White Rose Morris dancing at dawn on May Day, 2011, at Castle Hill in Almondbury - Photo credit Bryony Griffith
White Rose Morris, Castle Hill, Almondbury. Photo credit: Bryony Griffith

May Day Morris: Where to find Morris dancing near me

The Tradfolk Morris Dancing guide is here to help you find your nearest side come rain or shine. Send us your info, share this guide around, and let the Morris commence.

Morris dancing can be seen throughout the year, but most sides hold a special place in their hearts for May Day. For many dancers, it’s bigger than Christmas. To help our uninitiated and tradfolk-curious readers celebrate the summer icumen in, we’ve put together this handy guide to where you might find your nearest Morris dancing event on May Day, 2022.

If you’re new to the Morris, however, be warned: you’ll have to be up long before the day if you want to catch many of them in action. Oh, and look out for the beasts… they may be on the prowl.

If you’d like to share this guide on your socials, we’re using #MaydayMorris to spread the word. Help us out, won’t you?

Why does Morris dancing happen at dawn on May Day?

Undoubtedly, May Day festivities – essentially a celebration of seasonal rebirth – predate Morris dancing. However, records of the dance accompanying the day reach back as far as the 1500s. In Oxford in 1599, it was noted that the locals, “with drum and shot and other weapons, and men attired in women’s apparel, brought into the town a woman bedecked with garlands and flowers named by them the Queen of the May. They also had Morris dancers and other disordered and unseemly sports.”

Morris dancing at dawn on May Day is most likely an extension of these larger, much older rituals, intended to welcome back the light after what must have been a very cold and dark season.

Where to find Morris dancing near me?

Bampton Morris side - May Day Morris callout
ADD YOUR MORRIS SIDE TO THIS LIST
If you're a Morris side and you'd like to contribute details of your May Day dawn dances, please click the link below and fill out the form.
We’ve arranged the May Day Morris events according to country, county, and then town. Scroll down and you’ll find a list of regions. Clicking on the region of your choice will take you to where you want to be on this page.

Can’t find any Morris dancing near you? It’s only because we haven’t been sent the relevant info yet. Morris sides can get in touch via the little black box to the left of this paragraph. We’re very happy to receive new info.

This guide will continue to be populated as we get closer to the big day itself, so bookmark the page and come back if you want to find your nearest dance out.

To get started, click on your local county from the list below.

List of countries and counties

United Kingdom

Channel Islands

Australia

Canada

New Zealand

USA

United Kingdom

Argyll

Border Reivers Morris
Loch Etive
Ballachulish
May 1st, 5:10am
Dance style: Border
Insta: @border_reivers_morris

Border Reivers Morris are the only Morris side in the West of Scotland and, they believe, the only side planning to dance the sun up on May Morning in the whole of the country. “We have a hefty responsibility to make sure the crops grow across all of Scotland,” they explain. You’ll catch them on the shores of Loch Etive, fresh (or not) from their night together in a local bothy. For more information: facebook.com/Borderreiversmorris

Bedfordshire

Golden Hare Morris and Hemlock Morris
Katherine’s Cross
Ampthill Great Park, MK45 2GQ
May 1st, 5.25am
Dance Style: Cotswold
Insta: @goldenharemorris and @hemlock_morris

You’re a bit too late to look for Kit Williams’ Golden Hare in Amptill Park, but you can still find its namesake Morris side dancing the sun up with friends Hemlock Morris. They tell us you should expect “flaming torches, music, dancing, and a May Morning address, as well as an audience participation dance”. For more info: www.hemlockmorris.com

Red Cuthbert Morris
The Amphitheatre
Great Denham Park
Bedford, MK40 4SQ
May 1st, 5:25am
Dance style: Border
Insta: @red_cuthbert_morris

Red Cuthbert Morris turns 10 years old on 13 April this year, so join them as they dance the sun up and themselves into double figures. Donations are welcome (call it a late birthday present), and they’re keen to show newcomers how Border Morris dancing is done. For more info: redcuthbert.uk

Berkshire

Datchet Border Morris
Magna Carta Tearoom
Runnymede, TW20 0AE
May 1st, 5:30am
Dance style: Border

Datchet Morris is in its 61st year and they tell us they have always danced up the sun. They have been doing so at Runnymede since 1994, making this their 28th year in the same location. Donations are welcome, and there’s no need to pick up the sticks yourself. Just watching and avoiding being clattered is fine. For more info: datchetmorris.org.uk

Bristol

Bristol Morris Men
St Peter’s Church
Castle Green, BS1 3XB
May 1st, 5:42am
Dance style: Cotswold

The Bristol Morris Men are the city’s longest-running side, having danced Cotswold Morris since 1951. You’ll catch them in Castle Park at the incredibly precise time of 5:42am, dancing up the sun in their trademark red and white. You can see them in action in the video below. For more info: bristolmorrismen.co.uk

Rag Morris
Cabot Tower
Brandon Hill, BS1 5RR
May 1st, 4.30am
Dance style: Cotswold

For the first time in a couple of years, Rag Morris will be back out on May Day, welcoming the new day on Brandon Hill. They’re part of the Bristol University Folk Society, who have lots of good stuff going on, so check them out if you’re in the area. For more info: ragmorris.com/rag-morris

Buckinghamshire

Whitchurch Morris
Coombe Hill
Aylesbury, HP17 0TZ
May 2nd, 6.30am
Dance style: Cotswold

For a second chance at May morning, head into the Chilterns on May 2nd to watch Whitchurch Morris dance on Coombe Hill, with its beautiful views and interesting memorial. Later in the day (9am), they’ll also be visiting The Hampden Arms in Hampden for more dancing and merriment. For more info: www.whitchurchmorris.org.uk

Cambridgeshire

Devil’s Dyke Morris Men
Wandlebury Ring
Wandlebury Country Park
Gog Magog Hills, CB22 3AE
May 1st, 5:29am
Dance style: Cotswold

This traditional English dancing event takes place in the same beautiful Cambridgeshire spot on May Morning each year. If you have never been before, the lovely people behind Devil’s Dyke Morris highly recommend it. It’s a free event, although donations are welcome. You’ll find hot drinks and snacks available if you’re cold and peckish. For more info: cambridgeppf.org

Ely and Littleport Riot
Outside Ely Cathedral
Ely, CB7 4DL
May 1st, 5:20am
Dance style: Border

Ely and Littleport Riot will be dancing beneath the glorious splendour of Ely Cathedral at 5:20am on May Morning. If you’re one of the Ely masses, throng to the vicinity of the West door before breakfast to enjoy some Border Morris as the sun rises across the Fens. Unlike the original riots of 1816, they assure us that no one will end up being transported to Australia for joining in. For more info: elriotblog.wordpress.com

Fenstanton Morris
The Clock Tower,
Fenstanton, PE28 9LH
May 1st, 5.30am
Dance style: Cotswold
Insta: @fenstantonmorris

They tell us, “We are very much looking forward to dancing this for real again after two years behind screens. Come and join in the fun! Welcome the sunrise into the fen sky with Fenstanton Morris!” That’s an offer you can’t refuse, right? And when Fenstanton Morris say ‘join in the fun’, they do mean it – you’ll be encouraged to give the dancing a try, but they’ll accept donations in lieu of participation (or as well!). For more info: fenstantonmorris.org.uk

Peterborough Morris
Old Customs House
Peterborough PE1 1EG
May 1st, 5.20am
Dance style: Cotswold
Insta: @peterborough_morris

Set your alarms and head into Peterborough (parking available at the Key Theatre) to see Peterborough Morris celebrate the arrival of summer. Not keen on the idea of an early start? Fear not – later in the day, they’ll be touring various pubs in the locality (see their website for more details of where/when). Donations are welcome and they won’t even ask you to join in. For more info: peterboroughmorris.co.uk

Tradfolk Rachel
Outside Ely Cathedral
Ely, CB7 4DL
May 1st, after Ely and Littleport Riot
Dance style: Cotswold (ish)
Insta: @tradfolkrach

Our very own Rachel Wilkinson will be attempting her first ever Tradfolk Rachallenge, dancing a solo jig on the hallowed grounds of Ely Cathedral, having spent only a month learning how to do it from scratch. Visit her, support her, throw breakfast at her. Mostly, make sure she realises it definitely was a good idea. For more info: The Tradfolk Rachallenge

Sutton Masque
Secret Location
Dance style: Border
May 1st, Sun up

Never ones to be left off a list, the secretive, green-faced folk of Sutton Masque Border Morris want you to know that they will be dancing the sun up at *location redacted* in the middle of the Fens. They’ll be surrounded by an appreciative audience of new-born lambs, and breakfast will follow the dancing. We have no further information. suttonmasque.wordpress.com

Cornwall

The Barrel Border Morris
The Bush Inn,
Morwenstow, EX23 9SR
May 1st, 6.30pm
Dance style: Border
Insta: @thebarrelbordermorris

The Barrel Border Morrisers will be dancing at the very leisurely time of 6.30pm. We don’t blame them. Sunrise is very early. We’ve heard The Bush Inn is in a great cliff top location, does good food, and that there’ll be a music session in the bar after the dancing. Can’t say fairer than that!

Wreckers Border Morris
Atop Kit Hill
Tamar Valley, PL17 8AX
Dance style: Border
May 1st, 5.30am

Clamber up Kit Hill just before day breaks for fine views of the surrounding landscape, and to see Wreckers Border Morris dancing like it matters – let’s hope they can bring the sun up over the Devon border. They’re a busy bunch, and always on the lookout for new dancers and musicians, so have a chat if you’ve ever fancied giving it a go. For more info: wreckersmorris.co.uk

Derbyshire

Chapel-en-le-Frith Morris
Eccles Pike
High Peak, SK23 6BY
May 1st, 5:30am
Dance style: Cotswold
Insta: @chapelenlefrithmorris

Chapel-en-le-Frith Morris have been dancing up the sun on Eccles Pike (1,210 ft above sea level) on May Morning since 1993, although they’ve been Cotswold Morris dancing in and around the Peak District since 1975. Since day one (see the video below), they’ve been doing so in the company of the sturdily-named beast, Stanley the Bull. Get along at 5:30am and watch them dance the sun up… with fabulous views of the surrounding countryside. For more info: chapelmorris.org

Powderkegs Morris
Windgather Rocks
High Peak, SK23 7RF
May 1st, 5:15am
Dance style: Border

20 years young in 2021, Powderkegs Morris are a mixed side dancing traditional and evolved Border Morris around the Peak District. They’ll be dancing up the sun at Windgather Rocks (so wear something warm) near Whaley Bridge. For more info: powderkegs.co.uk

Cheshire

Adlington Morris Men
White Nancy
Kerridge Hill, Bollington, SK10 5AX
May 1st, 8.45am
Dance style: Cotswold
Insta: @adlingtonmorrismen

As nice as it is to see the sunrise on May Day, it’s also quite nice to have time for tea and crumpets before you leave the house – the Adlington Morris Men have kindly given you that option with their “acceptable compromise”. Climb Kerridge Hill to the curious, Grade II listed White Nancy to enjoy the views and the dancing. For more info: adlingtonmorrismen.com

Devon

Cogs and Wheels Ladies Morris
Water Works
Belstone, Dartmoor
May 1st, 5.30am
Dance style: Cotswold

They say “Cogs and Wheels will be dancing at dawn on 1st May, to welcome summer! We will meet at 5am (yes, a.m.!!) at the water works in Belstone and proceed together to the Flag Pole and later to the Nine Maiden stone circle. All welcome to join us, so if you can’t sleep at night, you know where to come. Here’s to sunny and beautiful summer!!!” Lovely. Donations are welcomed and they’d love you to have a go if you fancy it. For more info: www.cogsandwheels.co.uk

Dartington Morris Men
Totnes Castle
Castle St, Totnes, TQ9 5NU
May 1st, 5:30am (no entry fee at this time)
Dance style: Cotswold
Insta: @dartingtonmorrismen

Dartington Morris Men have recently become a mixed-gender side, so don’t be fooled by their name. Their practise season is well underway, so head to their website if you’d like to get involved. They’ll be dancing the sun up inside Totnes Castle, so be there bright and early if you want to catch them. Donations are welcomed, refreshments will be available, and no beasts have been reported in the vicinity (though a fool or two may be in attendance). For more info: dartingtonmorris.uk

Dartmoor Border Morris
The Burrator Inn
Dousland, Yelverton, PL20 6NP
May 1st, 5:15am
Dance style: Border

Dartmoor Border Morris (Best Supporting Dancers in the Black Farmer TV ad – see below) will be dancing in a car park (hallowed turf for modern Morris dancers) below Leeden Tor on the B3212, the Yelverton to Princetown Road. They tell us that Fox Tor cafe in Princetown will be serving a full English breakfast from 6:15am, so there’s decent scran afterwards if you’re still running on empty. Onlookers are encouraged to have a go. No beasts have been reported in the vicinity. For more info: dartmoorbordermorris.com

Dorset

Wessex Morris Men and Ripley Morris
Cerne Giant
Cerne Abbas, DT2 7AL
May 1st, 5.00am
Dance style: Cotswold

Since 1957, the Wessex Morris Men have been putting on a show in Dorset, accompanied by their beast, the Dorset Ooser. They’ll be dancing above the Giant with Ripley Morris. As locations go, they’ve picked a top spot, so why not head up and enjoy the sunrise? For more info: www.wessexmorrismen.co.uk

East Sussex

Chanctonbury Ring Morris Men
Chanctonbury Ring
Wiston, BN44 3DN
May 1st, 7.00am
Dance style: Cotswold

There’ll be singing and dancing at Chanctonbury Ring on the South Downs from 7am. If you’d like to watch, there will be a meetup in the car park at the above postcode at 6:45am, before ascending en masse to the designated dance spot. After that, they’ll be meeting up with Sompting Village Morris at the War Memorial in Shoreham to dance until lunchtime. For more info: crmm.org.uk

Brighton Morris Men
Hollingbury Hill Fort
Ditchling Rd, Brighton, BN1 8GB
May 1st, 4:30am
Dance style: Cotswold
Insta: @brightonmorrismen

The Brighton Morris Men will be up long before the day-o. Get yourself along to Hollingbury Hill Fort by the ungodly hour of 4:30am for some quality Cotswold Morris. As the sun rises, they’ll dance around the hill fort before heading back to Brighton, a big breakfast, and then further dances around the city. No beasts in attendance, but they will be dancing with Cuckoo’s Nest Morris (definitely not beasts). Donations are welcomed, and the side love to initiate the uninitiated. For more info: brightonmorris.co.uk

Hannah’s Cat Morris with Mad Jack’s Morris
The Ladies Parlour
Hastings Castle
Hastings, TN34 3RD
May 1st, 4:30am
Dance style: Cotswold

Hannah’s Cat Morris (named after Hannah the Witch) will be dancing with Mad Jack’s Morris as part of the must-visit Hastings Jack in the Green Weekend. Although no further details were available at the time of writing, the squire tells us that other sides attending the festivities are likely to be joining them. No beasts reported, but keep an eye open for the extraordinary Hastings Giants. For more info: hastingstraditionaljackinthegreen.co.uk

Long Man Morris Men
The Long Man of Wilmington
S Downs Way, Eastbourne, BN26 5SW
May 1st, 5:30am
Dance style: Cotswold
Insta: @longmanmm

The Long Man Morris Men have been dancing at the foot of the Long Man of Wilmington for many years. Can you imagine a more spellbinding sight than seeing these dancers perform for that giant, chalk hill figure as it looms from the morning dusk? Who needs beasts when you’ve got that in front of you? Donations are welcome and the side is happy to show newcomers the ropes. For more info: longman.org.uk

East Yorkshire

Rackaback Morris
Black Mill
Beverley, HU17 8RQ
May 1st, 5am
Dance style: Border

Rackaback Morris are a Border Morris side from Hull that celebrated their 10th year in 2021. They’ll be venturing to the Beverley Westwood and dancing next to the black windmill stump with panoramic views of the sunrise. (For precise directions, hit this What Three Words link.) Donations are welcome and onlookers are encouraged to take part. No beasts reported in the vicinity. For more info: rackaback.com

Essex

Belchamp Morris
Community House
Belchamp St Paul, Sudbury, CO10 7BX
April 30th, 1pm
Dance style: Border

Fresh from dancing with 10 other sides in Hundon on St George’s Day (April 24th), Belchamp Morris will be appearing on April 30th at Great Maplestead Beer Festival. When asked whether they’ll be dancing with any beasts, we received a two-word reply: “possible pig”. It’s worth turning up just to see what, indeed, is possible. For more info: belchampmorris.co.uk

Gloucestershire

Happenstance Border Morris
Cleeve Hill
Winchcombe
May 1st, 5.30am
Dance style: Border

Let Happenstance entertain you as the sun rise in Gloucestershire. Donations are welcome, as are keen onlookers who might like to have a go. A Jack in the Green has been reported in this location. For more info: happenstancemorris.co.uk

Hampshire

Hook Eagle Morris
The Shack
London Road, Hook, RG27 9EH
May 1st, 5:32am

Hook Eagle Morris will be dancing at an old-school transport café on the A30, just outside Hook Village. Reports suggest that the caf does amazing breakfasts, which is just what you need after a very precise start of 5:32am. This wonderful gaggle of Border Morris rogues are always keen to get onlookers involved, so show up ready to bash a few sticks. For more info: hookeagle.org.uk

Victory Morris
Trafalgar Memorial
Clarence Esplanade, Southsea, PO5 3AD
May 1st, 5.15am
Dance style: Cotswold
Insta: @victory_morris

Head down to seafront (next to the Hoverport) shortly after 5am to catch Victory Morris welcoming the day, as they have been since 1976. Donations are very welcome, and they promise you won’t even have to join in. Afterwards, they’ll be touring the local area, so catch them later in the day if you’re not here for the early start. For more info: victorymorrismen.org.uk

Herefordshire

Blackthorn Border Morris
The Cider Barn
Lyne Down, Much Marcle, HR8 2NT
April 30th, evening
May 1st, 5am
Dance style: Border
Insta: @blackthorn_border_morris

Blackthorn, the relatively new but incredibly passionate Border Morris side that were featured in January’s Guardian article, will be performing a series of songs, dances and ceremonies from sunset on May eve (April 30th) going on into the night. Then they’ll be up early on Beltane (may 1st) to dance up the sun, joined by their Green Man. Substantial beast activity has been reported – be on the look out for their Mari Lwyd (Pwca), Twiggy Witch and Bull (Black Vaughan). Donations are welcomed. For more info: blackthornbordermorris.com

Foxwhelp Morris
Arthur’s Stone
Dorstone, HR3 6AX
May 1st, 5.30am
Dance style: Cotswold
Insta: @foxwhelpmorris

Were the indentations in Arthur’s Stone left there when the body of a recently slain giant fell into it? We’ll never know. What we do know, though, is that Foxwhelp Morris will be dancing next to the Neolithic tomb on May Morning. If you’d like a taster, they appeared on the Easter Sunday edition of Countryfile, alongside John Craven! For more info: foxwhelpmorris.com

Hertfordshire

Aldbury Morris Men
The Pond
The Green, Aldbury, HP23 5RR
May 1st, 6:30am
Dance style: Cotswold

Aldbury Morris have been dancing Cotswold Morris in their little corner of the Chilterns since 1969, meaning that this will be their 53rd year together. You’ll catch them dancing up the sun by the pond in their Hertfordshire home. For more info: aldburymorris.co.uk

Isle of Wight

Men of Wight
The Longstone
Mottistone, PO30 4EB
May 1st, 4.30am
Dance style: Cotswold

Thrown down by St Catherine in a competition with the Devil over who should control the island, The Longstone will be the location of a rather different type of athletic feat this May Morning. Find the Men of Wight there dancing up the sun at the unholy time of 4.30am. Despite their name, they’re actually now a mixed side and are always keen for more dancers if you’re in the area. For more info: menofwight.org.uk

Kent

Dead Horse Morris and Broomdashers
Beacon Hill
Whitstable, CT52BP
May 1st, 5.15am
Dance Style: Various

It’s a busy couple of days for Dead Horse Morris and the Broomdashers. They’ll be starting the day at the foot of Beacon Hill, before moving on to the harbour in Whitstable for more dancing at 6am. Then they’re off to the Rochester Sweeps Festival (we need to know more about this!) before heading back to the coast on May 2nd for Whitstable Jack in the Green (see below). Could do with a sit down just reading that list… For more info: deadhorse.org.uk

East Kent Morris
Wye Memorial Crown
Ashford, TN25 5DF
May 1st, 5:30am
Dance style: Cotswold

Easy Kent Morris will dance the sun up at 5.30am at the Wye memorial Crown before dancing in Wye village. Breakfast will then be taken at the New Flying Horse, after which – suitably refreshed and revived – the side shall move on to dance at Perry Court. “Our hooden horse, Invicta is allowed out occasionally,” they tell us, ‘but might not be up this early on May Day!” For more info: ekmm.org.uk

Hartley Morris Men
The Coldrum Long Barrow
West Malling, ME19 5EG
May 1st, 5.32am
Dance style: Cotswold

We all know there’s a big Platinum Jubilee celebration going on this year, of course. Queen Elizabeth? Never heard of her. We’re taking about the Hartley Morris Men! They’re turning 70 and, as always, dancing at dawn to celebrate, possibly accompanied by Hartley Horse. Go and find out, but don’t be late, because they’ll start without you… For more info: hartleymorrismen.wixsite.com

Huginn and Muninn
Rochester
April 30th, 10am
Dance style: Border
Insta: @huginnmuninnmorris

Dancing alongside Black Swan Border Morris, Huginn and Muninn take to the streets of Rochester at 10am the day before May Day (May Eve), although they tell us that they might still dance the sun up… so either this is yet to be decided, or they’re planning to dance from 10am until 5:30am the next morning and see who’s still standing. We suspect it’s the former. Either way, Sleipnir – their Mari Lwyd – will be there to oversee proceedings. For more info: facebook.com/Huginnandmuninnmorris

Romney Marsh Morris
Romney Marshes
The Star Inn, St Mary in the Marsh, TN29 0BX
May 1st, 5am
Dance style: Cotswold

The festivities begin deep in the Romney Marshes, in the field alongside The Star Inn at 5am. Then they’ll move onto Kentish Pip Cidery at Bekesbourne for 10am before heading to the British Lion in Folkestone for a last dance at 12.30pm. A fairly new side at six years old, Romney Marsh Morris is keen to give anyone a go if they fancy shaking a limb. Beast spotters should keep an eye open for Ewestacia, their Romney Marsh Ewe. For more info: romneymarshmorris.com

Whitstable Jack in the Green
Various locations
Whitstable
May 2nd, 10am onwards
Dance style: Cotswold

There’s a new side on the block this year, as Whitstable May Day Morris take over from Oyster Morris at the head of the Whitstable Jack in the Green procession. They’ll be joined by Dead Horse Morris Men and their counterpart ladies team, The Broomdashers, for a day of dancing and festivities to see in the summer. If you’re there a couple of days in advance and fancy joining in, there’ll be a workshop to learn the processional dance, and a real-life-in-person ceilidh on May Day itself. You don’t even have to get up at 5am to get involved! For more info: facebook.com/whitstablejack

Lincolnshire

Bourne Borderers
Meadow Drove (w3w: mandolin.simulates.encodes)
Bourne, PE10 0AH
May 1st, 5.20am
Dance style: Border

The Bourne Borderers will be warming up for their May Day dance spot by appearing at the ‘Whitebread Meadow Running Auction’ in Bourne on April 25th. Don’t worry, we had to look it up too, but now we want to go! However, if you’d rather get your traditional May 1st Morris fix, find them and their Morris pups dancing up the sun on Meadow Drove. If you have a go at the dancing too, you’ll have earned your second breakfast at the ‘Don’t Lose Hope’ café… For more info: bourneborderers.co.uk

London

Greensleeves Morris
Wimbledon Windmill
Wimbledon Common, SW19 5NR
May 1st, 5.30pm
Dance style: Cotswold

They’ve been dancing since 1926 (don’t they look well on it?!) but Greensleeves Morris still have the energy to bring in the summer at the windmill on Wimbledon Common. Pop along, meet Hengist (if he’s got out of bed in time), and enjoy that London sunrise. No reports of Wombles in the area, but best to beware, just in case. For more info: www.greensleevesmorris.org.uk

Greenwich Morris
Greenwich Park gates
Duke Humphrey Road, Blackheath
May 1st, 5:30am
Dance style: Cotswold

Greenwich Morris are planning a dawn dance on Duke Humphrey Road, Blackheath, just by the gates to Greenwich Park. Then, following breakfast, they’re heading off to dance at the Rochester Sweeps Festival. If you’re heading into work on the A2, keep an eyeball hovering over Blackheath and you should spot them. Donations are welcome. No beasts forthcoming. For more info: greenwichmorris.org.uk

London Pride Morris Men
Primrose Hill
May 1st, 5:30am
Dance style: Cotswold

The London Pride Morris Men first danced together in the 1930s. They rehearse at Cecil Sharp House and encourage anyone to come along and have a go. Head to one of London’s most picturesque peaks to watch the summer icumen in, accompanied by a hurdy gurdy. For more info: londonpridemorris.webs.com

Merseyside

Mersey Morris Men
Bidston Lighthouse
Prenton, CH43 7RA
May 1st. 5:25am
Dance style: Cotswold

The Mersey Morris Men have been dancing for close to 90 years. Originally formed as the Liverpool Morris Men, they eventually amalgamated with the Wirral Morris Men when numbers ran low, emerging under their present moniker around 60 years ago. Come and support this much-storied side as they dance up the sun with Mock Beggar Morris by Bidston Lighthouse, Birkenhead, with their Liver Bird/Duck in attendance. For more info: merseymorrismen.com

Norfolk

Golden Star Morris
St James’ Hill
Mousehold Heath
May 1st, 5am
Dance style: Cotswold

Golden Star Morris will be back at their usual May Day dance spots – 5am on St James’ Hill, then 6am outside Norwich Cathedral. After some breakfast (and maybe a quick snooze?), they’ll be heading to The Locks Inn, Geldeston, for more dancing in the afternoon too. Plenty of opportunities to see them leaping, in this, their fifth decade as a dancing side. For more info: www.goldenstarmorris.org.uk

Northamptonshire

Brackley Morris Men
Brackley Market Square
High St, Brackley, NN13 7DS
May 1st, 5am
Dance style: Cotswold
Insta: @the_brackley_morris_men

These boys tell us they have been dancing on May Morning in this same spot for over 50 years (so we have to assume they’re no longer boys). That’s tradition for you! This year they’ll be joined by The Royal Oak and Northampton Morris Men. Donations are welcome, and you’re welcome to shake a leg, an arm or a hankie yourself, should the urge grab you. For more info: thebrackleymorrismen.org.uk

Northumberland

Hexham Morris Men and Hexhamshire Lasses
Steel Rigg Car Park
Once Brewed, NE47 7AN
May 1st, 5.30am
Dance style: Cotswold

Head into the wilds of Northumberland to experience May morning with Hexham Morris. The Morris Men have been dancing since 1977, and the Lasses since 1992, so their legs are probably getting tired by now (apologies for two terrible jokes in a row). They’d love it if you’d bolster their early morning spirit by having a go at the Morris with them, or dropping a donation in the collection. For more info: www.hexhammorris.com

North Yorkshire

Richmond on Swale Morris Men
Market Place
Richmond, DL10 4PX
May 1st, 12:30pm
Dance style: Cotswold

MayFest is a new event for Richmond in North Yorkshire – a festival of historical and traditional music and dance, located in a beautiful setting. Four Morris sides will be taking place (including the Richmond on Swale Morris Men) on May 1st and May 2nd, dancing in the Market Place and in Richmond Castle. No beasts reported in the vicinity. For more info: richmondmayfest.org

Yorkshire Coast Morris
The Monument
Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough, YO11 2YW
May 1st, 5am

Yorkshire Coast Morris will be dancing by the monument at Oliver’s Mount, celebrating the sunrise from 5am. Donations will be taken by an Obby Oss… so, watch your fingers.

Nottinghamshire

Rattlejag Morris
Castle Hill
Laxton, NG22 0NY
May 1st, 5:20am
Dance style: Plough Morris
Insta: @rattlejag

Rattlejag tell us: “We will be welcoming in the summer and greeting the first sunrise of May at Laxton, Castle Hill – the entrance is up a track opposite the Church. The track up to the mound is opposite the church and it should take you about 20 minutes to walk up. Please can you ensure that the gate is closed behind you as there are cattle in the field. Also, can we ask that you take into consideration any locals that may still be getting their beauty sleep. As always we will be providing bacon sandwiches (veggie option available) tea, coffee and beer for a small donation.” And it doesn’t get much more welcoming than that. They will be dancing with Trentside Holme, a Cotswold side from Sutton-on-Trent. For more info: rattlejagmorris.org.uk

Oxfordshire

Armaleggan Border Morris
Cumnor Village Hall
Cumnor, OX2 9QF
May 1st, 5am
Dance style: Border

Armaleggan Border Morris meet at the bottom of Hurst Hill, OX2 9JH, before processing up to the top, singing as they go, carrying the May Staff. An early bird will already have lit the Beltane fire ready for their arrival. They form a circle, recite poems, sing songs, perform the Green Man play, celebrate the sun up, and give thanks. They decorate the May Staff with flowers and greenery, and the May King and Queen are chosen out of a hat, all of which is accompanied by homemade liqueurs and mead from the horn. Then they perform a ribbon dance and jump the Beltane fire. They make their way back down the hill for breakfast, meeting up again in Oxford at around 10:45am for dancing around the town until 1pm. A busy schedule! For more info: armaleggan.org

Eynsham Morris
Market Square
Eynsham, OX29 4HA
May 2nd, 11am
Insta: @eynshammorris

Eynsham Morris tell us that they have a proud tradition stretching back to the 19th century and probably beyond. They only perform dances from the village and all members must live in or have been born in Eynsham to join. This event is their May Bank Holiday day of dance, starting at 11am and running into the evening (they also dance in Oxford on May 1st from 6am). No beasts spotted in the vicinity, per se, but watch out for the Green Man. Donations very welcome. For more info: eynshammorris.org.uk

Owlswick Morris
The Rollright Stones
Little Rollright, Chipping Norton, OX7 5QB
May 1st, 5:30am
Dance style: Cotswold
Insta: @owlswickmorrisbucks

Owlswick Morris tell us, “We’re delighted to be touring the Cotswolds on May Day, after a break of two years. Starting the day at the Rollright Stones is a really special way to get things going. It’s always a bit magical, whatever the weather. We’ll be travelling around some of our favourite Cotswold towns and villages, too. Check our website nearer the time for the full programme.” Well, what are you waiting for? For more info: e-voice.org.uk/owlswickmorris

Three Horseshoes Morris and Towersey Morris
Crossroads
Towersey, OX9 3QY
May 1st, 5.20am
Dance style: Cotswold

Three Horseshoes Morris tell us that, along with Towersey Morris, they’ll be meeting in the middle of the village to dance as the sun rises, then celebrating and warming up with breakfast at the Three Horseshoes pub (advance booking required). Later, at 10.30am, they’ll process from the playing fields to the village green for an outdoor service, Maypole dancing, and of course, more Morris dancing! Donations will be welcome and you can even have a go if you’re feeling brave. For more info: www.threehorseshoesmorris.co.uk

Rutland

Rutland Morris Men
Uppingham Market Place
Oakham, LE15 9QH
May 1st, 5:20am
Dance style: Cotswold

Rutland Morris Men traditionally welcome the dawn on May Morning with dancing (and music of course) in Uppingham Market Place. This is followed by a hearty breakfast at one of the local hostelries. No beasts at this early hour, apparently: “Our horse doesn’t make an appearance on May Day, he’s still tucked up in the stable at that time in the morning.” For more info: morrismen.org.uk

Rutland Morris dancing on May Morning, 2019. Photo credit: Sally Harnett
Rutland Morris dancing on May Morning, 2019. Photo credit: Sally Harnett

Somerset

Bathampton Morris Men
Across North Somerset
May 1st, midday
Dance style: Cotswold

The Bathampton Morris Men began dancing in 1934, and they claim to have provided the area with continuous Morris dancing ever since. That’s 88 years by our count. They must be fit chaps, as their May Day celebrations go from Springfield Care Home (Bath, midday) to the Huntsman (2pm, also Bath) to Abbey Churchyard (3pm, Bath again) to Russell’s (possibly Bath, possibly closer to home, 4:30pm) to the school and John Nutt’s seat (Bathampton, 7:30pm) to the Crown (Bathford, 8:15pm). That’s about 88 hours by our count. For more info: bathampton-morris-men.org.uk

Enigma Border Morris
Ham Hill
Stoke sub Hamdon, TA14 6RL
May 1st, 5.30am
Dance style: Border

Enigma Border Morris and the Treacle Eater Clog Dancers invite you to join them on Ham Hill as they tempt the sun into the sky and get summer going again. There are sure to be lovely views over Somerset. Donations will be welcomed, as will those wishing to try their hand (or should that be feet?) at some dancing. For more info: enigmamorris.com

South Yorkshire

Five Rivers Morris
The Three Merry Lads
610 Redmires Rd, Sheffield, S10 4LJ
May 1st, 2pm
Dance style: Cotswold
Insta: @fiveriversmorris

James from Five Rivers Morris tells us, “Five Rivers Morris have a long tradition of not dancing the sun up on May Morning. It’s too early, frankly, and we like a lie-in. However, given that May Day falls on a weekend this year, and not being able to resist the temptation to be included in a listing, we decided to organise a dance out. So, we’ll be performing for a couple of hours at this beautiful spot overlooking the Rivelin Valley, high above our native Sheffield. Plus, the beer’s good and there’s a playground for the kids. Win-win.” So, there you have it: a dance-out prompted by this very directory. Tradfolk.co: indirectly stirring loins since 2021. For more info: fiveriversmorris.org.uk

Lord Conyers Morris Men
The Trysting Tree
Kiveton Lane, Todwick, S26 1JJ
May 1st, 5:30am

This will be the 47th year that Lord Conyers Morris Men have been dancing up the sun on May Morning. Primarily a Cotswold Morris side, they have flirted in the past with clog dancing, longsword and Border Morris. Onlookers should head to the site of the Trysting Tree. Donations are welcome. For more info: lordconyers.org.uk

Pecsætan and City Morris
Corker Lane
Dungworth, S6 6HA
May 1st, 5.30am
Dance style: Cotswold
Insta: @pecsaetan

In their 21st birthday year, Pecsætan, with their beast Harry the Ram and friends Sheffield City Morris, will dance up the sun on the edge of the Peak District. Like all good pre-birthday parties, you won’t be asked to join in with the fun and games, but you are allowed to ask how to pronounce their name if, like us, you’re a little unsure… For more info: www.pecsaetan.co.uk

Staffordshire

Domesday Morris
The Gresley Arms
Alsagers Bank, ST7 8BQ
May 2nd, 4.00pm
Dance style: Border

They tell us “Domesday Morris will be celebrating May Day a little late (but better late than never!) by dancing on 2 May”. These early mornings aren’t for everyone, obviously, and the pub will definitely be open by then! Donations will be accepted and joiner in-ers welcome. For more info: www.domesdaymorris.co.uk

Suffolk

Rumburgh Morris
Broome Common
Ditchingham, NR35 2NZ
May 1st, 5.30am
Dance style: Cotswold

After dancing the sun up on Broome Common, Rumburgh Morris will be ready for some breakfast, they tell us. You work up quite an appetite with this dancing malarkey apparently. From the common, they’ll head to Bigod’s Kitchen in Bungay for a fry-up and another dance spot – catch them there, or later as part of the Southwold Lions Club May Day Fete on Southwold Common, if you’d rather not get up for sunrise. They’ll be accepting donations, and welcome anyone wishing to have a go. For more info: rumburghmorris.org.uk

Surrey

Rampant Rooster Morris
The Viewpoint
Box Hill, Tadworth, KT20 7LB
May 1st, 5:00am
Dance style: Cotswold

As guests of Kingston Spring Grove Morris, the exuberant Rampant Rooster Morris and their friends Ewell St Mary Morris Men will be seeing in the dawn on top of Box Hill. Donations into the Lucky Morris Potty please… For more info: www.rampantroostermorris.co.uk

Warwickshire

Hereburgh Morris
Chesterton Windmill
Harbury, CV33 9LB
May 1st, 5.00am
Dance style: Cotswold

We didn’t get a lot of info from Hereburgh about what will be happening at their dawn dance out, but they’ve just celebrated their 35th birthday, and there was homemade cake, so it’s sure to be a good morning with much cheer. For more info: www.hereburghmorris.org.uk

Shakespeare Morris
Bancroft Gardens
Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6AT
May 1st, 5.30am
Dance style: Cotswold
Insta: @shakespearemorris1959

They tell us: On May Day 2022, Shakespeare Morris have revived Stratford-upon-Avon’s Jack in the Green, last seen in Stratford in c.1870. Dancing starts at the Bancroft but will take in Shakespeare’s Birthplace, New Place, Rother Street and, traditionally for the Jack, Chapel Street for King Edward VI students. We will have breakfast and then continue dancing at the above spots until c.12 noon.” That’s history and stamina, all in one place. We’re impressed. For more info: www.shakespearemorris.org.uk

West Yorkshire

Rivington Morris
Todmorden Folk Festival
Todmorden, OL14 5AA
May 1st, 10:30am
Dance style: North West
Insta: @rivingtonmorris2

This women’s side of North West dancers has been up and running for 45 years, having formed in 1977. One of their dances (‘Aunt Marie’s Dance’) is named after the woman who taught it to them. Aunt Marie was 84 at the time she imparted this priceless tidbit of tradition, which she had learnt in her youth, so you can see they have tradfolk form. They’ll be dancing with other sides as part of the Todmorden Folk Festival. For more info: rivingtonmorris.org.uk

White Rose Morris Men
5 St John’s Road
Huddersfield, HD1 5AY
May 1st, 5am
Dance style: Cotswold

Traditional dances from the local tradition were noted down in 1942 in the Fartown area of Huddersfield. White Rose Morris have since concentrated on keeping those traditions alive. They’ll be dancing up the May Morning sun this year, as they do every year, with no beasts reported in the vicinity. For more info: nicksites.net/WhiteRose/

Wiltshire

Malmesbury Morris
Malmesbury Cricket Club
Malmesbury, SN16 9JX
May 1st, 5.00am
Dance style: Cotswold

Roll up, roll up, as we announce the inaugural Malmesbury Morris May Day Dawn Dance! They’ve never danced up the sun before, but this year, will be joining in the collective Morris effort of getting summer going. They tell us that there’s a lot of enthusiasm for it amongst the side, but possibly even more enthusiasm for the cooked breakfast that’ll follow… No judgement here. If you like what they do, they’ll be accepting donations, and you won’t even be asked to join in. For more info: www.malmesburymorris.org.uk

Sarum Morris
Old Sarum Castle
Salisbury, SP1 3SD
May 1st, 5.30am
Dance style: Cotswold

In their 40th year, Sarum Morris plan to dance 40 different dances in 40 different locations – see them add a few to the tally as the sun rises on May Day. They’ll be in their customary colours of white, gold and blue – the colours of the city of Salisbury – but you’ll probably want to wrap up warm against the morning chill. For more info: www.sarummorris.co.uk

Worcestershire

Pebworth Morris Men
Little Meadows
Pebworth, WR11 8JN
May 1st, 5:30am
Dance style: Cotswold

Following time honoured tradition (well, two decades at least) Pebworth will dance up the dawn at the crossroads and then continue throughout the village before enjoying a full English breakfast and more dancing at the Fleece Inn, Bretforton. The fully refreshed lads will then take off on a mystery dance tour. Further pubs may be included. No beasts reported in the vicinity. For more info: andydavies0368.wixsite.com/pebworth-morris-men

Channel Islands

Jersey

Helier Morris Men
Mont Orgueil
Gorey, JE3 6ET
May 1st, 6am

With the Jersey Lilies (the only women’s Morris side in Jersey), Helier Morris Men (the only men’s Morris side in the Channel Islands and the most southerly team in the British Isles) will be dancing at Mont Orgueil Castle at dawn, before moving on to La Rocque and Green Island. Later, as guests of National Trust Jersey, they will be dancing at The Elms. Expect music, singing, flowers and festivities. Please note that this is a ticketed event. Tickets available here: store.nationaltrust.je

Australia

Australian Capital Territory

Surly Griffin Morris
Mount Ainslie
Canberra
May 1st, 6:30am
Dance style: Border and Cotswold

We know very little about the Surly Griffins other than they’ve been dancing together since 2012. Get along to Mount Ainslie for sunrise and see what they’re about. For more info: facebook.com/SurlyGriffinsMorris

Queensland

Belswagger Morris and friends
Mount Coot-tha Lookout
Brisbane, 4066
Dance style: various
Insta: @belswagger

“Every year at dawn on the first of May, the Morris dancers of Brisbane congregate on Mt Coot-tha to dance up the sun. You don’t need to be Morris to take part! Tick it off your bucket list! Morris will meet before 5:30am at the Mt Coot-tha lookout. True dawn is about 6:13am, with the usual celebratory BBQ 7:00am at J.C. Slaughter Falls.” Sign us up. For more info: www.belswagger.morris.org.au

South Australia

Adelaide Morris
Victoria Square
Grote St, Adelaide, SA 5000
May 1st, 7am
Dance style: Cotswold

We weren’t able to gather much info on the Adelaide Morris Men, other than that their motto is, “Oh God, this is hopeless”. Go and cheer them on in Victoria Square nonetheless – show them that it’s all very worthwhile indeed. For more info: adelaidemorrismen.com

Canada

BC

Tiddly Cove Morris
Trimble Park, Point Grey, Vancouver
May 1st, 5am
Dance style: unknown

Tiddly Cove Morris have been dancing up the sun for somewhere between 36 and 40 years (it seems that nobody quite remembers). Join them for an early 5am start when they open proceedings at Trimble Park, ahead of the Vancouver Morris Men (see below). No beasts in attendance, but Tiddly Cove do encourage onlookers to take part (not that we think you’re beastly or anything like that).

Vancouver Morris Men
Trimble Park, Point Grey, Vancouver
May 1st, 5:30am
Dance style: Cotswold

The Vancouver Morris Men have been dancing the sun up for decades (except for the last two years, due to COVID), and this year will be no different. See them Morris dancing with their obby oss, just after Tiddly Cove Morris, as they welcome in the May bright and early. Donations are welcome, as are eager onlookers. For more info: vancouvermm.weebly.com

New Zealand

Auckland

City of Auckland Morris Dancers
Auckland Harbour Bridge
May 1st, 6:45am
Dance style: Cotswold

These dancers have been performing Cotswold Morris for 40+ years (although they’re not averse to a little Border here and there, too). They tell us that, having evolved from an English Country Dance club, they’ll probably do a country dance as well. No beasts reported in the vicinity, other than the dancers themselves. For more info: aucklandmorris.org.nz

Nelson

Ragged Crow Morris Dancers
Paddy’s Knob
Tāhunanui, Nelson 7011
May 1st, 5:30pm
Dance style: Border

The fine people at Ragged Crow tell us: “Given that we are in New Zealand, we will be dancing the sun down at Paddy’s Knob, while those in the Northern hemisphere will be dancing it up at some ungodly hour. We will be putting our Green Man to bed for the winter, after which we will drink an ale, cider or wine to his good health and a jolly good sleep.” For more info: raggedcrow.org

Northland

Whangārei City Morris Dancers
Canopy Bridge
Whangārei, 0110
May 1st, 6.45am
Dance style: Border

Having only formed in 2021, Whangārei City Morris are possibly the youngest side in our directory, and definitely the youngest side in New Zealand. They’ll be dancing the sun up (or is it down?) in the Southern Hemisphere and are hoping to be joined by their new beasts – an ‘Oss and a pūkeko. (No, we weren’t sure what one of those was either.) Find them on the Canopy Bridge as day breaks over the Hatea River, where donations and participation will be most welcome. For more info: whangarei-morris.org

Taranaki

Phoenix Morris Dancers
Marsland Hill
Robe Street, New Plymouth 4310
May 1st, 5pm
Dance style: Cotswold

As summer begins in the Northern hemisphere, the Phoenix Morris Dancers will be bidding it farewell on New Zealand’s North Island. Deliberate audience and accidental onlookers will be encouraged to have a go for themselves, and we’ve heard that Nobby the Obby might even put in an appearance. Got to be worth a nosey – you don’t even have to get up early for it! For more info: facebook.com/Phoenix-Morris-Dancers

Waikato

Dance Folkus
Hamilton Gardens
Hamilton 3216
May 1st, 4:30pm
Dance style: English country dance

Dance Folkus perform traditional dances from around the world, in this case English country dance. They say they may or may not be dancing up (or down) the sun. Fairly confusing. Head to Hamilton Gardens at 4:30pm and see what’s what. We’d love to know! For more info: folkdance.nz

USA

Connecticut

Mystic Garland Dancers
Connecticut College Campus
Mohegan Ave Pkwy, CT 06320
May 1st, 5:30am
Dance style: North West

The Mystic Garland Dancers are known for dancing the North West Morris clog tradition as well as garland dancing and ritual sword dances (so watch out). They’ll be dancing the sun up with the Westerly Morris Men, who are hosting this particular dance out. No donations are necessary. For more info: sites.google.com/view/mysticgarland

Florida

Greenwood Morris
Baughman Chapel
Lake Alice, FL 32603
May 1st, 6:45am
Dance style: Cotswold

Greenwood Morris performs both Cotswold Morris and Border Morris, with most of their Cotswold dances coming from the traditions of Bampton, Adderbury, Brackley, Bledington and Fieldtown. They’ll be dancing up the sun by Lake Alice this coming May Day. For more info: sites.google.com/site/greenwoodmorris

Greenwood Morris dancing up the sun in 2019
Greenwood Morris dancing up the sun in 2019. Pic via their website.

Minnesota

Uptown-on-the-Lakes Morris and friends
Mississippi Gorge Regional Park
Minneapolis – St Paul
May 1st, 6.02am
Dance style: Cotswold

Are you in the Twin Cities area and want to see more Morris sides than you would be wise to shake a stick at? Head down to Mississippi Gorge Park to catch not only Uptown-on-the-Lakes, but also (breathes in) Minnesota Traditional Morris, Bells of the North, The Braggarts, Great River Morris, Brackleberry, and Itasca Rugby and Morris. Sure to be an impressive gathering of the local Morris community.

Massachussetts

Newtowne Morris
John W. Weeks Bridge
Cambridge, 02163
May 1st, 5.30am
Dance style: Cotswold

Newtowne say “Once again Newtowne Morris and The Country Dance Society-Boston Centre are happy to invite you to wake up the Earth on May Day. We ask that all people be vaccinated and wear masks since there will be singing in close proximity to each other. Songs, May Pole, Country and Ritual Dancing will insure that the sun keeps shining for at least another year.” For more info: newtowne.org/Facebook event

Pennsylvania

Kingsessing Morris
Belmont Plateau
Fairmount Park, Philadelphia
May 1st, 6:00am
Dance style: Cotswold

In their 45th dancing year, Kingsessing Morris will be waving their hankies to bring in the May on Belmont Plateau, which we understand (following a quick google search) to have the best view of the Philadelphia skyline. No beast have been reported, but warnings of dancers enjoying themselves have been issued. For more info: www.kingsessingmorris.com

Virginia

Foggy Bottom Morris Men
Torpedo Factory Waterfront Dock
Alexandria
May 1st, 6:00am
Dance style: Cotswold

If you happen to be in Alexandria for May Day, it’ll be worth setting your alarm and heading down to the waterfront, where the Foggy Bottom Morris Men will be joining Sligo Creek Sword and the Rock Creek Morris Women for a whole morning of dancing. If you prefer a more leisurely morning, they’ll be at the Market Square at 7.15am, followed by King Street Gardens Park at 10am and John Carlyle Square Park at 11am. For more info: fbmm.org

Washington

Sound and Fury Morris
Gasworks Park, Seattle
May 1st, 5:30am
Dance style: Cotswold

For their first celebration since the pandemic, Sound and Fury Morris will be dancing the sun up with Mossybacks Morris Men, Misty City Morris, North by Northwest, and a motley crew of May carollers. And if that doesn’t sound like enough of a riot, there are beasts in attendance. Look out for Finn the salmon and Ogo Pogo the lake monster. No donations necessary. For more info: soundandfurymorris.com

Sound and Fury morris dancing in Washington with their beast, Finn the salmon.
Sound and Fury Morris dancing with Finn the salmon. Pic via their website.