Visit Hamphire
Catergories: ActivitiesEventsthings to do

We do love an extra-long weekend – especially in the spring!  The May Day Holiday falls on Monday 2 May this year giving a whole extra day of fun to enjoy in Hampshire on the Bank Holiday weekend from 30 April to 2 May.

There are some fabulous events taking place across the county over the weekend, as well as fun-filled attractions and the great outdoors to explore into those long evenings.

Read our guide for some springspiration on how to spend your Early May Bank Holiday in Hampshire.


Be immersed in spring gardens

The BBC Gardeners' World Spring Fair will be taking place in the stunning grounds of Beaulieu this May Bank Holiday weekend from 29 April - 1 May.

Gardeners will revel in the horticultural displays and green-fingered festivities of the Spring Fair which also includes the BBC Good Food Market and live entertainment.

A ticket to BBC Gardeners' World Spring Fair includes admission to the Beaulieu attraction including the National Motor Museum, the new Bond in Motion - No Time To Die exhibition, Palace House, Little Beaulieu, The World of Top Gear, Beaulieu Abbey and its wonderful grounds and gardens.

For more stunning spring gardens, Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway and Sir Harold Hillier Gardens will also be blooming and beautiful over the weekend.

Step back in time with a heritage day out

Hop aboard the Watercress Line for the Spring Steam Gala from 29 April - 2 May. The heritage steam railway makes for a magical day out and the chance to travel back in time journeying on one of the lovingly restored locomotives and carriages. Explore the Watercress Line's heritage stations along the 10-mile countryside line between Alresford and Alton, get up close to some of the locomotives, find out more about the restoration projects and enjoy talks and various exhibits.

For more heritage days out in Hampshire try the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Jane Austen’s House, and Buckler’s Hard.

Winchester Science Centre

Spring forth into science and space

Winchester Science Centre is celebrating 20 years of wow moments this year and its Planet Protectors explosive science meets fashion live show is running on weekends until 8 May.  

Join the Planet Protectors, Winchester Science Centre's team of noughties eco-fashion warriors. Explore the carbon cycle of clothes. Discover why green is the new black when it comes to fabric dying and delve into the world of alternative fuels.  Don’t forget to enjoy the Science Centre’s interactive exhibits while you’re there and take a trip to outer space at the Planetarium.

Brickosaurs at Marwell

Have a roarsome animal encounter

Marwell Zoo has unveiled a world-first event featuring an all-new collection of 55 dinosaur sculptures. BRICKOSAURS! Evolution showcases over 20 species made using more than 2 million toy bricks and will leave you in awe as you embark on an immersive adventure through the zoo.

BRICKOSAURS! Evolution will be on display until September and is included with general admission to the zoo where you can get up close to hundreds of animals from giraffes to tigers and meerkats to penguins.

For more animal encounters over the Bank Holiday weekend try Finkley Down Farm, Longdown Activity Farm, Manor Farm,  New Forest Wildlife Park, and the Hawk Conservancy Trust.

Bombay Sapphire Distillery

Mix things up a bit

If you haven’t yet visited the stunning Bombay Sapphire Distillery in Hampshire, this Bank Holiday weekend could be the perfect opportunity.  Depart on a journey to become a gin connoisseur with The Discovery Experience: explore the ten exotic botanicals that infuse the unique flavour of Bombay Sapphire in the Glasshouses, concoct your personally preferred flavours in the Botanical Dry Room and discover the rich history of both Laverstoke Mill and Bombay Sapphire within the Heritage Room and Gallery. Choose The Cocktail Experience to learn the tricks of the bar trade in an interactive masterclass where mixology meets cocktail curation and creation.

For more delicious days out in Hampshire wine not visit one of the county’s vineyards or sample a tasty cookery school.

Sunset Canoe on Beaulieu River

Splash into a sunset paddle

With longer evenings on the horizon, New Forest Activities is resuming its sunset paddling tours of the Beaulieu River from May.

Chase the warm glow of the sun’s last rays of the day as they settle on the river’s calm waters. Watch the wildlife of the Beaulieu River wildlife come alive in the evening and discover hidden spots with your expert guide.

For more water activities over the Bank Holiday weekend try Calshot Activities Centre, the New Forest Water Park, or Stand-up Paddleboarding along the county’s rivers or coastline. 

Fabulous food and drink

With the chance of al fresco eating and a whole new season of produce to enjoy, the bank holiday weekend is the perfect time to go out and explore the fantastic food and drink Hampshire has to offer.

From award-winning restaurants with celebrity chefs and Michelin stars, to tempting cafes and Farmers’ markets brimming with local produce, discover the tastiest places to eat and drink in Hampshire.

Bank Holiday Events in Hampshire 2022

For more inspiration on events over the bank holiday weekend search our events listings.

Other top events for the bank holiday weekend in Hampshire:

May Bank Holiday accommodation in Hampshire

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.

Making plans for the next Bank Holiday weekend? Find out what’s happening in Hampshire for the Platinum Jubilee Weekend.


BBC Gardeners' World Fair Spring at Beaulieu
Fete / Fair
BBC Gardeners' World Fair Spring at Beaulieu

BBC Gardeners' World Spring Fair will be taking place in the stunning grounds of Beaulieu from Friday 29 April to Sunday 1 May. What better way to inspire your gardening this Spring.

Beaulieu, Home of the National Motor Museum
National Motor Museum at Bealieu

Beaulieu featuring the world famous National Motor Museum, Palace House home of the Montagu family and Abbey Ruins containing an exhibition of monastic life.

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

Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway is currently closed for winter maintenance. We look forward to welcoming you back from 1st March 2021.

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens
Sir Harold Hillier Gardens

The magnificent Sir Harold Hillier Gardens is world famous for its arboretum and gardens – set over 180 acres of rolling Hampshire countryside; this garden is stunning whatever the season.

Mid-Hants Railway 'Watercress Line'
Steam Railway
Autumn on the Watercress Line

Experience the golden age of steam on the Mid Hants Railway 'Watercress Line'! Whether you are taking a trip down memory lane or making new ones, sit back, relax and travel through the heart of quintessential English countryside by steam train, looking towards stunning views of the South Downs National Park.

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
Historic Ship
Children and HMS Victory at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is the UK’s premier destination for naval history. It's a must-see for anyone visiting the South of England. A visit to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard takes you on a journey through time, allowing you to step on board world-famous ships.

Jane Austen's House
Historic House / Palace
Jane Austen's House in Chawton

Today visitors can step back in time to 1816 and follow in Jane’s footsteps, exploring the home and garden that Jane knew and loved, uncovering the story of her life and times, and getting up-close to objects from the museum’s unparalleled Austen collection, including Jane’s letters, jewellery and the little table at which she wrote her much loved novels.

Buckler's Hard
Buckler's Hard

Escape to the beauty spot of Buckler’s Hard, where history and stunning scenery come together for an unforgettable trip out in the New Forest countryside. Once a bustling shipbuilding village where ships for Nelson’s Navy were built, the charming village of Buckler’s Hard now a peaceful haven. Relax with a cuppa and a slice of cake, take a ramble beside the Beaulieu River, or delve into the village’s history in the Maritime Museum.

Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium
Science Centre
Boy in Space Suit at Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium

Are you ready for an action-packed family adventure? Set off on an exciting journey through the world of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) at Winchester Science Centre.

Planet Protectors at Winchester Science Centre
Childrens Events
Planet Protectors at Winchester Science Centre

In 2022 Winchester Science Centre is celebrating 20 years of wow moments. Take a trip down memory lane and enjoy some of the Centre's best show themes and demos from the past 20 years – all with a retro 2002 twist. Next stop - climate and environment.

Marwell Zoo
Animal Collection / Zoo
Marwell's Zebras

Marwell zoo is home to hundreds of exotic and endangered animals all within a beautiful, landscaped 140-acre park. Take a stroll around the outdoor attraction with friends and family and enjoy the fresh air while spotting their animal stars which include – Rothchild’s giraffes, white rhinos, Amur tigers, Humboldt penguins, red pandas, snow leopards and all three species of zebra (to name a few)!

BRICKOSAURS! Evolution at Marwell Zoo
Childrens Events
BRICKOSAURS! Evolution at Marwell Zoo

Marwell Zoo is unveiling a world-first event featuring an all-new collection of 55 dinosaur sculptures this Spring. BRICKOSAURS! Evolution showcases over 20 species made using more than 2 million toy bricks and will leave you in awe as you embark on an immersive adventure through the zoo.

Finkley Down Farm
Finkley Down Farm

Finkley Down Farm is the place to go! There is always so much to see and do. You can join in with the activities scheduled throughout the day; cuddle a rabbit, or groom a pony; you'll scarcely have time to play on the adventure playground.

Longdown Activity Farm
Longdown Activity Farm

Longdown Activity Farm is a fantastic day out for everyone. A daily schedule of farming activities includes kid goat and calf bottle-feeding, duck feeding, and meeting small animals such as baby chicks, rabbits and guinea pigs during the Animal Encounter Experience. There are lots of other farm animals to see too.

Manor Farm
Manor Farm Animal Feeding

Enjoy a great family day out at Manor Farm. Meet friendly farm animals as you stroll around a beautiful traditional farm.

The New Forest Wildlife Park
Animal Collection / Zoo
The New Forest Wildlife Park

Visit the New Forest Wildlife Park and meet Victor the red deer stag, Hamish the pine marten and Hettie the hedgehog. Ogle at all the otters or be enthralled by the tropical butterfly house at this lovely woodland park, which helps to conserve endangered species and rehabilitates injured animals from the wild.

Hawk Conservancy Trust
Animal Collection / Zoo
Owl's at the Hawk Conservancy Trust

The Hawk Conservancy Trust is a full day out for the whole family. Come see our brilliant birds at some of the most spectacular flying displays in the UK, changing with the seasons so you’ll experience something new every time you visit! See up to 20 birds flying at once, dramatic effects and music during the shows.

Bombay Sapphire Distillery
Bombay Sapphire Distillery

The Bombay Sapphire Distillery based at Laverstoke Mill in rural Hampshire, just 15 miles from Winchester and 10 miles from Basingstoke. The Distillery is in a conservation area with over 1000 years of history. The distillery showcases the care, skill and artistry behind every drop of Bombay Sapphire, and allows you to discover the flavours of the botanicals which make Bombay Sapphire gin so unique.

New Forest Activities
Sports Ground
Family Canoeing with New Forest Activities

New Forest Activities offer a variety of safe and enjoyable activities for families, couples, individuals and groups of all ages and abilities led by expert outdoor instructors. For tours with a difference, take to the water with Canoeing and Kayaking on the Beaulieu River Nature Reserve.

Sunset Chasers Paddling Tours with New Forest Activities
Water Based Activities
Sunset Chasers Paddling Tours with New Forest Activities

Bask in the warmth of a beautiful sunset on the Beaulieu River this summer with New Forest Activities. Chase the warm glow of the sun's last rays of the day as they settle on the river's calm waters.

Calshot Activities Centre
Leisure & Activity Centres
Calshot Activities Centre

Calshot Activities Centre offer a wide range of exciting water and land based activities, for all abilities and ages throughout the year, either indoors within our historic hangars which accommodate a climbing complex, an indoor velodrome and a dry ski slope or outdoors on land or the water.

New Forest Water Park
Water Based Activities
New Forest Water Park

New Forest Water Park is a family run business situated just outside Fordingbridge, on the outskirts of the New Forest. They have several activities running on site, wakeboarding, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding and the UK's 1st Aqua Park being. The inflatable Aqua Park now measures in at 80 metres long, 40 metres wide and has 2 trampolines, monkey bars, flippers, slides, hurdles, rockers, rollers, an overhang climbing wall, a swing, a giant iceberg(!) and much more.

Garden I Spy at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens
Childrens Events
Garden I Spy at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens

What can you spot? From trees, shrubs and garden animals. Help children learn about the great outdoors.

Circus Extreme Southampton at Mayflower Park
Circus Extreme Southampton at Mayflower Park

Circus Extreme is thrilled to be returning to the UK in 2022 as part of its World Tour. A one-of-a-kind performance, that has been five years in the making and features some of the most talented performers in the world. The United Kingdom was specifically chosen as the location for Circus Extreme due to its diverse cultural background.

Alton Walking Festival
Alton Walking Festival

To celebrate Alton's Walkers are Welcome status.