this spot allows for tranquil woodland strolls in between performances. Children are welcome and will be kept more than entertained with the range of activities and stalls. Dogs are allowed in but must be kept on a lead.

Don’t forget to bring a couple of camping chairs or a picnic blanket so you can settle in for a great few days.

Lymington Seafood Festival

July

If you’re a fish and seafood lover, you certainly won’t want to miss this. Taking place in the picturesque coastal town of Lymington from the 12th to 14th of July 2024, this foodie haven is jam-packed with food and drinks stalls, with all things seafood front and centre!

Among the 80 amazing food stalls, there are also plenty of meat, veggie and vegan offerings to keep the non-seafood enthusiasts happy. Not to mention local craft beers and drinks from Lymington Gin and Hattingley Valley – ideal for kicking back and soaking up the festival ambience!

After you’ve spent some time meandering around the stalls, head over to the Chefs Stage to pick up some expert tips from the region’s cooking superstars and TV foodie Chris Bavin. The Cookery School provides an opportunity to get hands-on and learn some new skills. There are a range of classes, including kids events where the younger chefs among us can get stuck in and express their passion for good food.

Any festival wouldn’t be quite the same without some live music to set the scene. Keep your eye out for a range of exciting bands on the main stage, playing everything from pop and rock to soul and folk.

To make the most of your visit to this lovely town, head over to our insider’s guide to Lymington.

New Forest & Hampshire County Show

July/ August

Held from the 30th of July to 1st of August 2024, the County Show is a much looked-forward-to event, with a diverse assortment of attractions, activities and displays that are sure to keep you busy. Dating back to 1920, the agricultural show has a long history in showcasing the ways of New Forest life, giving you an unbeatable taste of what the local area is all about.

There’s lots to see and do within the packed showground, including animal parades, flower shows, show jumping and other competitions. Dotted around the site, you’ll also find over 600 trade stalls and tents, where you can peruse antiques, crafts and lots of local produce. The Festival of Food section showcases over 40 stalls selling a range of delicious food and drink – not to mention the many on-site restaurants and eateries to drop in on.

Located across 35 idyllic acres of New Park, between Lyndhurst and Brockenhurst, the County Show offers an unforgettable way to while away the afternoon. If you want to escape the bustle and excitement for a beat, there is also a nearby woodland trail that’s perfect for unwinding and relaxing under a canopy of trees.

New Forest Fairy Festival

August

For something distinctly magical, head to the annual Fairy Festival, home to whimsy and pure magic. Like Dogstival, the event is held in Burley Park, allowing for plenty of space to roam and spread your wings.

Whether you want to dress to impress in an elaborate fairy costume or soak up the enchanting atmosphere in your usual attire, everyone is welcome.

Enter the fairy world on the 10th and 11th of August 2024 and become bewitched at the many workshops, shows and events, including fae folk meet and greets, woodland training, theatre shows, parades and more.

There are also various craft stalls to tempt you to spend a few gold coins, with unique artwork, clothing, jewellery and fairy essentials on offer. Musical bards will be on hand to beguile you throughout the weekend with a fantastic line-up of live music performances and tribute acts.

New Forest Food Festival

August

Billed as the perfect family event, this crowd-pleasing festival is the place to be if you want to experience the best of the best when it comes to delicious food from around the world. With seemingly endless pop-up eateries serving traditional spit roasts, pizzas, burgers, Tex-Mex, Asian street food, ice cream and so much more, the New Forest Food Festival truly has something for everyone.

Once you’ve sampled your way across the many foodie vendors, there are artisan markets, local produce, crafts stalls and cocktail bars to explore. We definitely recommend pacing yourself if you’re keen to try a bit of everything! The weekend also hosts a range of cookery demos where you can learn from the pros, kids’ entertainment and plenty of live music, setting you up for a weekend of fabulous food and fun.

This year, the event takes place on the 17th and 18th of August 2024 and is located at the Hinton Admiral Events Field. Dogs are welcome to join you, but they must be on a lead and they are not permitted to enter the food marquees.

For some of our favourite foodie spots outside of the festival season, see our food lovers guide to the New Forest.

New Forest Walking and Cycling Festival

October

The Walking and Cycling Festival really celebrates what makes the New Forest so special. The event usually runs for about two weeks during autumn and encourages you to get out into nature and take in the sublime scenes of the region.

You can take guided tours with experts leading the way, showing you all the best hidden gems and giving you insider insight into the woodland and surrounding environment. There are various themed tours to cater to a range of interests and abilities, whether you’re intrigued by wildlife, history, photography or the wellbeing practice of forest bathing.

Or, if you just want to get inspired by the festival and strike out on your own, why not embark on a self-guided experience? There are countless trails to explore throughout the area – see our insider guide and discover some of the best walks you can take to get lost in the majesty of the New Forest!

Where to Stay During the New Forest Festival Season

If you want to take the opportunity to turn one of two of these festival weekends into an unforgettable break, our luxury accommodation in the New Forest offers the ideal solution. With stunning cottages and holiday homes situated across the region, many within a stone’s throw of the top festivals, there’s something for everyone.

Whether you want to be right by the action, on the coast or hidden away in the countryside, our handpicked selection of deluxe properties ensures you can take your pick.

Book your New Forest escape now and start planning a truly memorable getaway!

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