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 (that’s Monday 1st May), 2023.

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
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


New Zealand

United Kingdom


Letchworth Morris with Bedford Morris Men
The Green
May 1st, 6.30am
Dance style: Cotswold

Letchworth Morris was formed in 1922, and as one of the original six sides who formed the Morris Ring, they’ve probably been at this May morning malarky for a really long time. They’ll be joined by the Bedford Morris Men so it’s two for the price of one (though you won’t need to bring your pennies as donations aren’t being taken). Stick around and have a go at some country dancing after the Morris has been Morrised. For more info: https://www.letchworthmorris.org.uk/


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

Having obviously enjoyed their reappearance on the May Day scene in 2022, Rag Morris will be back out on May Day, welcoming the new day on Brandon Hill (head for the benches at the top of the hill, near the duck pond). Sometimes they’re joined by Pigsty Morris or Winterbourn Down Border Morris, but no news yet on whether bringing in the May will be a combined effort. What we do know is that there’s a good chance Rags the Oss will be in attendance, and in the pink (in all senses of the phrase…) For more info: ragmorris.com/rag-morris


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


Wessex Morris Men
Cerne Giant
Cerne Abbas, DT2 7AL
May 1st, 5.15am
Dance style: Cotswold

Since 1957, the Wessex Morris Men have been putting on a show in Dorset, accompanied by their beast, the Dorset Ooser. As locations go, they’ve picked a top spot, so why not head up and enjoy the sunrise? Park at the Cerne Abbas Village Hall and climb the hill until you find them. You’ll have done your exercise for the day before 6am! For more info: www.wessexmorrismen.co.uk

East Sussex

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

Mad Jack’s Morris, revivers and hosts of the must-visit Hastings Jack in the Green Weekend, will be kicking of May Day proceedings at The Ladies Parlour, joined by co-hosts Hannah’s Cat Morris (named after Hannah the Witch). Hastings really is the place to be all weekend long, with processions and dancing across town. Reports of mysterious Bogies in the area, who might invite you to have a go at the dancing for yourself. Keep an eye open for the extraordinary Hastings Giants too. For more info: hastingstraditionaljackinthegreen.co.uk

Hastings Maypole Dancers
The Ladies Parlour
Hastings Castle
Hastings, TN34 3RD
May 1st, 5:30am
Dance style: Maypole

As part of the Jack in the Green celebrations, Hastings Maypole Dancers will be dancing the sun up at the castle. They don’t come with their own beasts, but we can’t promise there won’t be strays from others sides… For more info: hastingstraditionaljackinthegreen.co.uk


Forest of Dean Morris
May Hill
Longhope, GL17 0RF
May 1st, 5.20am
Dance style: Cotswold

Head up the appropriately named May Hill to find FOD Morris dancing the sun up with friends Lassington Oak and maybe even Wild Oats Border Morris. After all, the only thing better than two morris sides is three. Reports of a possible beast sighting and audience participation, so it’ll be worth the climb. For more info: http://www.forestmorris.org.uk/

Miserden Morris and Boss Morris
Rodborough Common, near Rodborough Fort
Stroud, GL5 5BL
May 1st, 5.30am
Dance style: Cotswold

Join Miserden and Boss for an ethereal morning on Rodborough Common, welcoming May to Gloucestershire. You can expect a whole menagerie of beasts – Boris the Boar with Miserden, and, assuming a recent appearance at the Brit Awards hasn’t gone to their head, Hooty the Owl with Boss – but no indication of whether the Rodborough Common fairies will be in attendance. For more info: https://www.miserdenmorris.com

Stroud Morris Dancers
Painswick Beacon
May 1st, 5.30am
Dance style: Cotswold

If you go up to the Painswick Beacon, you’re in for a big surprise… Unless the reason you’re there is to see Stroud Morris dance up the sun on May morning, in which case you’ll find nothing out of the ordinary. They’ve been dancing for over 40 years! Not non-stop, we hasten to add… They’ll be with Gloucestershire Morris, at the top of the hill near the benchmark. Head up and show your support. For more info: https://www.stroudmorris.org.uk


Victory Morris
The Spur Redoubt
Portsmouth, PO5 3XX
May 1st, 5.10am
Dance style: Cotswold
Insta: @victory_morris

After a sojourn in sunny Southsea, Victory Morris return to Portsmouth to dance up the sun at The Spur Redoubt, following flood defence work (we think to the fortification, rather than the morris side…). The Spur Redoubt was the site from which Nelson headed off to board the Victory on his way to the Battle of Trafalgar, so it’s the perfect place for the ship’s namesake dancers to do their thing. Donations are very welcome, and they promise you won’t even have to join in. For more info: victorymorrismen.org.uk

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

Hook Eagle Morris are continuing their long-held tradition of dancing at dawn, which is always at 05:32 in Hook, apparently. Watch as they dodge the (non-existent) traffic on the A30, which very conveniently runs East to West for that perfect sunrise view. Rumour has it that they’ll be bringing liquid refreshment, and that a fab breakfast is available from 6am at the brilliantly old-school transport café. For more info: hookeagle.org.uk


Greenwich Morris
Greenwich Park gates
Duke Humphrey Road, Blackheath
May 1st, 5:25am
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


Summertown Morris and friends
Broad Street
May 1st, 7am
Dance style: Cotswold

The May Morning celebrations in Oxford are famous – thousands of people flock to the city at 6am to hear the a chorus of heavenly voices herald the arrival of summer from the top of the Magdalen College tower, after which a whole bunch of morris dancers bring the party straight back down to earth. In addition to Summertown, you’ll most likely be able to catch Oxford City Morris and Oxford University Morris, as well as other sides from across the county. The event can be very busy, so do plan ahead and watch out for roaming beasts. For more info: Facebook.com/SummertownMorris

Eynsham Morris
Market Square
Eynsham, OX29 4HA
May 8th, 11am
Insta: @eynshammorris

Eynsham Morris 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 annual village tour, starting at 11am and running into the evening, but they will also be appearing (and dancing) in Oxford on May 1st from 6.30am at the Radcliffe Camera. No beasts expected, per se, but watch out for the Green Man. Donations very welcome. For more info: eynshammorris.org.uk


Rutland Morris Men
Uppingham Market Place
Oakham, LE15 9QH
May 1st, 5:17am
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

South Yorkshire

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

This will be the 48th 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, where donations will be welcome but you definitely won’t be cajoled into waving a hanky in solidarity. For more info: lordconyers.org.uk


Pilgrim Morris
St Martha’s Hill, Chilworth
May 1st, 5.00am
Dance style: Cotswold

To join Pilgrim Morris on May Morning, you’re going to want to park in Halfpenny Land Car Park, pull out your compass, and walk east, uphill, for 1/2 mile, listening for the sound of bells and the voices of the Guildford Vox Community Choir carried on the wind. Donations will be accepted once you’ve watched them do their thing. Before that though, if you’re in the area on April 29th, it must be worth making a visit to ‘Summerpole’, Guilford’s Summer Games. First recorded in the 16th century and revived by Pilgrim Morris in 1972, there’s sure to be much merrymaking and spectacle. For more info: http://www.pilgrimmorrismen.org.uk

West Midlands

Jockey Morris
Beacon Hill,
Lickey Hills, Birmingham B45 9QQ
May 1st, 5.15am
Dance style: Cotswold

Jockey Morris will, as usual, dance up the dawn by Beacon Hills Castle and the troposcope. It’s one of the highest points within Birmingham, and surely, Jockey’s Mayday dancing must be one of the highlights of the Brummie calendar, having featured in national newspapers and online around the world! No beast reported in the vicinity. For more info: www.facebook.com/events/547699767197240

Glorishears of Brummagem
Barr Beacon,
May 1st, 5.20am
Dance style: Cotswold

Birmingham’s premier women’s morris side will be dancing up the sun atop Barr Beacon. No donations necessary, so just take yourselves and perhaps a treat for making it up the hill. For more info: https://glorishears.wordpress.com

West Yorkshire

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 and no audience participation reported in the vicinity. For more info: nicksites.net/WhiteRose

Wharfedale Wayzgoose
Surprise View, Chevin Country Park
Otley, LS21 3DG
May 1st, 5.30am
Dance style: Border
Insta: @wharfedale_wayzgoose

Wharfedale Wayzgoose are a mixed Border side and have danced the May Day sun up on the Chevin for 29 years. Everyone round to theirs for the big 3-0 next year then? They recently welcomed their first fool and beast to the side, and if Gary the Obby Goose can be persuaded out of the nest in time, he’ll be heading out to join his home side. They’ll be joined by Briggate Morris and, if anyone fancies having a go, you! To save a wild goose chase (see what we did there?), they advise you to park in the Surprise view car park, go up the steps at the top of the car park and turn left onto the Chevin. Walk along the gravelled path and follow the noise of bells and music to the viewing point. Come for the morris, stay for the scenery. For more info: https://wharfedale-wayzgoose.co.uk/


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

Starting at Little Meadow to dance up the sun, Pebworth Morris will enjoy a mini tour of Pebworth & environs, before returning to their spiritual home at the Fleece Inn, Bretforton for a hearty fry up and perhaps some liquid refreshment. They’ll be sure to dance up the neighbours then plan to head off on a mystery tour… Big news for 2023 – Ben the Donkey has recently been given a new lease of life and may well make an appearance following his resurrection at the Fleece Wassail. For more info: andydavies0368.wixsite.com/pebworth-morris-men



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

For over 40 years, the Vancouver Morris Men have been active exponents of some of our curious English traditions all the way over there on the western edge of Canada, and this year will be no different. They’ll be up early to perform a mummers play, joined by their trusty obby oss, and friends Tiddley Cove Morris. How could you possibly miss it?! Donations gratefully received, as are enthusiastic onlookers (someone’s got to boo the baddies, after all). For more info: http://www.vancouvermorrismen.org


Toronto Morris Men and friends
High Park, Toronto
May 1st, 5.30am
Dance style: Cotswold

My goodness, do the Toronto Morris Men have a May Day party for you? If you’re in the area, head to the park on May Morning to see them and (deep breath) Toronto Womens Sword, Belles of York, Half Crown Clog, Green Fiddle Morris, Cold Barn Morris, and Orange Peel Morris for an energetic display that’s sure to leave you in need of a breakfast Timbit or two. As an added bonus, if the weather’s been fine, you’ll be able to pop along to see the park’s famous cherry blossom before the crowds arrive too. For more info: Toronto Morris Men Facebook


Whangārei City Morris Dancers
Canopy Bridge
Whangārei, 0110
April 30th, 5.30pm
Dance style: Border

In 2022, Whangārei City Morris were the youngest side in our directory, and only time will tell as to whether any of the newer sides will caper in and usurp them. This year, they’ve chosen to dance the sun down on 30th April, marking the end of Autumn before Winter begins on May Day. We have no reports about whether their ‘Oss and Pūkeko will be in attendance, but donations and audience participation will be most welcome. For more info: whangarei-morris.org