Watercress Festival

FREE food festival in the streets of Alresford

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Please note: Entry to the Watercress Festival is FREE. Tickets purchased here are for unlimited Standard Travel on the Watercress Line between Alresford and Medstead & Four Marks.

Sunday 19th May 2019

This nationally acclaimed annual festival will attract thousands of visitors to New Alresford in Hampshire. They come to celebrate watercress - the superb locally grown, delicious and versatile crop. Every year, on the third Sunday of May, we see Alresford become the site of a huge street festival. Over 100 stalls showcase the very best local food and drink producers. Others sell arts, crafts, jewellery and clothing, items for house, garden and much else besides.

At 10am a large cavalcade of musicians, dancers and children accompany the Watercress King and Queen up Broad Street as they distribute freshly cut bunches of watercress to festival goers. Throughout the day, musicians and street performers entertain on the main stage, in St John's Church and on the streets. For the young, there are circus skills workshops, face painting, Punch & Judy shows, a petting farm and much more. Well-known chefs will demonstrate delicious watercress-inspired dishes and more adventurous visitors can take up the challenge of the World Watercress Eating Championships!

Please Note: The Watercress Festival is not organised by the Mid Hants Railway; it is an independent event taking place in the streets of New Alresford. To find out more, please visit the Festival website or pick up a copy of the free programme on the day. 

The Watercress Festival is operating a park and ride service from Ropley to Alresford and back for festival goers. From the parking field next to Ropley station* visitors can either take a FREE ride on the Watercress Line or, during peak times, a FREE coach ride into Alresford. Festival goers are not guaranteed travel on the steam trains. 

'Free Festival Travel' tickets will be issued at Ropley car park and will be required for travel to and from the festival on both the trains and coaches. 

Click here for the train timetable.

*Ropley is a designated Festival Car Park and there will be a charge of £8 per car. Contactless payment is available this year.  Please note that the Ropley car park is not suitable for disabled festival goers, please see Disabled Parking directions on the festival website.

If you wish to combine your visit to the Festival with a ride on one of our steam trains along to Medstead and Four Marks, you can do so by purchasing a ticket in advance, or from the Ticket Office at our stations on the day.  Standard fares apply allowing unlimited travel on the day of your visit.