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
(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.
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).
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 Royal, Winchester Discovery Centre & Winchester Space & Science Centre)
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
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 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
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.
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.
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
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;
10. Fort Nelson
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
The Hovercraft Museum: Exclusive collection of over 60 Hovercraft including James Bond, Scrap Heap Challenge, military, racing, commercial, home builds, models, and archives. Open every Saturday 10 am until 4 pm except for a brief closure during the Winter period. https://www.hovercraft-museum.org/
12. Bombay Sapphire Distillery
The Bombay Sapphire Gin Distillery and visitors centre opened in autumn 2014 on the site of a 300 year old paper mill in Laverstoke, just outside the village of Whitchurch Hampshire.
The site boasts a collection of original buildings, over 40 of them and some Grade II listed, they have been either lovingly restored or carefully removed should they have been a recent industrial addition. This was all carried out working alongside Government agencies English Nature & English Heritage to maintain and reveal the beauty and heritage of the site. The result is a stunning work of art, bringing the village to life, widening and revealing parts of the River Test that had been hidden by a concrete channel allowing nature to flourish.
All this before you even step inside the buildings! The visitors centre is not simply a simulation of the process, it follows the real distillation procedure including the large statuesque cooper Gin stills, one of which is over 200 years old, and the glasshouses growing the 10 particular plant species required for the Botanical Gin (they even worked out a heat exchange process between the distilling process and the glasshouse).
13. Manor and Staunton Country Parks
14. The Solent Sky Museum
The Solent Sky Museum began as the RJ Mitchell Memorial Museum in 1974. Since that time they have expanded to include all aviation in Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight, the region known as the Solent.
The Museum houses over 20 aircraft from the golden age of aviation with the Supermarine Spitfire at it’s core, which was designed and built in Southampton!
Find out more here: https://www.solentskymuseum.org/exhibitions
15. Historic Living Museums & Farms
Weald & Downland: family-friendly 40-acre site and collection of more than 50 historic buildings – from a replica Anglo-Saxon hall house to an Edwardian tin tabernacle church. There is a regular programme of demonstrations, including milling in our 17th century watermill; cooking in our Tudor kitchen; blacksmithing in our Victorian smithy; plus seasonal demonstrations. Take a walk in the woods, bring the dog, visit our waterside café (also dog-friendly) or enjoy your own picnic. http://www.wealddown.co.uk/
Butser Ancient Farm: Butser Ancient Farm is a unique experimental archaeology site nestled into the rolling countryside of the South Downs National Park. The farm features archaeological internationally famous reconstructions of ancient buildings from the Stone Age, Iron Age, Roman Britain and the Anglo-Saxon period. Butser Farm also grow crops from prehistory and keep rare breeds of animals, including pigs, goats and sheep. http://www.butserancientfarm.co.uk/
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