National Memorial Arboretum : Key Events 2016

Written by: Elmtree Press

National Memorial Arboretum – key events 2016

The National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire is host to over 200 events a year, many of which are fully open to the public and the media.
Highlights of forthcoming events are listed below, with full details to be found at
The Arboretum, which welcomes 300,000 people every year, is open 9am to 5pm every day except Christmas Day. It is free to enter and visitors can enjoy the restaurant, gift shop, knowledgeable volunteer guides, land train tour, buggy tours and a daily act of Remembrance in the Millennium Chapel. 

January 2016

Sunday 3 January – Epiphany Service

Chapel service from 14.30

Wednesday 27 January – Holocaust Memorial Day Chapel Service

Extended service to include prayers and candle lighting

February 2016

Saturday 27 February – “Spotlight on Talk” The Loan Soldier

Join Col (Retd) Bruce Duncan MBE, the author, to hear about his fascinating military career based on loan service in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 25 years after he and his family were caught up in Iraq's brutal invasion and occupation of Kuwait in 1990.

This talk includes a first hand account of a British military family's experience in occupied Kuwait and is delivered on the eve of unveiling of the Gulf War (1990/1) Memorial dedicated to the 47 personnel who died in the conflict to drive the Iraqis out of Kuwait.

Monday 15th  February – Friday 19th February – Family holiday activities

Children’s half term activities will be taking place, craft activities include making creepy crawly puppets and paper flowers.

Sunday 14 February - Paws for Remembrance Event

Saturday 27 February - 1st Staffordshire Regiment Commemoration

A commemoration of all those who served with the 1st Staffords at the liberation of Kuwait, 25 years ago 1991. Service beginning at 10.45am at memorial site.

Sunday 28 February - Gulf War Memorial Unveiling

To mark the 25th Anniversary of the Gulf War a memorial will be dedicated to the 47 personnel who died during the conflict. Service beginning at 10.30am at memorial site.

March 2016

Friday 25 April – Monday 28 April Easter weekend – Children’s Easter Trail

Easter Egg and Easter Card crafting activities

Wednesday 30th March – Wednesday 6th April – The Children’s Potting Shed*

Children’s activities to decorate plant pots and plant poppy seeds to take home.

*selected dates

April 2016

Saturday 2 April - Plant Hunters’ Fair

Our green fingered visitors will be truly inspired at this year’s Plant Hunters' Fairs.

May 2016

Saturday 28 May - Plant Hunters’ Fair

Our green fingered visitors will be truly inspired at this year’s Plant Hunters' Fairs.

Tuesday 31 May - Commemoration of the Battle of Jutland

A service to commemorate the start of the Battle of the Jutland will take place on Tuesday 31 May.

Children’s activities will also be taking place during the May half term and include boat building, den building and dressing up.

June 2016

Monday 6 June - D-Day

Service beginning at 12 midday at the Normandy campaign memorial.  To be arranged by the NVA midlands branch.

Saturday 25 June - Armed Forces Day

With fun and educational activities for the whole family, visit the National Memorial Arboretum to show your support for HM Armed Forces on Armed Forces Day 2016.

July 2016

1 July - Centenary of the Battle of the Somme

Activities from the 1 July

Luna Cinema – dates to be confirmed

As part of our programme of summer events, the Arboretum presents a cinematic event not to be missed in partnership with the Luna Cinema!

Saturday 16 July - Arborfield Old Boys' Association Reunion

The Arborfield Old Boys' Association will be holding a reunion with Parade and Pipe band from 10.40 with Remembrance Service from 12 noon.  All Army apprentices are welcome to attend.

Monday 25th July – Friday 2nd September – Family Summer holiday activities
Wednesdays - Wildlife Wednesdays

Craft, Bug Explorer Backpacks, Pond Dipping, Den Building.

Saturday 16 - 31 July National Archaeology Week

Archaeology Trail, Archaeology detectives – sandpit, Information on Woolly Rhino/discoveries at the Arboretum.

Battle of the Somme Commemoration

Linking with commemoration activity on 1st July family activities creating clay models representing those killed in the Somme, inspired by Artist Antony Gormley.

WW2 Week

Vintage Fair from Curly Magpie, Dressing Up Box, Building an Anderson Shelter Hair and makeup demos.

August 2016

Saturday 6 August - Plant Hunters’ Fair

Our green fingered visitors will be truly inspired at this year’s Plant Hunters' Fairs.

Monday 15 August – 71 Years VJ Day Commemorations

October 2016

Saturday 1 October - Ride to the Wall

Ride to the Wall (RTTW), now in its 9th year, is a memorial ride to the National Memorial Arboretum. With a service of Remembrance, it is a dramatic and moving tribute to remember the 16,000 people named on the Armed Forces Memorial.

Motorcyclists will need to register prior to this event.

Saturday 22nd October -Twilight Trek

Join us for an autumnal 5km evening walk to enjoy the Arboretum after hours. This is a fundraising event for the Arboretum.

Half Term – Drawing based family activities linked to the Big Draw.

November 2016

Rededication of the Armed Forces Memorial and Dedication of 2015 names on the Armed Forces Memorial.

Sunday 6 November  - Remembrance Sunday Service

A service will be held for Remembrance Sunday at the National Memorial Arboretum with onsite family remembrance activities planned.

Friday 11 November  - Armistice Day Service

An outdoor service will be held at the National Memorial Arboretum to commemorate Armistice Day.

December 2016

Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 December - Stories with Santa

Board the Arboretum Express and travel to Santa’s magical garden to solve the puzzle trail.  Afterwards join Santa in his grotto for stories and receive a special present. £10 per child. Booking essential.

Saturday 3 and 4 Sunday December - Holly Wreath Making Workshops

Make your own Christmas holly wreath to dress your front door. This fun and festive workshop will provide you with the skills necessary to create a beautiful wreath to take home. Equipment will be provided, as well as a warming festive treat of mince pies and mulled wine. £27 per person.  Booking essential.

Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 December - Christmas Gift and Food Fair

Our beautiful wintry landscape, combined with stalls of gifts and festive treats, makes this the perfect time to enjoy the Arboretum. . Suggested donation £1. Free entry to Gift and Food Fair 9am – 5pm.

Spring 2017 - Official Opening of New Remembrance Centre

Please note: Event Information is correct at the time of release distribution

For more information or to make a booking or call 01283 245100 or email