The south coast is the perfect place to enjoy a summer festival. A number of events take place in Hampshire and Dorset, celebrating everything from food and music to walking and the arts. Our eight parks across these two counties puts you in the perfect spot to head out and enjoy all the fun of your chosen festival. Here are our top picks of summer events to enjoy this year.
Smoked & Uncut, New Forest | 16th June & 14th July
If fantastic food and drink is what you're after, then this festival is for you!
Smoked and Uncut is a popular event offering a blend of high-quality local food, English sparkling wine, local ale and great live music. The first festival takes place at The Pig in Brockenhurst on the 16th June, with another later in summer at Lime Wood Hotel, just outside Lyndhurst, on the 14th July. Not only are these relaxed festivals great for unwinding in the peaceful surroundings of the New Forest, but with names like Razorlight appearing on the line-up, it's bound to be an unmissable event of food and music!
Jazz by the Sea Festival, Bournemouth & Poole | 24th June - 2nd July
With multiple venues in Bournemouth and Poole hosting live performances, Jazz by the Sea Festival makes a welcome return for 2018. Performers will span a broad spectrum of jazz styles with a great mix of local, national and international artists performing.
Swanage Jazz Festival | 13th - 15th July
One of the most anticipated events of the year, Swanage Jazz Festival returns for the summer! If you're a jazz lover, you can't afford to miss out on this festival, which showcases a variety of jazz, from New Orleans to contemporary sounds. Nearly 50 sessions will feature bands from across a spectrum of jazz styles, with lots of leading names and new faces. Plan your weekend by taking a sneak peek at the programme for 2018.
Curious Arts Festival, New Forest | 20th - 22nd July
Taking place at Pylewell Park in the heart of the New Forest, the Curious Arts Festival is an eccentric extravaganza of music, comedy, literature and the arts. With this year's acts boasting the likes of Al Murray and John Newman, plus a range of to unconventional activities to be explored, the event promises to be an experience like no other. There's also an array of some of the finest artisan food stalls and even activities and fun and games especially for children.
Taste of the South, Christchurch | 21st & 22nd July
With local produce, artisans and entertainment, this festival is sure to be a feast for the whole family. Check out some of the fantastic food demonstrations from award-winning local chefs, or simply soak in the atmosphere with a glass of local gin.
Beer and Bluegrass Festival, Poole | 27th & 28th July
Music fans will love the International Beer and Bluegrass Festival in Branksome, with 18 hours of great music from some of the finest bluegrass musicians from the UK and the USA. If that's not enough for you, there's over 35 real ales and ciders to try as you soak up the atmosphere!
Swanage Carnival & Regatta | 28th July - 4th August
With more than 100 events, the whole family can enjoy everything from the magnificent two-mile carnival procession to firework displays, art competitions, talent shows, treasure hunts and jaw-dropping stunt displays.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for local events, as there's always plenty going on. If any of these take your fancy, why not book a getaway in Dorset or the New Forest?