Things to Do

There are so many places and things to see and do when on holiday in our area. Here we made a list of  our favourite things to see and do for both adults and children.

The list is in no particular order.

1. Local Villages

Surrounding Villages
(Photograph Credit Herry Lawford)

No Need to bring lunch!

When staying at The Crest you are surrounded by quintessential English villages  Think fetes, church concerts, and garden fairs, it’s all here.  Nothing beats sitting in a proper country pub on a beautiful open road, surrounded by actual fields, sheep and genuine village gossip. All the eccentricity of pastoral English life is there.

Within easy reach are quaint tearooms and pubs complete the picture-postcard appeal

Droxford: With 2 Pubs (White Horse & Bakers Arms) you are spoilt for choice right on your doorstep.  A Norman Church (St. Mary’s) is a beautiful place to start a lovely walk by the River Meon and across the countryside.

Wickham: Village square surrounded by Tea Rooms (Lillys Tea Room), pretty little shops (Chesapeake Mill), Pubs (Greens Pub) & Restaurants.

Bishops Waltham: Along with Bishops Waltham Palace (Bishops Waltham Palace), there are some cute shops, a couple of gorgeous coffee shops (The Natural Deli, Josie’s & the Anvil) & historic Church (St. Peter’s).

Explore and find Meonstoke (Superb Village shop & The Bucks Head Pub), Exton (Shoe Inn), West Meon (Thomas Lord Pub) along with many others in the area.

2. Cities

Nearby Cities

Yes, you are slap bang in the middle of the countryside but within a short distance are some pretty spectacular cites!

Winchester (Visit Winchester) has so many things to offer, here are just a few

History (The Great Hall & King Arthurs Round Table, Winchester Military Museums, Winchester Cathedral)
Culture (Theatre RoyalWinchester Discovery Centre & Winchester Space & Science Centre)
Christmas Market
Scenery & Walks (Winchester Water Meadows)

Chichester, Salisbury, Petersfield, Portsmouth, Southampton are also within 30 minutes of the house.

To reach London I would recommend leaving from Southampton Parkway Train Station and it should take 1.5 hours by train.

3. Paultons Park (Peppa Pig World)

Accessed via M3/M27 Paultons Park is 35 minutes away by car.  Paultons is a family theme park is with over 70 rides and attractions.

Opening at 10am it makes for a perfect family day, without the 7am start as it’s only 25 minutes away.

Home to The Lost Kingdom and Peppa Pig World it is an absolute must for visitors with young Children, plan for a FULL day out and don’t forget to pack swim wear for the little ones.

Be sure to lather on the sunscreen when you go if it’s a sunny day  – the UK is not set up for sun and shade is limited!

December and not sunny? Paultons park is an absolutely fab place to visit Father Christmas in his grotto from mid December onwards – be sure to book though as tickets do sell fast.  After visiting the bearded man himself you then have full access to the Park.

Once you’ve finished at the park, I cannot recommend highly enough a stop at The Mortimer Arms pub for a family friendly dinner before your drive home (with sleeping kids in the back of the car).

4. Marwell Zoo

Marwell Zoo is a 140 acre zoo located just beyond Bishops Waltham along the B2177 (Winchester Road) 15 minutes away.  The zoo has hundreds of animals including tigers, giraffe’s and hipo’s, beautiful grounds and a fun train to take the weight off of your legs for a bit.

Marwell has become the first UK zoo to host a collection of giant LEGO brick animals. 81 stunning sculptures have been installed.

Just before Marwell you see a signpost for Marwell Adventure Barn, this is a fab indoor play area to take children up to 10 on a rainy day  the café there is also great for both grown up and kids food.

5. The Watercress Line

Steam Trains

The Watercress Line is best visited from Alresford, a charming Georgian town with independent shops, a picturesque river walk with medieval Fulling Mill, and lovely cafes. You can either take part in one of their special events including a Real Ale Train, The Summer Fare, The Santa Train or Day Out With Thomas (to name a few!), or simply watch the beautiful trains from the platform for free.  Remember to book ahead if interested in these special events as they sell out quickly.


6. Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle Spend a day exploring ‘The Real Downton Abbey“.  The Castle holds many special events throughout the year including a Country Show, Battle Proms Picnic and Vintage Garden Party. It really is a stunning Estate.

7. Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

If you haven’t been to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard before I cannot recommend this as a day out enough.  The Mary Rose, HMS Warrior & HMS Victory are right here, along with tours around the harbour.

This is a full day out suitable for all ages with a superb cafeteria.

Historic Dockyard Cafe

If you are interested in Maritime attractions also in the area are the Explosion and Submarine Museums in Gosport, and if you decide to visit all three the best value for money is to purchase an annual pass.

8. Southsea


Southsea Seafront is a really fun seaside area with so much going on from Kite festivals, Heavy Horse shows, Vintage car rallys (including Beach Buggin annual event in August), Historical re-enactments & Music concerts to name but a few.  With a funfair (Clarence Pier), slot machines and deck chairs, Ice Cream and Fish & Chip shops plus dog friendly areas this is a seaside that everyone can enjoy.

9. Walks & Cycling

Walks and Cycling(Photograph Credit Herry Lawford)

The Crest is in a very special part of England and I hope you feel this as soon as you arrive, it’s certainly our goal.  Some guests come with walks and cycle routes already planned, others don’t, but will start exploring once they are here.

The following links contain a few ideas to get you going;

Droxford to Old Winchester Hill

Droxford & Meonstoke

Circular Droxford Soberton Walk (2.5 Hrs)

Winter Walk Ideas

Hinton Apner Walks

Droxford Old Railway Line

Explore Droxford Leaflet

Discovery Map of the Area

The Nearby beaches of Hill Head and Lee-On-Solent are also beautiful to walk along and have areas which are Dog friendly, including this lovely café Breezes Café (also Dog friendly).

10. Fort Nelson

Fort Nelson
 Photo Credit Philip Halling

Fort Nelson is located on Portsdown Hill and a favourite local place of mine to take the kids, for free and spend a good afternoon. A 19th Century Fort, with over 700 items of artillery from many countries and spanning 600 years are brought to life whilst sensitively telling the unique stories behind them. Activities inside and out with a smashing café.

11. A Trip on a Hovercraft


12. Bombay Sapphire Distillery

13. Manor and Staunton Country Parks


Please always feel free to contact me should you wish for any recommendations for your days out while staying at The Crest.

For more ideas take a look at The Crest Blog Page

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