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Annual Events in the Solent

The bustling coasts around the Solent offer visitors many events and festivals to show off the best the area has to offer from boats and music to food and kites.

With rich history and watery shores there’s no shortage in places to visit and things to do in the Solent area, whether it’s city, country or coast - whatever the time of year.



Hampshire Food Festival – a foodie theme dominates this festival highlighting the best of the county’s food. Visitors can enjoy cookery demonstrations and farm tours as well as brushing up on their jam or chocolate-making skills. This popular festival also offers gourmet experiences in wine tasting, afternoon teas and special menus.

Southsea Food Festival – this annual celebration of food in the Portsmouth area and features cookery demonstrations, markets, celebrity events and food tastings in Southsea Town Centre around Palmerston Road.  You can enjoy food and drinks stalls while enjoying performances on the live music stage.  


Portsmouth International Kite Festival – believed to be one of the world’s biggest kite festivals, this two-day gathering is a free annual event in mid-August. Visitors can watch the kite displays in amazement or join in with performing gravity-challenging tricks guided by the professionals. Enjoy the amazing kites while being entertained and then browse the stalls and kites for sale. The festival takes place on Southsea Common, Portsmouth

Cowes week – Dating back to its origin in 1826, this annual spectacular sailing event is one of the longest running sporting events in the UK.  The week in August sees up to 40 races daily and over 1,000 boats in the harbour of the iconic waterfront town on the northern shores of the Isle of Wight. The Solent comes alive with glamour during Cowes Weeks, attracting sailors, celebrities and families to the many free events on the sea, the shore and the surrounding bars and restaurants. For Solent-based yacht rental for Cowes Week please get in touch with us.

Victorious Festival – This annual music festival has become one of the South Coast's best family music festivals. Recent headliners have included top music acts such as the Kaiser Chiefs, Paloma Faith and Madness while the three-day line-up also allows room for newer up-and-coming acts too.  The festival is held on The Common and Castle Field in the beautiful seaside location of Southsea, Portsmouth. 


Southampton International Boat Show – One of the biggest and best marine events around, this boat show happens on the south coast in September. Families and people, old and young, will find something to enjoy at this marine extravaganza which usually lasts just over a week. Enjoy the spectacular marina with over 300 boats of all types on show, from kayaks, to cruisers to catamarans. Browse through the many marine-related gadgets, products and services exhibited.

Southampton's Sailing Week – a huge event in the sailing calendar, the Regatta often sees over 60 yachts and 600 sailors out on the waters of the Solent and Southampton Waters.

Recently three new cups were launched - the Legal Cup, the Financial Cup and the Technology Cup – to encourage even more racing.  New competitors are welcomed, whether first times or seasoned sailors. The day starts with breakfast and ends with drinks at the 5-star Harbour Hotel in Ocean Village with an award ceremony to celebrate the day's races. The Regatta has seen three days of racing in recent years each September

November - December

The Victorian Christmas Festival at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard - One of the largest and nicest Christmas festivals on the south coast, this festive event takes visitors back to the late nineteenth-century, with colourful market stalls, characters in period costume and circus performances. Usually taking place from late November to early December, it’s held at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth, Hampshire PO1 3NH.

November - January

Southampton Ice Rink – Enjoy the splendid ice rink created each year in time for the Christmas festivities. The rink is within Southampton’s Esplanade, next to the Medieval Walls and Westquay South and is made up of 900sqm of real ice. A brand new Skate path is being introduced as well as upgrading their ice resurfacing machine. Coming to life each year from November to January, the ticket price includes skate hire.

Two at helm with stormy weather Sailing across English Channel

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