Hampshire offers the perfect blend of city, coast and country. With hundreds of attractions to choose from, little adventurers and big explorers’ imaginations will run wild! From roaming around the ancient New Forest to sailing over to the Isle of Wight, this slice of Britain has a lot to offer.
Whether you want a fun family day out or are planning a weekend trip to Hampshire, here are 7 of the best attractions you simply won’t want to miss:
Catch a ferry to the Isle of Wight
Did you know it takes 22 minutes to sail to the Isle of Wight from Portsmouth? Kids will love getting close to the enormous warships anchored in the harbour as you take in the stunning scenery.
Once you’ve made it to shore, there are plenty of adventures for the whole family to enjoy. Splash around on the sun-kissed beaches, revel at the mind-blowing Needles and swing on by to the award-winning Monkey Haven.
With something for all ages to enjoy, from thrilling fun fair rides to the holiday destination, Tapwell Farm, you won’t be disappointed.
Visit Henry VIIIs prized ship
The Mary Rose Museum is a celebration of the remarkable vessel of the same name. The formidable ship was King Henry VIIIs favourite toy and served him for 33 years in numerous skirmishes with the French and other invading parties.
After a heated battle with the French in 1545, the Mary Rose sunk to the bottom of the Solent, carrying with her 500 men. All perished, bar 35 of the diverse crew, as Henry VIII looked on from Southsea Castle, which you can still visit today.
Over the years, numerous unsuccessful attempts were made during the Tudor era and 19th century to raise her. But 437 years after her last hurrah, the Mary Rose was finally returned to the surface in the most significant maritime salvage operation ever.
Today, you can explore the thousands of artefacts that were uncovered from the bottom of the sea, including a well-preserved selection of herbs and spices, weaponry, cannon and everyday items such as combs, crucifixes and cutlery. Kids will love the interactive displays and activities on offer, as well as the fantastic scavenger hunt-style activity book.
Step back in time and make your escape
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to uncover mysteries, solve dark secrets and prevent world-changing events? Southampton’s favourite escape room, Exciting Escapes, allows you to step back into a bygone era to overcome challenges and puzzles to make your escape before time runs out.
Perfect for families with kids 10 years old and over, this is a bonding experience you’re not likely to forget! With 60 minutes on the clock, you need to crack codes, solve puzzles and think outside the box.
Feel free to get creative and dress the part to fully immerse yourself in this one-of-a-kind experience. Do you think you have what it takes?
Go on a space adventure
Winchester Science Centre is a non-stop adventure zone! You can take part in big science experiments, feel the force of nature and become a deep space explorer all in one afternoon.
With their hands-on approach to learning, the centre is an eye-opening and engaging introduction to out-of-this-world ideas and the inner workings of the world we live in. Use your brainwaves to move a ball in the Mindball experience. Have a go at wheelchair basketball, or take on an engineering challenge in the Invention Studio!
Kids and grown-ups alike can all get involved. Make sure you check out the action-packed events calendar, discover one of the fascinating live science shows and swing by the fabulous planetarium!
Discover an award-winning day out
Tucked away deep in the heart of the New Forest, you’ll discover the magnificent Beaulieu. Home to the superb National Motor Museum, you can unleash your inner motor head and discover Land Speed Record breakers and cinema legends – all under one roof.
Pop over to the Top Gear-inspired Enormodrome before climbing aboard the Monorail ride to see all of the 250 vehicles and impressive grounds from above.
Next stop, let off some steam in the exciting play area before wandering the halls of the remarkable Palace House and Gardens. Want to reconnect with nature? Tiptoe down the Mill Pond Walk and keep your eye out for the fairies!
Enjoy a day on the farm
Longdown Activity Farm is a brilliant day out for the whole family. You can bottle-feed calves and kid goats and meet tiny farm animals such as chicks, rabbits and guinea pigs in your own Animal Encounter Experience.
Whirl around the farm on a tractor ride before challenging everyone to a Pitchfork and Putt crazy golf game. With enchanting outdoor play areas, trampolines, go-karts and diggers, young and old will have a joyful experience on the farm.
Don’t miss the new Piglets Play Barn, where children can delight in piggy-themed fun!
Fancy a bite to eat? The tearoom and kiosk offer a delightful range of drinks and snacks throughout the day.
Before you go, make sure you pop into the Farm Shop, where you’ll find delicious locally sourced produce.
Immerse yourself in the past
Milestones Living History Museum is an eye-opening adventure into Hampshire’s incredible past. There you can walk Victorian cobbled streets, visit Mr Simpson’s Teddy Bear Museum and try your hand at Milestone’s classic penny arcade.
Step into the museum’s authentic-looking Victorian classroom – complete with chalkboard and teacher’s desk! Then, work your way down to the working printing press before sitting down for a pint at the working pub.
Costumed characters bring the landscape alive. Children can join in the fun and dress the part, and get involved with all the interactive activities on offer throughout the day. Don’t forget to pick up a 1940s ration of sweets!
Are you ready for your next family adventure? Discover the past and step boldly into the future during your Hampshire day out! Where will you go first?