Every year on the third Sunday of May, all things watercress are celebrated in Alresford.

Hampshire has been growing watercress for centuries and Alresford is arguably the watercress capital. The geology of the area with flat, chalky downlands is ideal conditions for the plants to thrive.

They close the main streets of this Georgian town to traffic to transform the town into a family-friendly festival and it’s always great fun supporting local producers, charities and businesses.

Watercress eating competition

How quickly can you finish a bag of watercress with just a small bottle of water to wash it down? It’s always a fun one to watch.

If you’re not up for the challenge, maybe try your luck with the raffles instead – it’s less action-packed but more accessible!

Cooking classes and market stalls

There are a lot of cooking classes happening throughout the day. We like to drop in and listen to what the chefs have to say, and take some tips and ideas with us to try at home. If you’re lucky, you might even be picked to test the food that was just prepared!

What’s great is that they also have a ton of stalls where you can get all sorts of food and drinks, either for lunch or to take home. We couldn’t resist getting a couple of bags of fresh watercress!

Music and entertainment

The festival hosts a great number of musicians, singers and dancers. Most genres are played throughout the day, either on the main stage, at St John’s Church, or even just as street pop-ups. There are even Morris sides!

The festival is family-friendly and has a kids zone too with rides, face painting, circus acts, and lots more.

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