New Forest
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New Forest
Explorers Guide
Whats on composite image
Pony near Hampton Ridge
For comprehensive information about the New Forest National Park
For comprehensive information about the New Forest National Park

New Forest What's On
July 2018

The New Forest National Park covers a relatively small geographical area, yet residents and visitors have access to an extensive New Forest Whats On programme that features a wide range of events and activities.

Find out about Whats On in the New Forest with the guide below.

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What's On - the July events programme
(single day events first, followed by longer running events)

Sunday, 1st July
  • Brockenhurst Village Hall, The Rhythm - Tea Dance, 2.00pm - 6.00pm. Sunday afternoon tea dances at Brockenhurst Village Hall. A wide range of music to suit different styles of dance with the emphasis on smooth jive and blues. Fun and friendly atmosphere. First Sunday of the month. Plenty of parking and and only a 10 minute walk from the train station. Free water, tea, coffee and cakes. £6 entry fee payable on the door.
Monday, 2nd July
  • Burley Village Hall, Film Night.
Thursday, 5th July
  • Lyndhurst Community Centre, Paraphernalia Fair, 10.00am - 4.00pm.
Saturday, 7th July
  • Lyndhurst Community Centre, Food and Gift Market, 9.00am - 4.00pm.
Sunday, 8th July
  • Lyndhurst Community Centre, Foresta Artisan Fair, 10.00am - 4.00pm.
Wednesday, 11th July
  • Blackwater Sunset Safari - Forestry Commission event, 8.30pm - 10.00pm. Join this 2 mile dusk walk to experience New Forest wildlife as the sun sets. Listen for Nightjars, keep your eyes peeled for bats and watch out for deer. Suitable for people aged 10+, the cost is £10 per person, advanced booking is essential, meet in the Blackwater Car Park, wear suitable outdoor clothing and footwear, and bring insect repellent and a torch. Dogs are allowed.
Sunday, 15th July
  • Lyndhurst Community Centre, Lady Cynthia's Flea Market, 10.00am - 4.00pm.
Wednesday, 18th July
  • Lyndhurst Community Centre, New Forest Art Society, 7.30pm - 9.30pm. Professional artist Graham Oliver will be demonstrating a still life painting in pastels. Members are invited to bring a related themed picture for a mini exhibition. Visitors are always welcome (entry fee £4).
Friday, 20th July
  • Brockenhurst Village Hall, Film Night - Walk Like a Panther (12A), 7.00pm - 10.30pm. The Cinema is in the Forest Hall. The doors open at 7.00pm and the evening programme begins at 7.30pm. After a short film or two and a trailer for the next film, there is an interval when you can chat with friends while enjoying a glass of wine, ice creams, coffee, tea, cake etc. before settling down to watch the main film.
    A group of 1980s wrestlers, The Panthers, is forced to don the Lycra one last time when their local pub is threatened with closure by the manager of the local brewery (Stephen Tomlinson). The Half Nelson is run by Mark Bolton (Stephen Graham) son of wrestler Bulldog (Dave Johns from I, Daniel Blake). The Panthers, including a Jamaican transvestite known as Zulu (Robin Gee) agree to put on a show, hoping to make enough money to pay off the developers. Social media and BT Sport ensure that this last performance receives excellent publicity. But will they be able to save their beloved pub?
    Buy your tickets online via the Village Hall website, from the Village Hall office (Monday - Friday 9.00am - 1.00pm), or from Pot Pouri. Tickets are also available on the door for £6.50.
Wednesday, 25th July
  • Wild Wednesday, New Forest Reptile Centre, 10.30am - 4.00pm. Enjoy a date with nature at the Reptile Centre, with fun activities for the whole family. There will be a quiz trail and making activities for children. Come and see the "live" video of birds on their nests as well as the reptiles and amphibians. You can turn up anytime between 10.30am and 4.00pm, the event is suitable for all ages, there is no charge, booking is not required and dogs are allowed. (Please wear suitable outdoor clothing and footwear.)
  • Exbury Gardens, Photography Workshop, 2.00pm - 3.00pm. Cathryn Baldock, the Head Gardener's Assistant and Category Winner and Finalist at the International Garden Photographer of the Year 2018, will be holding a photography workshop from 2.00pm - 3.00pm on Wednesday 25th July. You will need to bring your own camera.
    The group will explore the Gardens to find lots of summer colour and points of interest, whilst receiving hints, tips and general guidance from Cathy on how to take plenty of high quality photographs.
    This event is included free with standard gardens admission or Friends of Exbury membership, but spaces are limited so please email to confirm your place as these will be booked on a first come first served basis.
Friday, 27th July
  • Lyndhurst Community Centre, Film Night, 7.30pm. Inspired by the ambition and imagination of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman tells the story of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a mesmerising spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.
    The Greatest Showman is a 2017 American musical film directed by Michael Gracey in his directorial debut, written by Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon and starring Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, and Zendaya. The film is inspired by the story of P. T. Barnum's creation of the Barnum and Bailey Circus and the lives of its star attractions.
    Tickets available from the Community Centre, £4.50 for members of the Community Centre and £5.00 for non-members.
Tuesday, 31st July
  • Discover the New Forest, Bolderwood, 2.00pm - 3.30pm. Join a New Forest Ranger on this 3.5 mile guided walk and discover more about the New Forest and what makes it so special. Meet in the Bolderwood car park. This Forestry Commission event is suitable for all ages, there is no charge, booking is not required - you can just turn up, and dogs are allowed. (Please wear suitable outdoor clothing and footwear.)
  • New Forest Centre, Lyndhurst, Family Discovery Day, 10.00am - 4.00pm. The New Forest Centre's Discovery Days run every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the school holidays so why not drop in and have a go at some Forest-related crafts? There's a different theme each week for our crafts and plenty of quizzes, museum trails and colouring activities to keep the whole family busy. Museum entry is free (as is our WIFI) and craft activities are by donation - there's no need to book, just drop in.

Longer running events

Friday, 30th March to Sunday, 2nd September
  • New Forest Reptile Centre, Date with Nature, 10.00am - 4.30pm. Visit the New Forest Date with Nature to find out more about brilliant birds of prey, from mewing buzzards, speedy goshawks and hovering kestrels, and much, much more. There is a large flat screen TV showing live and recorded footage from the nest, and another TV showing a film about other brilliant birds that nest in the New Forest.
    There is also an interactive touchscreen; perfect for children (or even adults) who want to know more about the species that call the New Forest home. The Reptile Centre is also home to every native species of lizard, snake, frog and toad in the UK! Come and meet them - you'll be able to see them all in special reptile 'pods'. If you're lucky you might even arrive for feeding time!
    There are miles of nature trails to explore too, keep your eyes peeled for deer, squirrels, mice and the notorious New Forest ponies as you wander the site, or stop for a picnic near the bird feeders, and marvel at the flashes of colour as tiny birds come searching for treats.
    Entry to this event is free, but donations for parking are welcome.
    (Brought to you by the RSPB with the help of the Forestry Commission and New Forest National Park Authority).
Saturday, 21st April - Sunday, 8th July
  • New Forest Centre, Lyndhurst, Special Exhibition: Ancient and Remarkable Trees of the New Forest, 10.00am - 4.30pm. Discover and appreciate these ancient treasures of the New Forest in this unique exhibition by local photographer David Russell. David moved to the New Forest as a child and, after going to school in Southampton and studying photography at Bournemouth School of Art, has worked as a professional photographer in and around the area ever since.
    'The intention of this exhibition is to encourage the appreciation and respect for these often hidden treasures of the New Forest. They are deeply important for our wellbeing both mentally and physically,' explains David. 'These surviving hulks of living history are now under threat from climate change, disease and development. We need to have an awareness of the fragility of these eco systems that are so vital to us all.'
    The exhibition, which is free, is supported by the New Forest National Park Authority and dedicated to the memory of Senior Policy Officer Nick Evans. 'His enthusiasm and belief in the importance of these ancient woodlands gave me the impetus and encouragement to start this work', says David.
Saturday, 16th June to Sunday, 23rd September
  • St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery, Lymington, Exhibition - Dazzle: Disguise and Disruption in War and Art, 10.00am - 5.00pm (Monday - Saturday), 10.00am - 4.00pm (Sunday). In 1917 U-Boat attacks threatened to knock Britain out of the war. Artist Norman Wilkinson persuaded the Admiralty that the answer lay in patterns painted on the side of ships which would confuse U-Boat commanders as to the vessel's direction and speed. A team of artists were recruited to create these 'Dazzle' designs and soon ships were sailing out looking like exhibits in an avant-garde art show.
    This unique exhibition looks at the development of Dazzle and features original ship models, Dazzle plans and artworks made to record and celebrate the scheme. The exhibition includes works by Norman Wilkinson, Edward Wadsworth, Montague Dawson, John Everett and many more on loan from the national, regional and private collections.
    This is the only exhibition on the topic being mounted during the First World War Centenary commemorations.
    Museum and Gallery admission prices:
    With gift aid - Adult £6, Concession £5, Family (two adults and up to four children) £12, Child (under 16) £3, Under 5s free. National Art Pass holders free. Without gift aid - Adult £5.45, Concession £4.45, Family £10.90, Child £2.70.
Thursday, 12th July to Saturday, 14th July
  • Burley Village Hall, The Burley Players Summer Play.
Saturday, 14th July to Saturday, 8th September
  • New Forest Centre, Lyndhurst, New Forest Open Art Exhibition, 9.30am - 4.30pm. Showcasing the best of the creative New Forest, the Open Art Exhibition returns for a 6th year. Run in partnership with the National Park Authority and sponsored by ExxonMobil, this free exhibition is open daily throughout the Summer and even gives you the opportunity to vote for your favourite piece of artwork.
    Hilary Marshall, New Forest Centre Manager, said: 'The annual Open Art competition Exxon Logois a firm favourite with visitors and local artists alike, showcasing the great artistic talent within the Forest. The standard and diversity of artwork entered is increasing year on year and I am sure our competition judges will have a hard task ahead of them. We are delighted to be working with both the New Forest National Park Authority and ExxonMobil at the Fawley Refinery again to help support and encourage work within the creative community.'
Saturday, 21st July to Monday, 3rd September
  • Forestry Commission Discovery Trail at Bolderwood, 10.30am - 3.30pm. Experience the seasons of the forest, on this Forestry Commission discovery trail, a 1 mile self-guided trail that will take you through the woods with activities and challenges for all the family along the way. You can start the trail anytime between 10.30am and 3.30pm, it is suitable for all ages and is a free event although there may be a small charge for the additional activity pack. Meet in Bolderwood car park and wear suitable outdoor clothing and footwear. Booking is not required and dogs are allowed.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 19th to 21st July
  • Lyndhurst Drama and Musical Society, Vernon Theatre, Lyndhurst, 7.45pm. Noel Coward's light-hearted comedy 'Present Laughter' is the choice for this summer's production at the Vernon Theatre. This promises to be a sparkling production with a cast of well-known faces. Tickets are available from the Community Centre office.
Saturday, 21st July to Sunday, 23rd September
  • Exbury Gardens, Look Twice Artists Exhibition, 10.00am - 5.30pm. The Look Twice Artists are a group of local individuals who come together in the beautiful setting of Exbury Gardens to present their diverse range of work, which includes a variety of mediums from oil and acrylic paintings to glass work. Original artworks as well as prints and greetings cards will be available to purchase. The exhibition is in the Five Arrows Gallery and entrance is included with gardens admission.
    The artists include Hillary Bell, Christine Jones, Pat Hatchley, Sheila Reeves, Courtney Leggett, Marcia Hull, Jean Lock, Colin Lewis, Kate Thelwell, Margaret Wood and Jan Appleyard.
    Do come and have a look, there is literally something for everyone!
    For more information, please call 02380 891203 or email
Tuesday, 24th July to Thursday, 26th July
  • New Forest and Hampshire County Show, New Park, Brockenhurst. Taking place in Brockenhurst in the heart of the National Park, the New Forest Show offers visitors 30 acres of showground for the whole family to explore. 2018 marks the 98th year since the establishment of the New Forest Agricultural Show Society who organise the New Forest Show. The event takes place annually at the end of July and is now rated among the top ten agricultural shows in the country.
Sundays - 29th July and 5th, 12th and 19th August
  • Exbury Gardens, Summertime Family Fun. Discover a whole world of fun and adventure this summer in beautiful Exbury Gardens. Visit on the 29th July or 5th, 12th, and 19th August to take part in fun events that have been organised for you and your family. From storytelling and teddy bear trails to bug hunting, scavenger hunts and free adventure trails, there's plenty for you to get stuck in to and enjoy whilst exploring the gardens. You can also feed the fish, hop on the train, picnic by the Beaulieu River and enjoy an ice-cream or tea and cake in Mr Eddy's Restaurant and Café. Under 3's are free, and baby changing facilities, high chairs and a children's menu are all available.
    Storytelling and Teddy Bear Trails - 10.30-11.30am I 12.00-1.00pm I 1.30-2.30pm I 3.00-4.00pm. Bring your teddy bear on the day and join in our interactive Teddy Bear Trails led by our guides, enjoying stories, songs, games and teddy bear puppet fun along the way. Then gather round in the shade as we open the magic book of stories to create new worlds, characters and exciting adventures together, all using the power of your imagination. No pre-booking is required, but as there is a maximum group size for each time slot we recommend arriving in good time to avoid disappointment.
    Bug-hunting - Become an Exbury Bug Explorer and see what wildlife you can find with our amazing bug-hunting kits (£2.50 each). Each kit includes a drawstring bag containing a pencil and activity trail, special bug tweezers, a bug sticker, and a small bug hunter pot to have a closer look at what you've found in the gardens. Bug-hunting kits are available on all of our Summer Family Fun Days.
    Adventure Trails - Explore the gardens at your leisure with one of our FREE Adventure trails. Fill-in the crossword, answer questions and complete the activities to become the ultimate Exbury Explorer. Adventure Trails are available every day of the summer holidays from Exbury's Visitor Entrance.
    Scavenger Hunt - What can you find in the gardens? Pick up a Scavenger Hunt bag FREE from the Visitor Entrance and explore high and low to collect items including twigs, leaves, petals and more. Take these items home with you to have a go at creating some wild art. You can then upload a photo of your creation using the #exburywildart hashtag which we can share to our wonderful followers on social media. Scavenger Hunt bags are available every day of the summer holidays from Exbury's Visitor Entrance.
Monday, 30th July to Sunday, 5th August
  • Burley Village Hall, Craft Fayre Week.
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** New Forest ponies **
New Forest ponies in the road
Ponies, cattle, pigs, sheep and donkeys are a popular part of the New Forest scene, but during the first six months of 2018, 36 animals were killed or injured on Forest roads, compared with 26 in the same period in 2017, a shocking rise of 38%.
** Always take care when driving **
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley