26 Hampshire dates for your 2018 diary

PUBLISHED: 15:11 08 January 2018 | UPDATED: 11:42 22 February 2018

Southampton Boat Show (Photo: onEdition)

Southampton Boat Show (Photo: onEdition)


Got an empty calendar waiting to be filled? Whether you’re a culture vulture, a foodie or enjoy the great outdoors, Viv Micklefield handpicks 26 of Hampshire’s highlights


• May the Toys Be With You, Basingstoke

Beam-up to the Top of the Town’s Willis Museum to rediscover X-wing Starfighters, lightsabers and much more. 40 years on from the release of the first Star Wars film, this collection of vintage intergalactic toys and original cinema posters will delight little and big kids alike. Entry is free. Exhibiting until January 6. hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk/willis-museum.

• Tylney Hall Highland Afternoon Tea

Embrace the immortal memory of Robbie Burns throughout the week of Thursday 25th January with a four-star Afternoon Tea featuring a Scottish twist! Tuck into haggis sausage rolls, whisky potted chocolate and cranachan, all served beside a roaring log fire. From £28.50, call 01256 764881 for reservations.


• Petersfield Antiques Fair

An annual fair that’s a collector’s delight. And with prices starting from around £20 it won’t break the bank. Jewellery lovers can expect to be bedazzled, with Art Deco furniture and fine art amongst the other highlights. Open daily 10:30am-5pm, Friday 2 to Sunday 4, admission is £5. www.penman-fairs.co.uk.

• Portsmouth Bookfest

As a former home to Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and HG Wells, Portsmouth’s literary heritage is honoured with the arrival of a host of contemporary authors. Organised by Portsmouth City Library Service and The Hayling Island Bookshop, the box office opens on 8 January. Monday 12 February to Sunday 4 March. www.portsmouthbookfest.co.uk.


• Petersfield Music Festival

This year’s packed celebration of music-making even includes a cabaret night starring Kit Hesketh-Harvey, veteran of Radio 4’s ‘Just a Minute’. Elsewhere, local singers and instrumentalists of all ages share the platform with top professional musicians. The full programme is at www.petersfieldmusicalfestival.org.uk. From Friday 9 to Saturday 17.

• Easter Fun

Family entertainment is promised at local National Trust properties across the county including Mottisfont, Hinton Ampner and The Vyne during the Easter holidays. See www.nationaltrust.org.uk/days-out/regionlondonsoutheast/hampshire for full details.


• Fort Nelson, Poppies: Wave

As WW1 commemorations conclude, the breath-taking poppy sculpture ‘Wave’, will rise from the ramparts. Part of the Tower of London installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, it’s a sight not to be missed. Running from Friday 13 April to Sunday 24 June. royalarmouries.org/visit-us/fort-nelson.

• Winchester Fashion Week

Now in its 8th year, Winchester Fashion Week is packed full of events and masterclasses in a glittering celebration of fashion and style, topped-off by a Grand Finale Catwalk Show and Fashion Fair. Check out the Facebook page for upcoming details. From Monday 16 to Saturday 21.

• Southampton Marathon

Lace-up, a new route for 2018 starts and finishes in the city centre on Sunday 22, taking-in Bargate, St Mary’s Stadium and the iconic Itchen Bridge. Suited to both seasoned pros and debutants at the distance, there’s also a half marathon, 10k race and fun run. Sign-up now at www.abpsouthamptonhalf.co.uk.


• Beaulieu Spring Autojumble

This prelude to September’s international autojumble, has something for parts hunters, and for the serious petrol head. With a Land Rover Rummage and walkabout auction also on Sunday, both days open at 10am and Beaulieu’s attractions are included in the ticket price. Over the weekend of Saturday 19 and Sunday 20. www.beaulieu.co.uk/events.

• Alresford Watercress Festival

Visitors come from far and wide to join in the festivities on Sunday 20, and to sample the new season’s crop at this annual street extravaganza, featuring stalls, demos and a cavalcade in celebration of all things watercress. www.watercressfestival.org.

• Fleet Food Festival

Arrive with an empty stomach on Sunday 27 because north Hampshire’s largest event of its kind invites visitors to embark on an epicurean journey packed with regional specialities and masterclasses. www.fleetfoodfestival.co.uk.


• Grange Festival

Musical directors Michael Chance and Robert Howarth join forces to present Handel’s Agrippina which is sung in Italian and accompanied by The Academy of Ancient Music. On from Friday 8 June to Thursday 7 July. Other highlights include The Barber of Seville and Candide. Booking opens 18 February. thegrangefestival.co.uk.

• Stansted House Rowlands Castle, The Garden Show

Get all your summer garden needs sorted in one place plus specialist plants, accessories, sculpture, art and fabulous food. Horticultural experts will be on hand with top tips. From Friday 8 to Sunday 10, open daily 10am-5pm. Adults £9, family tickets, £22. www.thegardenshowonline.com/gardenshow_stansted.

• Isle of Wight Festival

2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the first Music Festival on the Isle of Wight. Peaking with an estimated 600,000 who watched Jimi Hendrix in 1970, this year’s festival takes place between 21 and 24 June. For tickets visit isleofwightfestival.com.


• Farnborough International Airshow

Farnborough’s long aviation heritage meets cutting-edge technology in an electrifying mix of aerobatic display teams, wing walking, fast jets, military giants, civil airliners and historic aircraft on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22. Under 16s go free, with all ticket info at www.farnboroughairshow.com.

• Vineyards of Hampshire Wine Festival

Hosted this year by Raimes Vineyard, Hinton Ampner on Sunday 22, sample sparkling and still wines from eight Hampshire vineyards, as well as a chance to meet the winemakers, match food with wine, and vineyard tours. Tickets £12, workshops £5. www.vineyardsofhampshire.co.uk.

• New Forest and Hampshire County Show

The 98th Show returns to the New Forest Showground, Brockenhurst on Tuesday 24 to Thursday 26 for three days of agricultural fun and entertainment for all the family. Open daily between 8.30am and 6.30pm. www.newforestshow.co.uk.


• Ventnor Fringe Festival

Chill at the Isle of Wight’s multi-award winning arts festival. It features over 300 artists in a wonderland of pop up bars and boutique venues. From Wednesday 8 to Monday 13. vfringe.ventnorexchange.co.uk.

• Overton Carfest

This family friendly mix of fast cars, live music and tasty food revs-up at Jody Scheckter’s Laverstoke Farm from Friday 24 to Sunday 26, with money raised supporting BBC Children In Need. www.carfest.org/welcome/welcome-to-carfest-south.


• Southampton Boatshow

Hoist the main sail, power-up the engine, Mayflower Park is the venue as Boat Show fever returns to the city from Friday 14 to Sunday 23. Offering visitors a wonderful day out among some of the world’s finest yachts and most exciting boats. Open 10am-6pm. Advance tickets can be purchased at southamptonboatshow.com.


• New Forest Walking Festival

With wildlife walks, history hikes, family adventures and accessible walks all on offer, everyone can soak-up the stunning autumn colours. And if you arrive by bus, train, bike, or on foot, special discounts apply. For the latest details and exact dates visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/walkingfestival.

• Beaulieu Fireworks Spectacular

One of the biggest firework displays in the south is choreographed to music offering a great spectacle for the whole family on Saturday 27. With other entertainment running alongside, arrive early and all of Beaulieu’s attractions can be enjoyed too. www.beaulieu.co.uk/events.


• Winchester Ice Rink

Kick-start the festive season early with a visit to the city’s all-weather rink in the shadow of the Cathedral. It’s a magical playground for adults and children alike and ideal for burning-off a few calories or just for a giggle. Open from Monday 19 November to Sunday 6 January 2019. Opening times and ticket prices are at www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk.

• Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Victorian Festival of Christmas

Travel back in time as snowy Dickensian streets recreate a bygone era. Flanked by stalls packed with goodies, traditional Victorian street performers and musicians invite you to join-in a seasonal sing-a-long. Running from Friday 30 November to Sunday 2 December. The weekend’s full programme of events can be found at www.historicdockyard.co.uk.

• New Forest Christmas Fair

A traditional family day out that’s chock-full of local produce and gifts guaranteed to bring on the Christmas spirit. From cakes and bakes to soaps and scarves, the region’s artisan makers are showcased. Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 December. Open 10am-4pm, The New Forest Christmas Fair Facebook page has all the latest info.

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