Information for Visitors



The Downton Cuckoo Fair is a large community fair involving 250 stall holders in marquees, on the Borough


Greens and within Memorial Gardens where there is a small fairground, rural craft demonstrations, further stalls, hot food and entertainment for all ages. There are live performances hosted by local pubs and traditional Maypole and country dancing. Due to the large area the Cuckoo Fair is unticketed. Its primary purpose is to enable the local schools, clubs and charities to raise funds for their causes. Downton Cuckoo Fair is an all-weather event however the Event Committee reserves the right to cancel the event should incidents, conditions outside of their control arise.

The fair is attended by a large number of people therefore certain areas of the event can become crowded so if you do not feel comfortable around large crowds of people we would advise that you do not attend this event.

The Downton Cuckoo Fair Committee is committed to providing a safe event enjoyable to all persons and therefore the following rules are in place. We ask that you respect the happiness and wellbeing of other fair goers at all times.

How to Get to the Fair


If you planning to come to the Cuckoo Fair via the A338.
Wiltshire Council have roadworks underway on the A338 from the Harnham roundabout south down the A338 to the Bodenham dual carriageway. They close the road from 7pm to 7am overnight.
Please note:
1 Wiltshire Council have no plans to do any works overnight Friday 28th to Sat 29th ie the night before the fair
2 They have however erected their Road Closed & diversion signs on the A338 as far south as Ringwood!
3 We plan to update our road diversion signs (located from Fordingbridge, out into the New Forest and then to Woodfalls/Redlynch) to avoid confusion with their signs.


Local Routes to Fair



NB B3080 through Downton closed from 0830 to 1800
Disabled Parking and Coach parking only available from A338.

Visitors from:
Cars can park in Barford Lane car park
isabled to travel via Fordingbridge then A338 to Salisbury and park in Trafalgar School
Coaches to travel via Ringwood (avoiding Fordingbridge Town Centre)
West via Ringwood then past Fordingbridge on A338 and park in Trafalgar School
North via Salisbury then A338


Coach Parking for Cuckoo Fair 2016


In 2016 coach parking is available at Trafalgar School. Due to the limited space for coach parking at the school, (maximum of 6 coaches), a parking space cannot be guaranteed. Therefore it would be advisable for any coach companies to pre-book a space prior to the event. This can be done by a phone call to Trafalgar School on 01725 550300

Cash payment would need to be made on arrival and a receipt could be provided.   

Temporary parking for unloading/loading should be possible for those without a parking space, depending upon traffic levels.


Local Map around Downton showing Parking




Detailed Map of the Cuckoo Fair


How to Enjoy the Fair

  • This is a community event for all ages so please behave considerately and responsibility.
  • Advice and assistance is available from the Information Centre located in the middle of the Downton Cuckoo Fair near the Co-op. Lost property and children can be left / found there.
  • There are large car parks @ £5 per car, provided by local charities and good causes, so please use them. Please do not obstruct the many lanes around the village.
  • Please note there are no cash machines on-site so please bring all the money you require with you.
  • Please be aware that the Downton Cuckoo Fair is held on the Borough Greens – the ground may be uneven so take care.
  • Please check the weather forecast and make suitable preparations eg if it is forecast to be sunny then bring hats sun-cream and drinking water with you. See the BBC forecast for Downton
  • There are many events over the day - the   Cuckoo Fair 2017 - Day leaflet Final.pdf      Cuckoo Fair glossy 2017.pdf    and interactive page at www.cuckoofair.co.uk/location have a timetable of the performances at the band areas and at the Maypole.
  • We have a very good relationship with our Local Police and know they are very reasonable and friendly. Any issues will be dealt in accordance with the law.
  • The Downton Cuckoo Fair has a dedicated security team and Zone Marshalls who will be patrolling throughout the fair – please do let them know of any issues.
  • St John Ambulance have a first aid station outside Memorial Hall in the middle of fair by the entrance to the Fairground.
  • Toilets are available throughout the site.
  • Announcements may be made via the PA system or by Zone Marshalls. Please follow their instructions. We also have Twitter and Facebook pages.


Conditions of Entry

  • Use of the car parks is at your own risk. All vehicles are left at the owner’s risk in the Parking Areas. Use of the fairground attractions and rides is at your own risk.
  • Dogs on leads welcomed but note that Bylaws regulation applied to the Borough Greens and the Memorial Gardens, request that dogs are not allowed to foul these areas.
  • Any Goods, Services or Items sold by stallholders will solely be their responsibility. The Downton Cuckoo Fair Committee will not be held liable for such goods, services or items. In the unlikely event of dissatisfaction with your purchase please contact the stallholder who provided them.
  • Disorderly behaviour will be addressed by the event security team and/or Police Wiltshire as required. There is a zero tolerance policy on violence or threatening behaviour and offenders will be dealt with accordingly.
  • Anyone believed to be carrying banned substances may be subjected, with their consent, to a search by security staff. Refusal to allow the search could result in being refused entry to the event and Police Wiltshire will be informed.
  • Smoking is not permitted with in any marquees or any enclosed workplace, public building or on public transport that forms part of the event
  • Downton Cuckoo Fair Committee reserves the right to refuse entry for any reason to the event. Any person who is ejected from the event for any reason will not be re-admitted at any stage over the length of the fair, and may be subject to dispersal procedures from the local police
  • The following are acceptable means of identification: valid International Passports, valid driving licenses or ID Cards showing the PASS mark




  • Alcohol can be purchased at this event from a number of licensed stalls and venues but must be consumed responsibly. It will not be sold to anyone who is drunk, disorderly or under 18 years of age.
  • Identification must be shown on request to stall / venue staff and event security. It is the decision of the seller as to whether alcohol is sold or not and their decision is final. Stallholders reserve the right to refuse the sale of alcohol even if a form of ID is shown.
  • Anyone who abuses staff or is caught drinking under the legal age will be dealt with appropriately by event security and police.
  • We ask that you do not drink and drive and that you make appropriate travel plans before the fair. The local public transport network are aware of the event and run additional services to and from major transport hubs i.e. Salisbury City.

We ask that you do not drink alcohol outside the event perimeter this will be enforced by the Local Police if required.


Banned Items


  • No illicit drugs are to be brought into the fair site by law and will be removed. Refusal of entry will apply if this is attempted

No lasers, fireworks or weapons are permitted on the fair site and appropriate action will be taken by Local Police and event security if this is attempted.


The Downton Cuckoo Fair would like to thank you for your cooperation and hope you enjoy the event.

For any further details or queries during the event please contact a Zone Marshal or go to the Information Tent located in White Zone.

Takes place this year on Saturday 5th May, 2018!


The Downton Cuckoo Fair is friendly, fun and free to enjoy - and 2018 will be our 39th year as the best free family day out in Wiltshire!



With a family-friendly festival atmosphere, the fair is held on the village greens in the picturesque village of Downton, six miles south of Salisbury on the edge of the New Forest on the Wiltshire/Hampshire border.


In 2017 we welcomed an over 20,000 visitors to our fair, with more than 250 craft, gift, homeware and food and drink stalls on the greens and in marquees along The Borough.  The Downton Cuckoo Fair offers fun for all the family including rural craft demonstrations, Punch and Judy, clowns, fairground stall and roundabouts in the Memorial Gardens and a farmers produce market in the car park behind the Co-op. The perfect free day out in Wiltshire!


We have a wide range of entertainment during the fair including maypole, Morris & traditional dancers, street entertainers, Downton Brass Band, and live music and jazz at The Bull, White Horse Inn and in Memorial Gardens.


Downton comes alive for the whole weekend and anyone staying on holiday in the area will be interested to know that there are a number of excellent associated events leading up to the Cuckoo Fair, and over the rest of the 'Mayday' Holiday.


There are ample car parks available, run by voluntary organisations and charities, with buses running a Park and Ride service. There is also a wide selection of food and refreshments, along with facilities for the disabled.


      £5 car  map-parking.jpgarking all car parks


A great family day out!




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Registered Office: West View, Slab Lane, Downton, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP5 3PS
Downton Cuckoo Fair Ltd is a company limited by guarantee, and registered in England and Wales under Company No. 4748797.