How to enjoy the fair

This page provides information, guidance and conditions of entry for members of the general public who are visiting the Fair.  It also applies to anyone who is on-site during the fair – this’ll include stall-holders, bands / entertainers / suppliers & contractors.

The Downton Cuckoo Fair is a large community fair involving 250+ stall holders in marquees, on the beautiful greens of the Borough through the centre of the village and in the Memorial Gardens.  You’ll walk about 2.2Km or 1.5 miles to see all of it.

You will find a small fairground, rural craft demonstrations, all sorts of stalls, hot food and entertainment for all ages.  There are live performances hosted at the local pubs and traditional Maypole and country dancing.  Due to the large area the Cuckoo Fair is unticketed and therefore free to enjoy – the car parks only cost £7 / vehicle.  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 or 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.  You might also like to consider whether you bring your hairy hounds along and any large children’s buggies which can make negotiating the narrow and busy stall areas quite tricky.

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.


We have an overview map and an interactive map.

Covid Advice

Pleased be advised you may see some minor changes this year at the Downton Cuckoo Fair.  We have reduced the number of stalls across the particularly busy areas of the fair, this has resulted in more space becoming available for customers to browse and distance from others. In addition, we will be advising on the following measures to maintain a level of Covid Security at our event:

  • We encourage the use of hand sanitiser at each of our main entry points.
  • We encourage the use of face masks in areas where you may not be able to safely distance from others.
  • We strongly encourage anyone suffering from Covid 19 or symptoms of the illness to not attend our event.
  • We encourage customers to take a lateral flow test before attending our event and only attending if the results are negative.
  • We encourage the use of hand sanitiser provided by our stall holders prior to purchasing or sampling produce.

If we follow these simple measures together we can play our part in minimising any spread of the virus whilst enjoying our freedoms at The Downton Cuckoo Fair.

General Advice

  • This is a community event for all ages so please behave considerately and responsibility.
  • We take necessary steps to assure ourselves as to the quality an suitability of the stalls, entertainers etc.  This could include checking their documents eg insurances and certificates.  These checks apply to all stalls on the Borough Greens, in the Memorial Gardens, in the Produce Market and at the Co-op area.  These are detailed in the layouts of the Zones.  If a stall is not located in these areas, eg is on the pavement / in a front garden, then it is unofficial, with no demonstration of relevant licences/insurance/certificates.  Visitors use these unofficial stalls at their own risk.
  • 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.
  • We encourage visitors to approach Committee members and the Security and Zone Manager teams and make them aware of any concerns they may have or hazards they have spotted.  This includes lost property / missing children / lost parents.  They will inform Event Control.
  • There are large car parks @ £7 per car, provided by local charities and good causes, so please use them. Please do not obstruct the many lanes around the village which would make access for emergency vehicles difficult.
  • Please note there only a couple of cash machines near the Fair and the Co-op does not offer cashback on the day of the Fair,  so please bring all the money you require with you.  (As organisers we did explore hiring in cash machines however users would have paid a charge of around £3 per withdrawal and we’d have had to cover any loses if the machines were not used enough!)
  • Please be aware that the Downton Cuckoo Fair is held on the Borough Greens and Memorial Gardens – the ground may be uneven so take care.
  • Animals – Dogs should be kept on short fixed leads and are kept under control at all times.  Animals must not be left unattended or in vehicles, especially in the car parks at any time.  All dog owners must dispose of their dog faeces safely.
  • Please check the weather forecast and make suitable preparations eg if it is forecast to be sunny then bring hats, sun-cream and plenty of drinking water with you. Please be prepared for lots of walking and wear appropriately comfortable footwear.
  • The BBC weather forecast for the next three days can be seen here BBC forecast for Downton
Salisbury Weather Forecast
Partly Cloudy
6:02 am8:09 pm BST
Feels like: 13°C
Wind: 24km/h NW
Humidity: 59%
Pressure: 1018.63mbar
UV index: 1
6 pm7 pm8 pm9 pm10 pm
13°C / 2°C
12°C / 1°C
11°C / 6°C
12°C / 4°C
13°C / 4°C
  • There are many events during the day so to avoid missing anything, please look out for one of our day leaflets or our roadside posters.  Our Facebook page will be putting out any key messages or changes to the programme on the day!

Conditions of Entry

  • To ensure that the day runs smoothly and also to cater for any unforeseen events we ask that you read and comply with the Downton Cuckoo Fair Health & Safety Policy
  • Use of the car parks is at your own risk, please observe the 5mph speed limit and the instructions of the car park marshalls.  The car parks are run by local organisations.  All vehicles are left at the owner’s risk in the allocated parking areas.
  • Use of the fairground attractions and rides is at your own risk.
  • Dogs on short fixed leads welcomed but note that Bylaws applied to the Borough greens and the Memorial Gardens, request that dogs are not allowed to foul these areas.  All dog owners must dispose of their dog faeces safely.
  • Any goods, services or items sold by stallholders, fairground, food stalls etc will be solely their responsibility. The Downton Cuckoo Fair 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 to other visitors, stall-holders or our staff 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 within any marquees or any enclosed workplace, (including gazebos, toilets) public building or on public transport that forms part of the event.  This includes e-cigarettes or similar.  If smoking in any other area please ensure that you dispose of cigarette ends safely
  • 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 limited 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 stall-holder 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 valid form of ID is shown.
  • The following are acceptable means of identification: valid International Passports, valid driving licenses or ID Cards showing the PASS mark
  • 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 may 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

  • As the Fair is covered by a Road Closure order there is to be no cycling or use of scooters anywhere at the Fair.
  • 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 (including ‘throw bangers’) or weapons are permitted on the fair site and appropriate action will be taken by local Police and event security if this is attempted.
  • Anyone believed to be carrying banned items 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
  • As the fair is held within the confines of a village with several thousand people attending then in accordance with the UK Civil Aviation Authority Drone Code no drones are permitted to overfly the fair or its car parks.  For further advice please see the UK Civil Aviation Authority Drone Code.  If you attempt to fly a drone or remote controlled aircraft from anywhere on site, including the Car Parks, you will be stopped and asked to leave.

More Information

  • 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 Marshall, a member of the Event Management Team or go to the Information Tent located in the centre of the village by the Co-Op.


  • We have a very good relationship with our local Police and know they are very reasonable and friendly. Any issues will be dealt with 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.
  • We have a first aid station outside the Memorial Hall in the middle of fair by the entrance to the Fairground.
  • Toilets are signed and available at key locations – see our maps (above).
  • Announcements may be made via the PA system or by Zone Marshalls.  In the event of a significant or major incident all DCF staff will have identifiable high visibility clothing on and members of the public and stall holders will be directed accordingly.  Please follow their instructions.   We will also post messages on our Facebook page.