What's on in the New Forest in 2020?
Festivals, races, countryside shows and other events - from Lymington to Lyndhurst, Highcliffe to Hythe, Ringwood to Romsey!
Whether you're local to the New Forest area or planning to visit on holiday there are some brilliant events happening here in 2020! Our guide below will give you a taste of the main events in the area including marathons, triathlons and cycling events, festivals, open days and countryside shows. Diaries at the ready..!
Keep ahead of what's on this year by regularly visiting our comprehensive Events Calendar which is updated daily and to really stay in the loop, sign up to receive our FREE Weekly What's On email, sent out every Friday morning. This brings you a summary of what's on over the weekend, plus latest news and information about the New Forest area together with recommendations about individual business "Members" of Lymington.com (email [email protected] if you're a business which would like to benefit!)
Winter events in the New Forest area
Sunday 12 January 2020: Your Healthy Living Starts Here
A NEW event in the New Forest, this popular healthy living 'festival style' indoor event has previously been held in Portsmouth and widely reported on TV and radio. It's based on a simple principle: that to be really healthy we need all three of physical, mental and environmental health. Find a mixture of taster treatments, lifestyle suggestions and products all of which will help you create and improve your road towards a healthy lifestyle - all with sustainability and the environment as a key focus.
Sunday 26 January 2020: The New Forest Volunteer Fair
If you're looking to try something different this year then head to Lyndhurst and find out about becoming a volunteer in the New Forest National Park. From wildlife projects to heritage surveys, ranger services to outdoor activities, the fair will showcase a variety of roles available in 2020. There'll be several free and fascinating short talks from local volunteer leaders and the chance to meet loads of interesting organisations, including the Countryside Education Trust.
Sunday 26 January 2020: Romsey 5 Mile and 5 Kids Race
Set in the grounds of the Broadlands Estate, once the home of The Earl Mountbatten of Burma, the Romsey 5 Mile and childrens races (aimed at 4 to 12 year olds) involve three laps of the beautiful estate. It's one of the flattest 5 mile races in the county and so is perfect for first timers who are just starting out - and great for athletes looking to improve their PB time!
Saturday 29 February 2020: Triathlon Festival Super Sprint Duathlon
A one day dual event designed to help Triathletes improve, starting with two loops around the Ageas Bowl before a 10k ride around the nearby roads before a victory lap once more around the stadium. Great for those who are a little bit more proficient and don’t mind skipping on the swim. As a part of your entry you get free access to the Triathlon Festival, packed with top industry experts to educate and inspire you for the 2020 season.
Saturday 14 March 2020: Southampton Science and Engineering Day 2020
The conclusion of Southampton Science and Engineering Festival at Southampton University, this free family-friendly event is packed with hundreds of interactive hands-on activities, workshops, live shows, art performances and laboratory tours from across all Faculties. Science and Engineering Day has previously received awards from the British Science Association for Best Engineering Event in 2009 and Best STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) Institution Event in 2014. A really great day out for older kids and teens - be sure to take a look at the timetable in advance as some elements require pre-booking.
Spring events in the New Forest area
Sunday 5 April 2020: Bournemouth Bay Run
An easy reach from the New Forest and set against the backdop of Bournemouth's famous seven-mile stretch of golden sand, this is a super day out, whatever your running ability. Choose from a variety of distances and enjoy the fantastic views as you walk, jog or run.
Saturday 11 April 2020: Lepe Easter Bunny 5K
Put on your best easter bunny costume and hop around the 5km course at Lepe Country Park, who promise mountains of chocolate rewards at the finish! Dogs are welcome to join in too (although not with the chocolate rewards...)
Saturday 18 - Sunday 19 April 2020: New Forest Spring Sportive
Starting and finishing at Somerley House in Ringwood, this is one of the new season’s earliest cycle rides. Whether you cycle the 'Epic' 81 mile route, 'Standard' 67 miles or 'Short' 30 miles, you'll take in wonderful views of the New Forest and have a number of hills to challenge your legs!
Saturday 25 April 2020: Inflatable 5K 2020
Someley House in Ringwood will be welcoming the UK's biggest inflatable 5k obstacle course! Speed around the course, throw yourselves over the 28 inflatables (15 unique) and run through the massive foam zone, powered by the worlds largest foam cannon. Sounds like serious fun for kids large and small!
Friday 8 - Sunday 10 May 2020: Christchurch Food Festival
Christchurch Food Festival 2020 will be an extra special celebration as it coincides with the May Day bank holiday (Friday 8th) and the 75th VE Day anniversary. Christchurch High Street is transformed with stalls selling and showcasing local delicacies, whilst on the picturesque riverside setting of Christchurch Quay you'll find free-to-view cookery demonstrations, a beer festival, fabulous cocktails, Kids Kitchen and excellent entertainment.
Sunday 10 May 2020: Lymington Lifeboat 10k and children's fun runs
Now in its 19th year, the Lymington 10K race takes place in the beautiful coastal location of Lymington, starting and finishing at Woodside Park. This fantastic event is well supported by the Lymington community, with runners of all ages and abilities participating - and all for an excellent cause, supporting the wonderful Lymington RNLI Lifeboat. As well as the main race there are a series of children's fun runs, introducing children of all ages to the joy of running. Be sure to book places online in advance, especially for the children's fun runs which usually fill up fast.
Sunday 10 May 2020: VE Day 75 Street Party in Lymington
Following the 10K, head down to Lymington High Street to celebrate VE Day 75, the 75th anniversary of the day that signalled the end of WW2 in Europe. Lymington Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club, with great support from Lymington and Pennington Town Council, SSAFA, The Pilgrim Bandits Charity, Lymington Branch of The Royal British Legion and other agencies have organised a street party with military vehicles, live music and some great food. It all promises to be a great community event to celebrate the peace in Europe.
Saturday 16 May 2020: Beaulieu Spring Autojumble
The perfect opportunity for motoring enthusiasts to browse 1000 stands and stalls! Seek out those elusive parts required to complete or start that restoration project - whether you need the smallest nut or are seeking a complete vehicle, all autojumblers will be in their element! There is something for everyone - and plenty of bargains to be had! Entry includes the Beaulieu attraction: National Motor Museum, Palace House, Beaulieu Abbey and World of Top Gear.
Saturday 16 May 2020: Hospice Walk
Walk a marathon (or half marathon) with spectacular views in aid of two local hospices! You can choose to walk from either the Lewis-Manning Hospice in Poole to Oakhaven Hospice in Lymington or start at Oakhaven and walk to Lewis-Manning. The distance around the beautiful sea front coastal path is 26.2 miles, much of it flat. There is also the option to start at Mudeford and walk 13 miles to either hospice. More details to follow soon.
Saturday 16 - Sunday 17 May 2020: Dogstival
The top doggy festival Dogstival is back for a second year and now with dog-friendly glamping at the stunning Pylewell Park. The perfect escape for dogs and dog lovers in the heart of the New Forest. This magnificent private stately home boasts over 260 acres, lakes and even its own beach! The weekend promises to be packed full of the most exciting activities, retailers, music, food and drink for families and most importantly their pooches!
Sunday 24 May 2020: New Forest Triathlon
A truly stunning triathlon course taking in all the very best the New Forest has to offer! The event is based at Moyles Court School for parking, transition and finish area, with nearby Ellingham Lake as the venue for the swim section (beautifully clean and sheltered!) After a long run to transition (wetsuits can either be worn, carried or bagged at the swim exit), the bike will take in rolling terrain across the north of the New Forest.
Saturday 30 May 2020: Round The Island Race
The annual Round the Island Race, organised by the Island Sailing Club, is a one-day yacht race around the Isle of Wight that regularly attracts over 1,600 boats and around 16,000 sailors, making it one of the largests yacht races in the world and the fourth largest participation sporting event in the UK. It's an incredible race to watch from the Lymington-Keyhaven Solent Way path (sea wall) and from Hurst Spit. Definitely worth getting up early for a walk!
Sunday 31 May 2020: The Swashbuckler Middle Distance Triathlon
Middle distance triathlon set at Buckler's Hard, picturesque and historic maritime village near Beaulieu. It's an ideal event for quick times, first timers, family times and GB Age group qualifying times. And what a great name!
Summer events in the New Forest area
Saturday 6 June 2020: National Oceanography Centre Open Day (date TBC)
A free day of fun learning about the science and technology development at Southampton's National Oceanography Centre. The day is a mix of hands on science, exhibits and talks, with content aimed at all age groups. Date TBC.
Saturday 6 June 2020: Brockfest 2020
Fun for all the family at Brockenhurst College in the heart of the New Forest. Expect live music, fairground rides, a bouncy castle, face-painting, sporting activities and craft market, plus plenty of local produce to eat and drink throughout the day!
Friday 12 - Sunday 14 June 2020: Poole Harbour Boat Show
Now in its sixth year, the annual Poole Harbour Boat Show at Poole Quay is an established event in the boating calendar, bringing together a spectacular showcase of celebrity style yachts and motor cruisers, tall ships, marine equipment, water sports gear and clothing, with ‘Try a Boat’ taster sessions, as well as a programme of free family entertainment including live music and fireworks on Friday and Saturday evening. A great day out for locals and New Forest visitors alike!
Saturday 13 - Sunday 14 June 2020: Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival
A family-friendly event showcasing the very best in local food and arts. Cookery demonstrations, childrens entertainment, live music, food, drinks, arts and crafts. All in all an interesting and relaxed day out (and conveniently close to several great beaches to combine your day out with a swim if weather permits!)
Saturday 20 June 2020: Smoked & Uncut at The Pig
A buzzing celebration of music and food in the grounds of this leading boutique hotel and restaurant in Brockenhurst. This year's line up will be announced in the spring. The most distinctive feature of the Smoked & Uncut festivals is the uncompromising quality - everything is of top-notch quality and the relaxed atmosphere makes it a great choice for everyone, whether it be couples, groups of friends or families.
Sunday 21 June 2020: Hot Rod and Custom Drive In Day at Beaulieu
The perfect day out for Father's Day! Dad will love the colourful display of hundreds of custom cars and motorcycles, plus with the Vintage Village, dancing and live entertainment there will be something for all the family to enjoy. Entry tickets also include entry to the Beaulieu attraction, including Palace House, Beaulieu Abbey, World of Top Gear and the world-famous National Motor Museum.
Sunday 5 July 2020: Lymington Italia Festival
A well established and hugely popular event where 50+ Ferrari cars and their owners arrive into Lymington and follow a route from Lymington Yacht Haven around the town to the High Street, where they park up for close up viewing during the afternoon. An Italian market along the High Street sells food, drink, ice-creams and Italien goods. A great day out for all the family! Date to be confirmed (usually first Sunday in July)
Wednesday 1 - Sunday 5 July 2020: New Forest Folk Festival
This family run festival at Powells farm at Plaitford near Romsey has oodles of live music, events and workshops. The farm is surrounded by trees and is almost flat with a gentle slope down to the stage and stream that runs through the centre of the farm. Visit for the day or the whole weekend - camping is possible in one of the fields.
July 2020: Lymington Carnival (Date TBC)
Many local groups and organisations participate in the Lymington Carnival procession around the town - a great annual spectacle, full details for this year's event will be published soon!
Saturday 25 July 2020: Smoked & Uncut at Lime Wood
The second of the local Smoked & Uncut events, this time in the grounds of five-star hotel Lime Wood in Lyndhurst. Gourmet food, top-notch music, local ales and refreshing cocktails in the heart of the New Forest. This year's line up will be announced in the spring.
Friday 24 - Sunday 26 July 2020: Netley Marsh Steam and Craft Show
One of the biggest steam shows in the South, with a huge range of features, stalls and attractions including those much-loved steam engines, motorcycles and cars. Live music, beer tent or two and an abundance of delicious food on offer as well as stalls and obligatory funfair rides.
Tuesday 28 - Thursday 30 July 2019: New Forest & Hampshire County Show
The New Forest Show is a fabulous day out and has been running since 1921 and raises money for New Forest Agricultural Show Society and other local and national charitable organisations. The show attracts over 100,000 visitors every year and brings together a celebration of traditional country pursuits, crafts, produce and entertainment. Show jumping is another major feature at the show and there are competitive classes throughout all three days. A full range of equestrian classes also features, as well as livestock competitions including pigs, cattle and sheep, plus a poultry section, rabbits, cage birds, and honey bees. Don't be put off by the large numbers - the show is a brilliant day out and is expertly organised with ample parking and free shuttle buses from Brockenhurst train station for ticketholders. Book your tickets in advance to benefit from the online discount!
Saturday 1 August 2020: Stompin' on the Quomps
Stompin' on the Quomps is a music festival situated in the picturesque surroundings of Christchurch Quay. Expect an eclectic mix of Jazz Fusion and Latin Jazz through to Blues and Big Band at this favourite regional event - there’s something for young children and families through to nonagenarian grandparents to enjoy.
Saturday 8 - Sunday 9 August 2020: Beaulieu Supercar Weekend
A fabulous family spectacular that brings some of the world’s most exclusive and desirable cars to Beaulieu. See displays of prestigious supercars and hear their distinctive engine roars as they unleash their horsepower on the demonstration run. The Supercar Weekend is a must for all supercar enthusiasts, providing an opportunity to get almost close enough to touch these impressive motors! Tickets include entry to the Beaulieu attraction, including the National Motor Museum, Palace House, Beaulieu Abbey and World of Top Gear.
August 2020: Lymington Spectacular and Classic Car Show (Date TBC)
The Rotary Club of Lymington hosts an annual fun day at Woodside Park with an impressive classic car show. A great family day out with funds raised supporting local charities and causes. More details, including date of this year's event, to be confirmed (but usually first Sunday in August).
Saturday 8 - Saturday 15 August 2020: Cowes Week
Cowes Week is one of the UK's longest running and most successful sporting events and a highlight of the British sporting summer. It has been held in early August every year since 1826, except during the two world wars. Around 8,000 competitors now participate, ranging from Olympic and world class yachtsmen to weekend sailors. The spectacle that the racing provides, together with the vibrant festival atmosphere attracts over 100,000 visitors to Cowes during the event. On a clear evening, the fireworks on the last night are spectacular from Lepe beach if you can't get to the main event!
Saturday 8 - Sunday 9 August 2020: Lymington Seafood Festival
The Lymington Seafood Festival is now a favourite in the Lymington calendar! Located in Bath Road park, this free festival celebrates Lymington and the New Forest's rich cultural heritage, regional producers and links to the sea. Come along and relax by the river, listen to live music and feast on seafood delights from great local producers. The cookery demonstrations are a highlight for foodies, with leading chefs on stage throughout the weekend.
Saturday 8 - Sunday 9 August 2020: New Forest Fairy Festival
If seafood isn't your thing head to this fun and bewitching festival for all ages! Don your fairy wings, pointy ears and elf costumes or just come as you are and smile at the outfits! Expect live music, workshops, a healing zone, magical stalls, food and a fairy dog show (the mind boggles!), all with a magical theme – watch out for the sprinkling of magic fairy dust!
Saturday 8 August 2020: The Ellingham & Ringwood Agricultural Society Annual Show
Expect show jumping, agricultural shows, collections and displays for all ages and interests revealing how locals live the rural life in this beautiful pocket of the south coast. You’ll find plenty of opportunities to purchase handicrafts, home-made produce and, of course, there will be a beer tent and plenty of live music.
Thursday 20 August - Sunday 23 August 2020: Bournemouth Air Festival
The UK's biggest air festival, with four days of action and entertainment in the air, on land and at sea! Award-winning and internationally renowned, the Bournemouth Air Festival has entertained more than 8.5 million people since 2008. And when the sun goes down, live entertainment lights up the skies of the UK’s leading coastal resort with pyrotechnic night flying, street entertainment, awesome live music and military performances. A free to attend event, the Bournemouth Air Festival is so much more than an air show!
Friday 27 - Monday 31 August 2020: Great Dorset Steam Fair
The Great Dorset Steam Fair covers 600 acres and is widely recognised as one the leading heritage shows in the World. Find something for everyone: discover how people lived, worked and played in bygone years, see the heavy horses (a real family favourite!) and the incredible and impressive collections of steam machinery.
Autumn events in the New Forest area
Saturday 5 - Sunday 6 September 2020: Beaulieu International Autojumble
The double-award winning International Autojumble at Beaulieu is the biggest outdoor sale of motoring items this side of the Atlantic. Regarded as the place to locate and purchase even the most elusive motoring parts, accessories, automobilia, literature, tools and clothing. There is something for everyone - and plenty of bargains to be had! Tickets also include entry to the Beaulieu attraction, including the National Motor Museum, Palace House, Beaulieu Abbey and World of Top Gear.
Saturday 12 September 2020: Swim Beaulieu
A new event for the New Forest! Swim the Beaulieu River from Beaulieu to Buckler's Hard, 3.8K on a leaving tide. A great opportunity for wild swimming, triathlon training or just a fun challenge. Friends and family will be able to cheer you on your way from the beautiful river path.
Sunday 13 September 2020: New Forest Marathon
The annual New Forest Marathon is more than just a marathon, with full and half marathons,10k, 5k and junior races, plus a pleasant woodland walk. Expect a children's activity area, live music, F1 car, food and drink, camping and picnic area. The Race Village opens at 6am at New Park Farm Showground, Brockenhurst and there are generally road closures in the area so check the route beforehand if travelling in the area.
Friday 11 - Sunday 20 September 2020: Southampton Boat Show
Britain’s biggest and best festival of boating showcases beautifully designed boats and products from over 600 global marine brands. The finest yachts with the ultimate onboard technology, float comfortably alongside kayaks, paddleboard and sailing dinghies. Whether you're buying or just looking, it is a great day out!
Saturday 12 September 2020: The Romsey Show
One of the oldest and largest one-day shows in England, where town and country meet with the best of British farming, countryside activities and award-winning local produce. Expect displays, demonstrations and lots of fun for all the family.
Saturday 19 - Sunday 27 September 2020: New Forest Film Festival
A move from June to September for this year's celebration of film in the New Forest. The inaugural 2019 festival was a nine-day celebration of all things film, it featured 46 events across 15 venues, including the first ComicCon at Brockenhurst College, a short-film competition, film screenings, workshops, movie theme quizzes and opportunities for film makers to network. Keep an eye on the latest updates including details of the short-film competition.
September 2020: Solent Music Festival
The Solent Music Festival will return to Lymington for a seveth year, with world class classical music performances. The 2019 line up included award-winning choir Tenebrae, The Navarra String Quartet, Sam Hayward in recital, the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. The line up for 2020 will be announced soon.
Sunday 25 September - Sunday 27 September 2020: Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival
Every Autumn, Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival brings intriguing, spectacular and down-right curious arts experiences to Bournemouth, with over 60 events – a spirited mix of some of the best regional, national and international arts across dance, film, music, visual art, literature, theatre and comedy.
October 2020: New Forest Walking Festival
The New Forest Walking Festival boasts dozens of guided walks led by knowledgeable local experts to help you discover more about the history, heritage and wildlife of the Forest. With 80+ behind the scenes family strolls, history hikes, wildlife walks and more led by the New Forest National Park Authority and partner organisations, you'll soon learn more about the National Park and the flora and fauna within it. Dates and information to be confirmed.
Friday 30 - Saturday 31 October 2020: Oktoberfest Southampton
Oktoberfest in Southampton! Expect a Bavarian themed beer marquee in Mayflower Park, live oompah bands and DJs, German beer served in Steins, Bratwurst, Lederhosen and much more!
Saturday 31 October 2020: Beaulieu Fireworks
The annual fireworks display at Beaulieu is one of the largest firework displays in the South, choreographed to music with a range of entertainment for the whole family. Arrive early to enjoy the attractions of Beaulieu, enjoy live entertainment and have fun on old time fairground rides (extra charge applies). More details nearer the time.
Winter and Christmas events in the New Forest area
We will bring you full details of winter and festive events in the New Forest area in the Autumn, including the New Forest Food and Drink Week, Christmas fairs and events - including the Oakhaven Santa Dash and Santa on the Quay!