What’s hot in Hampshire for 2024

From a new ride making a splash at the ‘UK’s Number 1’ family theme park to a fresh summer festival in Southampton, and an out-of-this-world wonder in Winchester, Hampshire is gearing up for a bumper 2024.

Along with the usual mix of top attractions, year-round events and annual festivals, the New Year is also set to offer visitors to the county a few firsts.

The acclaimed Museum of the Moon touring artwork by artist Luke Jerram will be coming to Hampshire for the first time, with an out-of-this-world installation at Winchester Cathedral.

Measuring seven metres in diameter, featuring 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface, the Moon has been circling the globe, lighting up spaces from Bilbao to Beijing, and will take up residence floating in the nave of the Cathedral from 5 to 18 February 2024.

Visitors to the Cathedral will be able to see the Moon, as well as join in special events, including a Moon Medley night of music and dance and silent discos under moonlight for adults and kids.

Meanwhile, spring will provide a splashing time for families, when Paultons Park unveils its new ride at its dinosaur-themed Lost Kingdom.

Set within 140 acres of parkland on the edge of the New Forest National Park, it tops the charts as the best ranked theme park in England, according to users of TripAdvisor, and beats all other UK theme parks for five-star ratings on Google Reviews.

In 2023, Paultons was also named the UK’s best value theme park based on independent research which considered entry ticket price, queue times, parking fees, and number of attractions.

Now the current line-up of over 70 rides and attractions – including the UK home of Peppa Pig World – will be joined by mini log flume ride Splash Lagoon, a Jurassic water boat adventure for junior thrill-seekers within the dinosaur-themed land.

Taking visitors through gentle rapids to discover new species of dinosaur and ending with a descent into a prehistoric lagoon below, the new ride is expected to open in May 2024.

Also new for 2024, the Southampton Summer Sessions festival will see the city’s Guildhall Square transformed into a buzzing live music hub with headline acts Tom Jones, Madness, Kaiser Chiefs, and Nile Rodgers & CHIC performing between 15 and 30 June 2024.

During 2024 the 80th anniversary of D-Day will see events across the country, but Portsmouth is expected to be a main focus of national commemorations, while The D-Day Story in the maritime city will also be marking the historic milestone.

Hampshire is also planning big celebrations to mark major milestones for one of the county’s best loved daughters, Jane Austen. Jane Austen’s House, the author’s home whilst she wrote and published all six of her novels, will celebrate 75 years as a museum in 2024 before the county marks the 250th anniversary of her birth in 2025.

For more details of what’s new in Hampshire for 2024, visit

All tourist information for Hampshire can be found at www.visit-hampshire.co.uk

Photo: Museum of the Moon – Credit Bob Pitchford. Museum of the Moon artwork by artist Luke Jerram