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Oh hi, July! What’s on this month

From street theatre and festivals to foodie fun and world-class sailing - find out what's on around Hampshire and the Isle of Wight this month

THEATRE: Hat Fair Festival, Fri 1 – Sun 3 July, Winchester

Winchester Hat Fair What's on July 2022 Hampshire

Madcap and always brilliant, we welcome in the month with Winchester’s annual Hat Fair. Returning to it’s pre-pandemic roots as a street festival, see talented performers do funny and unexpected things in the High Street and beyond. Watch from midday on Friday 1 July and from 11am – 9.30pm on Saturday 2 June. On Sunday (10am – 5.30pm) the fun moves to the North Walls Recreation Ground for a ticketed event.

MOTORS: Wallop, Wheels and Wings, Sat 2 July, The Army Flying Museum, Stockbridge

Move over Biggles, this family event at the Army Flying Museum has it all. We’re talking up to 50 Classic Aircraft, 300 Super and Classic Cars and 100 Motorcycles. And the best-in-show will take part in a vehicle parade, a Motorcycle Cavalcade, an Engine Roar and Flypast. The Kids’ zone has mini planes with the Joystick Club, Circus Skills, Craft Activities and Laser Tag. And there’ll be food, live music, a shopping village and a Grand Prize Draw.

CULTURE: Southampton Thai Festival, Sat 2 – Sun 3 July, Hoglands Park

Southampton Thai Festival What's on July Hampshire 2022

Sawadee Ka! Come and enjoy some of your favourite things about Thailand right here in Hampshire. From Tuk Tuk tours and Thai dancing to massage, music and of course, awesome Thai food, you’ll find it all in Hoglands Park, close to the city centre.

WELLNESS: The Retreat New Forest Summer Wellness Festival, Sat 9 – Sun 10 July, Hinton

The Retreat New Forest

Why take a mere moment of calm when you can head to the beautiful New Forest for a proper time-out? The Summer Wellness Festival at this gorgeous yoga and wellbeing retreat has a daily schedule of free talks and meditations. Also on the agenda is zen-like yoga and sound healing, breathwork, forest bathing and creative workshops. How’s that for a welcome escape from the daily grind? Namaste.

FESTIVAL: Rhythmtree, Fri 8 – Sun 10 July, Thorness Bay, Cowes, Isle of Wight

Rhythmtree Festival Isle of Wight What's on July

Much more under-the-radar than its internationally-recognised Isle of Wight Festival neighbour, Rhythmtree is a brilliantly boutique affair. And that’s precisely what fans love about it. On the lineup of 120 live acts across 7 stages are the likes of Turin Brakes, The Wailers and Badly Drawn Boy. Also on stage, look out for the gorgeously eclectic Transglobal Underground. Expect great local Island food, kooky costumes, arty activities and more.

FESTIVAL: Lowdefest, Sat 9 July, Hazeley Bottom, Hartley Wintney

Cbeebies’ Justin Fletcher, 80s legends Toyah and Sonia, a funfair, festi-food and Hampshire’s longest beer bar. No – we’re not having a funny five minutes. This really is all happening at Lowdefest near Hartley Wintney. And a whole lot of family fun it looks too… Use code MUDDY20 to get (you guessed it) 20% off the ticket price.

KIDS: Bee and Honey Weekend, Sat 9 – Sun 10 July, Manor Farm, Bursledon

Get them buzzing with excitement about our important insect friends at this free event at Manor Farm at The River Hamble Country Park (usual admission applies). Learn about the life of the honey bee, with honey tasting, games, crafts, demonstrations and special viewing hives.

LITERATURE: An evening with novelist Jessie Burton, Tues 12 July, The Yard, Chilton Manor Farm, Alresford

Novelist Jessie Burton What's On Hampshire July 2022

One for the bookworms! Bestselling author Jessie Burton launches her brand new sequel to The Miniaturist this month. And she’s coming to Hampshire to discuss her literary success and her latest must-read, The House of Fortune, here at The Yard near Alresford with host Rebecca Fletcher.

THEATRE: Hamlet the Comedy, Wed 13 July, Theatre Royal Winchester

A chaotic, slapstick take on Shakespeare’s famous tragedy is on the bill at the Theatre Royal Winchester this July, as the eponymous Royal Student returns home for the Summer holidays. Did the Bard have a GSOH? If so, he’d surely have loved this.

FOOD & DRINK: Lymington Seafood Festival, Fri 15 – Sun 17 July, Lymington

Lymington Seafood Festival What's on July 2022

How good do these look?! Fab food, your choice of tipples, soul, accoustic and swing music – and all with knock-out Solent views. Yep, Lymington’s favourite festival is back. And we’re so ready for it.

OUTDOOR CINEMA: West Side Story and The Rocky Horror Picture Show at The Vyne, Fri 15 & Sun 17 July, Basingstoke

Rocky Horror Picture Show outdoor theatre What's on July Hampshire 2022

Ooooh, rrrrocky! Pop-up cinema locations don’t get much grander than Hampshire’s blockbuster National Trust place, The Vyne. And this month, you can come here and watch the Rocky Horror Picture Show, an absolute belter of a movie, or Spielberg’s 2021 incarnation of West Side Story, all wrapped up under a blanket and munching on wood-fired pizza.

KIDS: Revealing Hidden Hinton Summer Trail, 16 July – 4 Sept, Hinton Ampner

The National Trust can always be relied on to put on some fab trails around our local places – and this summer’s no different. Follow the friendly scarecrow around acres of gorgeous garden to discover secrets and favourite outdoor places on this charming day out.

MUSEUM: Regency Dress-Up Day at Jane Austen’s House, Sat 16 July, Chawton

Jane Austen's House Regency What's on July Hampshire 2022

The closest thing you’ll get to stepping into an Austen novel. Just ahead of the anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, this is the most fun way we can think of to pay tribute to the great author. Dress up in Regency regalia and join in with the fun team as they strut their stuff in the House, preen on the lawn and promenade in the shrubberies, with expert advice from a historical wardrobe consultant.

MUSEUM: Gilbert White’s Birthday, Sun 17 July, Gilbert White’s House and Gardens, Selbourne

Never visited the great naturalist’s house and gardens? Then this is the day to do it, with free admission to celebrate his 302nd birthday and tours costing just a fiver. Word to the wise, have a light brekkie or lunch and leave room for a mighty slab of cake in the cute tearoom here. Trust us – you’ll be back.

THEATRE: School of Rock, Mon 18 – Thurs 23 July, The Mayflower, Southampton

School of Rock Mayflower What's on July Hampshire 2022
Pic: Paul Coltas

Another West End blockbuster rocking-up in Southampton this month, go crazy for Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s School of Rock. The stage adaptation of the movie has all the big hits and a few more to-boot, and culminates (of course) with the all-important Battle of the Bands.

THEATRE: Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing, Sat 23 July, The Vyne, Basingstoke

The Vyne National Trust Basingstoke Summer what's on July 2022 Hampshire

Also on at The Vyne this month, watch Shakespeare’s timeless summer comedy of masks, music and mistaken identities performed by English touring theatre company The Pantaloons, set against the backdrop of the magnificent lake and mansion.

KIDS: Little People, BIG DREAMS, Sat 23 July – Sun 4 Sept, Mottisfont, Romsey

Mottisfont National Trust Little People BIG DREAMS what's on July Hampshire 2022

Brand new at the National Trust’s Mottisfont, this colourful interactive exhibition from the best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS picture book biography series invites kids into the worlds of our most inspiring and trailblazing people. Meet Malala Yousafzai and Martin Luther King Jr, step into Frida Kahlo’s studio, and discover the natural world with David Attenborough. After, there’s a special outdoor activity trail. Recommended for ages 3-7+.

FOOD & DRINK: Vineyards of Hampshire Fizz Fest, Sun 24 July, Black Chalk, Wherewell, Nr Andover

Definitely Muddy’s kind of festival, Vineyards of Hampshire’s Fizz Fest is a fab celebration of our brilliant local English wines. Shlurp some of the finest drops from nine vineyards including the likes of Hambledon, Exton Park, Hattingley Valley and The Grange. Perch on a haybale for live entertainment, plus there’s masterclasses, food stalls and tutored tastings from Hampshire’s own TV Wine Expert, Helen McGinn.

KIDS: The Land of Imagination LIVE at Blackgang Chine, Mon 25 July – Mon 29 August, Ventnor, Isle of Wight

The family attraction we all remember from childhood holidays on the Island really comes into its own in the summer holidays, with live shows, character meet and greets. Think fairies, dinosaurs, pirates and cowboys. And whether it’s an ‘arrr’ or a ‘yey-haw’ kinda day – you know they’re gonna love it.

COUNTRYSIDE: New Forest & Hampshire County Show, Tues 26 – Thurs 28 July

Woman shopping New Forest & Hampshire Country Show What's on July 2022

Dig out your best tweeds and wellies – it’s time for The New Forest & Hampshire County show. Running for 100 years (wowsers), it really is the Best in Class when it comes to agricultural shows. Trot on with The Pony Club, watch demonstrations from top local chefs from The Pig and The Montagu Arms and see beekeepers, lumberjacks, fancy sheep in action. Then park the kids with a designated adult in the Family Fun Area while you shop the endless clothes and foodie stalls.

THEATRE: Cinderella, Sat 30 July, Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway, Exbury

Darling – you shall go to the ball! Picnic in the grounds of the beautiful Exbury Gardens as they become the setting for an enchanted kingdom in a faraway land. Children are invited to dress in their favourite fairy tale characters and join in the midsummer ball dance. Magic.

OUTDOORS: Portsmouth International Kite Festival, Sat 30 – Sun 31 July, Southsea Common

Soaring high above downtown err, Southsea Common, see superheroes, dragons, flying pigs and loads more brilliant 3D kites in all shapes and sizes at this year’s 30th International Kite Festival. Expect craft stalls, refreshments and a free children’s kite making workshop. And if you’re inspired to have a go, there’s dedicated kite traders to buy one from (good luck getting Batman in the car).

SPORT: Cowes Week, Sat 30 July – Sat 6 August, Cowes, Isle of Wight

Cowes Week 2022 Isle of Wight What's On July

Ahoy! The Solent’s famous week-long regatta always offers plenty of excitement on the water and plenty of fun shoreside, too, with a packed schedule of music and entertainment. The best place to watch is the vantage point between the Castle of the Royal Yacht Squadron. Or you could get even closer to the action by taking to the water in a spectator boat or Rib.

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