What’s on

Our guide to What’s on in Hampshire (annual events).

March 2020 update – Please be aware that due to coronavirus, some of these events will not be taking place.

If there is an annual event you think should be listed please let us know by contacting us with details.


Hampshire Potato Day, Whitchurch. Around 150 varieties of seed potato, advice from an RHS gold medal winning grower, talks on potato growing, cookery demonstrations and children’s activities. www.potatoday.org


Icebreaker Festival, Southsea. Local music festival celebrating the best & upcoming talent www.icebreakerfestival.com

Various pancake races held across the county on Shrove Tuesday.

Snowdrops at Mottisfont  A white carpet of of snowdrop Golanthus nivalis covers the lawn of this ancient priory. Mottisfont Abbey, Mottisfont, Romsey, SO51 0LP, 01794 340757

Snowdrops at The Vyne. Snowdrop line the trails from the car park to the Walled Garden. They can also be found in the Wild Garden, amongst the yellow aconites. The gardens are open for special snowdrop viewings. The Vyne, Sherborne St John, Basingstoke RG24 9HL,01256 883858.

Winchester Cocktail Week, Winchester. A celebration of cocktails. www.winchestercocktailweek.co.uk

Portsmouth Book Fest, Portsmouth. Portsmouth has a strong literary heritage including Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and HG Wells and Portsmouth BookFest continues that tradition, attracting diverse audiences to exciting events featuring popular and accessible authors. www.portsmouthbookfest.co.uk


Winchester Real Ale and Cider Festival. Winchester Guildhall, High Street. The festival is organised by volunteers of the South Hants branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and features 75+ different real ales, ciders, perries and foreign bottled beers. www.winchesterbeerfestival.org.uk

Petersfield Music Festival, Petersfield. For over a century this festival has promoted music in and around Petersfield, from singers to instrumentalists of all ages. www.petersfieldmusicfestival.org.uk

Primrose and Camellia Walks, Exbury Gardens. A special walking trail will guide visitors to see the best primrose displays, and also showcase Exbury’s award-winning Camellia’s on the Old and New Camellia Walks. Late March to April.


Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants Annual Charity Open Day in aid of Naomi House & Jacksplace’s Caterpillar Appeal.

Hamble Point Boat Show, Hamble Point Marina. Free. Hundreds of new and used boats for sale (be dayboats, sportsboats and RIBs, as well as larger sail and power boats) , practical workshops in association with the RYA, and family entertainment including events such as kayak polo. www.hamblepointboatshow.co.uk.

Beaulieu BoatJumble. Boatjumble boasts hundreds of stalls and stands selling new and used kit, clothes and craft. www.beaulieu.co.uk

Winchester Fashion Week www.winchesterfashionweek.com

Bluebells at Exbury – From late April until mid-May Exbury’s woodland floors are carpeted with English bluebells


Bluebell walks – Crab Wood, Farley Mount Country Park (Winchester), Micheldever Wood (Winchester), Otterbourne Park Wood (Eastleigh), Upper Barn & Crowdhill Copse (Eastleigh).

Chelsea Flower Show – Hampshire Horticulturalists exhibit at the world famous flower show

Basingstoke Festival of Transport. Huge range of vehicles on static display at The War Memorial Park. 

BTCC at Thruxton. British Touring Cars. www.thruxtonracing.co.uk. Photos of BTCC at Thruxton

The Hampshire Country Fair, Netley Marsh Showground, Meadowmead Farm, Netley Marsh, Hampshire, SO40 7GY. Living Heritage’s longest running country fair. 01283 820548 info@livingheritagecountryshows.co.uk

Alresford Watercress Festival. The entire centre of New Alresford becomes a huge street festival, with a large food market showcasing the very best local producers have to offer. Award-winning and well known local chefs share their passion for watercress during cookery demonstrations throughout the day. www.watercressfestival.org.

Mayfest. A vibrant mix of music, song and dance in the streets, pubs and concert venues of Winchester with folk, jazz, blues and roots music, colourful dance displays and children’s events. Many events are free and take place in the High Street, the Square, on Cathedral Green and in some of Winchester’s favourite watering holes. www.winchestermayfest.co.uk.

Portsmouth Summer Fair and Picnic, Victoria Park. Free fun for all the family. www.portsmouthsummerfair.org

Common People, Southampton. Takes place on May Bank Holiday at the beautifully leafy Southampton Common in the heart of Southampton city centre. southampton.commonpeople.net


The Sorting Office Summer Open Studios, Eastleigh – annual Summer Open Studios event. A chance for visitors to browse the vibrant studio spaces and buy an exquisite array of wares, expertly hand-crafted by local designer-makers. The studios’ resident designer-makers will be on hand to welcome visitors, talk about their crafts and show off their work. A selection of local artists and makers will also be setting up shop in the studios’ Production House for the event’s popular Maker’s Fair, whilst a number of artisanal food and coffee stalls outside on the forecourt will provide refreshments.

Basingstoke Kite Festival brings an array of colour to the sky above Down Grange. www.basingstoke.gov.uk/kite-festival

Alresford Music Festival. www.alresfordmusicfestival.com.

Blissfields Festival. Vicarage Farm, Woodmancott. www.blissfields.co.uk.

Hampshire Food Festival. Events held across the county all month. Farm tours, local food-themed festival menus and celebration dinners, hands-on cookery, chocolate and jam-making workshops, butchery master classes, brewery tours, vineyard tours and wine tasting, cookery demonstrations, barbecues, ox roast and barn dance, vegetable carving workshops, orchard walk and juice tasting, maize maze, lavender farm walks, lavender chocolate-making and lavender teas, amateur chef competition, bakery and fish filleting demonstrations, farmers’ markets and more. www.hampshirefare.co.uk

Field to Fork Festival. Laverstoke Park. Food festival incorporating the British BBQ Championship Final. foodie workshops. Meet small, speciality food producers at the Sainsbury’s regional suppliers area, take a tractor-trailer tour of the farm, go on a woodland walk through the ancient woodlands, see sheepdog demonstrations and meet the pigs, sheep, chickens and buffalos. www.fieldtoforkfestival.co.uk

Fleet & District Carnival, Calthorpe Park. www.fleetcarnival.org.

Power in the Park, Southampton Common

Southampton Beer Festival – over 90 real ales plus real ciders, real perries and UK & foreign bottled beers www.southamptonbeerfestival.org.uk

Alton Beer Festival, Alton. Hampshire’s breweries come out to show off their latest tipples for charity. Expect Beer, cider, wine, food and music. www.altonbeerfestval.co.uk

Basingstoke Kite Festival, Down Grange Sports Complex, Pack Lane, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG22 5SN

Southampton Kite Festival, Lordshill Sports Ground, 5 Acre Field, Lordshill, Southampton

New Forest BioBlitz, Roydon Woods

Alton & Chawton Regency Week. Celebrating the time Jane Austen spent in Alton & Chawton.A week of events taking place in Alton and Chawton, including singing, drama, music, tours, talks, Regency Day and Victorian Cricket. Last full week of June www.janeaustenregencyweek.co.uk


Just over the border in West Sussex the world famous Goodwood Festival of Speed brings together a mix of Motorsport and many famous faces – 4th-7th July 2019

Winchester Hat Fair. The UK’s longest running festival of the outdoor arts. DJs, dancing, art installations and processions. www.hatfair.co.uk

Winchester Festival. Music, talks, drama and visual arts

Cancer Research UK Race for Life, Southampton Common 

Cancer Research UK Race for Life, Southsea Common, Portsmouth

Farnborough International Air Show. The biggest event of its kind in the world. Meet the pilots and talk to ground crew as you walk through static displays and get up close to an unrivalled gathering of aircraft and ground-breaking aviation technology. Take your place on the edge of the runway and hold-tight for a thrilling 4-hour display of aerobatics, vintage flying greats and some of the fastest aircraft in the sky. www.farnborough.com/public-welcome.

Andover Carnival. Road procession, a wide variety of music by local and national artists, fairground, beer tent, food and drink outlets. www.andovercarnival.org.

Basingstoke Festival. Created in 2012 to showcase the wealth of talent and community spirit in the borough. www.basingstokefestival.co.uk

Wantage to Winchester Cycle Ride celebrating King Alfred. It starts at the statue in Wantage, his birthplace and ends near Alfred’s final resting place in Hyde Abbey www.ridew2w.co.uk

The New Forest and Hampshire County Show. Annual agricultural show held for three days at the end of July at New Park, Brockenhurst . Family day out with much to do, learn and see. The show attracts, on average, 95,000 visitors every year and brings together a celebration of traditional country pursuits, crafts, produce and entertainment. www.newforestshow.co.uk

Hampshire Wood Fair, Queen Elizabeth Country Park. Family day out with woodland crafts and conservation.

The Alton and North East Agricultural Show, Froyle Park.  4-ring horse show, rural crafts, food marquee and more. www.altonshow.co.uk.

Petersfield Shakespeare Festival


British Superbikes at Thruxton. Watch the riders racing at almost 200mph.

Victorious Fest. Bank Holiday weekend. Held on and around Castle Field in Southsea. www.victoriousfestival.co.uk

Portsmouth International Kite Festival, Southsea Common.  Free. One of the biggest events of its kind in the world. www.portsmouthkitefestival.org.uk.

Boomtown Fair ,Matterley Estate, Alresford Rd, Winchester. BoomTown started in 2009 and is one of the UK’s wildest and most inspiring independent festivals. 9 themed districts with ska, reggae, folk, world, hip-hop, drum n bass, jungle, garage www.boomtownfair.co.uk

Trout ‘n About food festival. Stockbridge High Street.

Winchester Cheese and Chilli Festival. Two day family food festival. Wide range of produce and experts. cheeseandchillifestival.com

CarFest South – Cars, music and amazing food from host venue Laverstoke Park

New Forest Fairy Festival, Burley newforestfairyfestival.com


Eastleigh Film Festival – started in 2014. www.eastleighfilmfestival.com

The Goodwood Revival. Take a step back in time at this fantastic circuit just over the border in West Sussex.

Portsmouth Shopping Festival. Started in 2014 to celebrate the convenience and diversity of the city’s shopping offer,from boutique, antique and High Street to designer. Shopping discounts, street markets and free live entertainment

Southampton Boat Show. A celebration of all things boating, it provides real experiences both on and off the water and a fun-filled day out for the whole family.

The Romsey Agricultural and Horse Show, Broadlands. Held annually since 1842. Farmers show cattle and sheep and compete to win the livestock classes. Also, equine events, falconry, gun dog training and hound parade. www.romseyshow.co.uk.

British Food Fortnight, Emsworth. Food-related activities in and around Emsworth. www.emsworth.org.uk


Winchester Poetry Festival started in 2014. The event is bi-ennial and held at Winchester Discovery Centre, Jewry St, Winchester SO23 8SB. A three-day celebration of inspiring poetry with readings, discussion and workshops and many award-winning poets and rising stars.  Includes events for children. Many events free. www.winchesterpoetryfestival.org

Great South Run, Portsmouth. 10-mile running event taking in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Spinnaker Tower and views of the Isle of Wight. www.greatrun.org/great-south-run

OctoberFest, Basingstoke. Organised by Wessex Heritage Trust at Basingstoke Cricket and Sports Ground. Around 180 beers, ciders and wines from the region. Bands and musicians, arts, crafts, puppetry, storytelling and theatre. www.hampshireoctoberfest.co.uk

King Alfred Weekend

Various Halloween events around the county


Firework displays throughout the county.

Portsmouth fireworks display at King George V playing fields. Includes bonfire.

Sorting Office Winter Open Studios, Eastleigh. The event is a chance for members of the public to see behind the doors of the resident designer-maker studios, and shop for local handmade gifts and artworks. Teas, coffees and mulled wine are also provided for visitors. sorting-office.co.uk


Various Christmas light switch-on’s held across the county.

Artful Christmas Weekend, Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Romsey. The event brings together a selection of talented artists and makers with a range of high quality arts and crafts in the beautiful setting of the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens Visitor Centre. Free entry. www.artfulevents.co.uk

Southampton Christmas Festival and Market. Traditional German market with 40 alpine chalets offering everything from bratwurst and waffles to gingerbread hearts.  Flying Santa over the city centre daily.