Visit Hamphire
Catergories: ActivitiesEventsthings to do

Mark the end of the month with some May merriment over another lovely long weekend from 25 to 27 May 2024. The flowers of the gardens are in full bloom, it’s the perfect time of year for picnics, and outdoor events run late into the evenings.

The late Spring May Bank Holiday also marks the start of the summer half term for many schools in Hampshire and England with a fun-filled calendar of family events planned at Hampshire’s attractions and venues.

Days Out With Thomas at The Watercress Line

Saturday 25 May – Sunday 2 June 2024

Thomas & Friends will be steaming down to The Watercress Line for the May Bank Holiday and staying for the whole half term holiday. Featuring train rides on everyone’s favourite blue engine along with other characters, there’s also a new Rusty & Dusty outdoor entertainment show with Sir Topham Hatt, Percy, Diesel, and Toad.

Find out more about Days Out With Thomas at The Watercress Line

Make a splash on the new ride at Paultons Park

From Saturday 18 May 2024

Splash Lagoon, a brand-new mini log flume ride, will be splashing into the Lost Kingdom at Paultons Park in May and you could be one of the first to ride it after it opens on 18 May 2024. 

Junior thrill-seekers and explorers will love the Jurassic water boat adventure within the dinosaur-themed Lost Kingdom at Paultons Park. The new mini flume ride will take visitors through gentle rapids to discover new species of dinosaur, ending with a descent into the prehistoric lagoon below.

Find out more about Paultons Park

Simply VW at Beaulieu

Simply VW at Beaulieu

Sunday 26 May 2024

May will see the return of the National Motor Museum’s popular Simply events starting with Simply VW on Sunday 26 May. Owners of VWs are invited to drive into Beaulieu to park up in the National Motor Museum parkland where visitors can see a full fleet of VWs from Beetles to retro campervans.

Find out more about Simply VW at Beaulieu

Mayfest at The Brickworks Museum

Sunday 26 May 2024

Family-friendly fun at the Brickworks Museum returns with Mayfest – a celebration of spring on Sunday 26 May 2024. Featuring a fun dog show, children's activities, Brickworks' machinery under steam, and the miniature railway giving rides around the track.

Find out more about Mayfest at The Brickworks Museum

Mottisfont Rose Garden

Visit a glorious garden

With flowers in full bloom, May is a splendid time to visit one of Hampshire’s gardens. See the famed National Collection of old-fashioned roses coming into flower in Mottisfont’s walled garden near Romsey, a kaleidoscope of colour from the rhododendrons and azaleas at Exbury Gardens in the New Forest, and Pink cherry blossom in the wild garden at The Vyne near Basingstoke.

Lymington Open Gardens 2024 also takes place on Sunday 26 May giving unique access to 13 private gardens and hidden spaces around Lymington.

Find out more about gardens in Hampshire

Walk this May

May is National Walking Month so what better way to celebrate the long weekend than by stepping out on a wonderful walk?

Stroll from Beaulieu to Buckler’s Hard and have a riverside picnic, try the pretty Jane Austen Circular Walk, follow the coast on the Solent Way, or explore the South Downs with the Alton Walking Festival.

Find more walks in Hampshire

Winchester Science Centre

Mysteries & Mayhem at Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium

Saturday 11 May – Monday 3 June 2024

Science spies and curious kids will love a visit to Mysteries & Mayhem at Winchester Science Centre. The Science Spy School live show will uncover the secrets contained in the mystery safe, and young scientists can put their forensic skills to the test in an indoor and outdoor hide-and-seek activity trail.

Find out more about Mysteries & Mayhem at Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium

The Big Eat at Royal Victoria Country Park

Saturday 25 – Monday 27 May 2024

Free and food-filled festival The Big Eat returns to Royal Victoria Country Park for the May Bank Holiday weekend showcasing the best food and drink in Hampshire across three days from 25 – 27 May 2024 with a delicious side dish of entertainment and live music.

Find out more about The Big Eat at Royal Victoria Country Park

Harbar Southampton

Wine or dine al fresco

If the late May Bank Holiday brings some sunny weather it’s a wonderful chance to enjoy some food and drink in the gorgeous outdoors.

The long weekend is the perfect opportunity to enjoy outdoor restaurants, sunny roof terraces, pub gardens, and picnics. Or wine not visit a Hampshire Vineyard?

Al fresco dining: sunny places to eat and drink outdoors in Hampshire

Perfect places for a picnic in Hampshire

The Best Pub and Beer Gardens In Hampshire

Vineyards in Hampshire

Stay for May with a Hampshire break

With an extra day (and night) to the weekend, why not extend your stay and enjoy a short break in Hampshire this May Bank Holiday Weekend.  Choose from family hotels, traditional holiday cottages or if the weather is looking good a camping or glamping adventure. See our guide to accommodation in Hampshire.

See more of what’s on in Hampshire
Spring in Hampshire

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Paultons Theme Park Home of Peppa Pig World
Theme Park
Peppa Pig World at Paultons Park

Paultons is the UK’s Number 1 Family Theme Park — located in Hampshire with over 70 exciting rides and attractions, set within 140 acres of beautiful parkland on the edge of the New Forest National Park.

The Big Eat at Royal Victoria Country Park
The Big Eat at Royal Victoria Country Park

The Big Eat returns for 2024. Filling on from the success of the 2023 event we are holding the 3 day food festival again at the Royal Victoria Country Park. Entry to the event is free ( country park parking fees may apply ). The event will showcase the best food and drink in Hampshire as well as lots of entertainment onsite including life music. The event is non profit and supports a number of local organisations.

Mayfest at The Brickworks Museum
Heritage & History
Mayfest at The Brickworks Museum

Family-friendly fun at the Brickworks Museum returns with Mayfest – a celebration of spring. Featuring our fun dog show (one of the highlights of the year) and children's activities, this is a great day out for all the family. Inside, the Brickworks' machinery will be under steam and our miniature railway will be giving rides around the track. ​​​​​​​Bring the family, bring the dog and join us for our annual early summer celebration.

Simply VW at Beaulieu
Run / Rally
Simply VW at Beaulieu

Owners of VWs are invited to drive into Beaulieu to park up in the National Motor Museum parkland, for a superb day that enthusiasts and owners will love.

Mottisfont Abbey Garden, House and Estate
Historic House / Palace
Mottisfont House

Ancient trees, babbling brooks and rolling lawns frame Mottisfont's 18th-century house with a medieval priory at its heart. There’s space to run, jump and play, and always something for families to do, with activity trails in school holidays and a special family exhibition every summer.

Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway
Countryside, Parks & Gardens
Exbury Gardens in the New Forest

More than 100 years in the making, Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway is a spectacular collection of landscaped woodland, herbaceous, contemporary and formal gardens, in a unique riverside location. Exbury also boasts a narrow-gauge steam railway that travels through the gardens, plus a play area, fantastic restaurant and much more!

The Vyne
Castles & Stately Homes
The Vyne Tudor Mansion, National Trust

The Vyne is a warm red-bricked Tudor mansion built in the 16th century for Lord Sandys, Henry VIII's Lord Chamberlain, which later passed into the hands of the Chute family, who cared for the house and estate for over 300 years. It was remodelled to its present configuration in the mid-17th century.

Lymington Open Gardens 2024
Lymington Open Gardens 2024

Lymington Open Gardens is organised by the Friends of St Barbe Museum and – as well as being a hugely enjoyable event for the whole town to enjoy – is a major fundraiser for the museum. All proceeds help the museum care for and display its unique collection, mount exciting art exhibitions and further the museum's extensive outreach programme – putting the community at the heart of everything we do.

Alton Walking Festival 2024
Alton Walking Festival

Alton is a vibrant Walkers are Welcome Hampshire town which truly has community spirit at its heart. Situated at the source of the River Wey and with a stunning rural backdrop to the gateway of the South Downs National Park, Alton is known by many as 'Jane Austen Country' with its close ties to its charming neighbouring parish of Chawton.

Mysteries & Mayhem at Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium
Childrens Events
Mysteries & Mayhem at Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium

Calling all science spies and curious kids. Find out where your curiosity will take you this May and June with the return of Mysteries & Mayhem at Winchester Science Centre. Between Saturday 11th May and Monday 3rd June, including every day during May half term, there'll be all the usual Science Centre fun, plus even more to excite children aged five to twelve and their families.

Day Out With Thomas at The Watercress Line
Childrens Events
Day Out With Thomas at The Watercress Line

Peep, peep! Join Thomas & Friends for a day of family fun at The Watercress Line. Take a train ride with Thomas, meet some of your favourite characters and join Sodor Station Sweepers Rusty & Dusty for a trainload of excitement!