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Aerial view of Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard

The New Forest National Park

Cycling and Walking in the New Forest National Park HampshireHorse riding in the New Forest National Park Hampshire

The New Forest National Park is Britain's smallest National Park. The Park covers an area of approximately 150 square miles and was once a royal hunting ground for King William I and his noblemen, in the 12th century. Not surprisingly, New Forest leisure activities are geared towards enjoying the outdoor delights of the area. The most popular activities enjoyed by locals and visitors alike are cycling, walking and horse riding.

Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth

Spinnaker Tower - Portsmouth

At 170 metres above Portsmouth Harbour, the elegant Spinnaker Tower is taller than the London Eye, Blackpool Tower and Big Ben. It commands brilliant views over all around the area and in fact you can see as far as 23 miles.

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

HMS Victory at Portsmouth Historic DockyardWar ships at Portsmouth Historic DockyardAction stations at Portsmouth Historic DockyardHMS Warrior at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

The historic dockyard in Portsmouth is a great day out and one of the best things to do in Hampshire.

You are able to go on board the fully restored HMS Victory and HMS Warrior. The base also has a number maritime museums and a hands on exhibition called Action Stations which features the modern Navy. Included in the price is a tour of the harbour by boat to see the current warships moored here.

The historic dockyard has also opened a new purpose built Mary Rose museum. Many people will remember when the Mary Rose was raised from the sea bed. The Mary Rose then spent 31 years in a special preservation unit getting sprayed, firstly with water and then with a wax chemical called Polythene Glycol for 19 years. Visitors could watch this process from a special viewing gallery.

Poultons Park

Poultons Park saucer ridePoultons park theme parkPoulton park rideChildrens train ride at Poultons parkSwings at Poultons Park

Paultons Park is located in the village of Ower, near Romsey. The theme park has 60 rides and attractions, the latest addition to which was a Peppa Pig World based on the childrens television series. The theme park has a number of different activities suitable for families with children of all ages. There are: Birds and animals, Children's rides, Thrill rides, Family rides, gardens and a lake.

Marwell Zoo

Tiger at Marwell ZooFeeding time at Marwell Zoo

Marwell Zoo is home to over 1,200 animals of 235 different species.

Visitors can enjoy the World of Lemurs, Encounter Village, Tropical World, Penguin World with underwater views of Humboldt Penguins and new enclosure for Fossa. The fossa is the largest carnivore in Madagascar. It has short, smooth, reddish-brown fur and cat-like in appearance.

Blue Reef Aquarium

Blue Reef Aquarium

Come face to face with poisonous frogs, cute otters, graceful rays and meet amazing puffer fish at the Blue Reef aquarium in Portsmouth. At the aquarium's heart is the giant ocean tank where an underwater tunnel offers incredible views of a recreated coral reef and shoals of brightly coloured fish.

Beaulieu Abbey & Motor Museum

Beaulieu AbbeyMotormuseum at Beaulieu Abbey

As well as being a historic building set in The New Forest it is a fantastic motor museum. Highlights include Bond in motion, the world's largest collection of original James Bond vehicles, Ron Weasley's 'Flying' Ford Anglia from Harry Potter, and a number of cars featured on Top Gear.

Hayling Island

Hayling island beachHayling island golf courseHayling island funlandAmusement park at Hayling island

Hayling Island is a small island near Portsmouth and is very popular with families. The island has over 3 miles of beach with broad areas of grass adjacent to the beach and a large sand bar protecting it. The sandbar acts as a breakwater and creates a gentle safe swimming area for young children to swim.

Hayling island also has its own family amusement park, Funland. Funland has lots of rides including roller coasters, speed flips, wild river log rides, drop rides, kidz kingdom play area, artificial ice rink and a bowling alley.

Away from the park there are 2 golf courses, a light railway, skate park and a coastal path for cycling and walking. For a small island, it packs the activities in!

Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium

Winchester science centre and planetariumInside Winchester science centre

Winchester Science Centre is a hands-on science & technology centre in Winchester. There are 100 interactive exhibits all of which link in with the National Curriculum for schools plus a state-of-the-art digital Astrium Planetarium theatre that demonstrate the science and technology of the world around us in an engaging and exciting way. It's 'hands-on', not 'hands-off'!

Royal Navy Submarine Museum

HMS Alliance at the Royal Navy Submarine museumHolland 1 at the Royal Navy Submarine museum

Royal Navy Submarine Museum - Gosport has HMS Alliance and Holland I on display. On HMS Alliance you are able to experience the cramped conditions on a submarine. Your tour guide will explain many things such as 'hot bedding' and help you to consider the nightmare situation of a depth charge attack and what happens inside the submarine.

The museum also has Holland I that was recovered from local waters and later restored. Holland I is the first Navy Submarine and has pride of place in this museum. This submarine is much smaller and is in amazing condition considering it lay at the bottom of the sea for many years.

The Museum of Naval firepower is next door to the submarine museum and has many examples of torpedoes and other deadly weapons.

Go Ape - Moors Valley Country Park

Segway adventure at Go Ape Moors valley country parkGo Ape at Moors Valley Country Park

Go Ape - Moors Valley Country Park - is a network of rope bridges, trapezes, tunnels and some new zip wires that stretches for roughly 1000 metres through the tree canopy. This is a fantastic experience where you will be trained in the use of harnesses, pulleys, carabineers and various safety methods by qualified instructors. You will then safely navigate through a tree top obstacle course to eventually finish on a brilliant zip-wire descent.

The centre can also get you off road to enjoy a different type of adventure traveling around the forest on a Segway (looks like a lawn mower you stand on). Standing upright you simply lean forward to move forward and back to slow and stop - great fun.

Go Ape can also be found at: Itchen Valley Country Park

The Water Cress Line

The Water Cress Railway line

The Water Cress Line - the railway runs 10 miles between the market towns of Alresford and Alton. The line is famous for its steep gradients and it was nicknamed 'going over the Alps' by locomotive crews during the days of steam, due the the sheer effort required by man and machine to crest the summit at Medstead and Four Marks, the highest station above sea level in Southern England.

Other lines

Eastleigh Lakeside Railway

Moors Valley Railway

Hollycombe Steam Collection

Waverley and Balmoral Pleasure Steamers

Waverley and Balmoral Pleasure Steamers

WAVERLEY is the last sea-going paddle steamer in the world. Magnificently restored with towering funnels, timber decks, gleaming varnish and brass. See and hear the mighty engines - they will provide a whiff of nostalgia for some but are sure to impress all!

Enjoy a cruise aboard BALMORAL, beautifully maintained with restored period lounges and unrivalled access to the stunning scenery of some of the most picturesque parts of the UK's coastline.

Bombay Sapphire Distillery

New Forest Wildlife Park

Map of the New Forest Wildlife park

The New Forest Wildlife park covers is set in 25 acres of ancient woodland. There are several tree-lined trails to follow where you may encounter free-roaming deer. The wildlife park is home to several animals including wolves, wildcats, wallaby, wild boar, foxes, pine martins, bison, otters etc. The park also has its own butterfly house that opens from Easter to the end of September and 2 adventure playgrounds.

Big cat at the New Forest Wildlife ParkOtter at the New Forest Wildlife ParkChildren playing at the New Forest Wildlife Park

Hawk Conservancy

Hawk Conservancy in Hampshire

The Hawk Conservancy Trust is an amazing place to visit for some eye-opening displays of aerial acrobatics.

Set in 22 acres of woodland and wild flower meadow, watch as some of the 150 species take to the skies and amaze you with great skill and agility. You can view several birds in their bird hides and, for a proper hands-on experience, hold one of the birds of prey.

Nothing is more real than having a bird swoop over your head or perched on your arm.

Milestones Museum

Milestones Museum

 The Milestones museum is made up of a network of streets that have been recreated according to those found in Victorian and 1930s Hampshire. Some of the buildings include a pub, railway station, iron monger, sweet shop, toy shop, terraced house etc

Portsmouth Pyramids Centre

The Pyramids Centre is Portsmouth’s largest entertainment complex. The centre has a swimming pool / waterpark, a live arena for music gigs, comedy and sporting events, and a number of function rooms.

Portsmouth Pyramids centre

Things to do in Hampshire

Find great things to do, the best Hampshire attractions, cheap family days out, romantic weekend breaks & fun things to do visiting Hampshire this weekend.

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