We live in the central part of the south of England and we’re really lucky that we are surrounded by lots of great days out. I’ve been a parent for nearly five years and we’ve been on lots of fantastic days out that cater for children. I thought I would share with you some of our favourite days out and there are a couple that we have planned to do this year too.
Windsor Castle – Windsor
I love a trip to castle and we’re lucky to have Windsor Castle not too far away from us. I last went there with Andy before the girls came along and they had a celebration for Prince Phillip turning ninety years old. It was the first time they had a tour of the world famous round tower and we climbed the 200 steps to the top. The views were amazing. It was a lovely day out and Windsor is a beautiful place to visit, afterwards we went down to the river and had an ice cream. I definitely want to take the girls this summer.
Marwell Zoo – Hampshire
This was the first zoo that I took Alice too, we went with my parents and niece for the day. Marwell Wildlife is set in 140 acres of beautiful Hampshire countryside. It has lots of great animals including giraffes, tigers and penguins. There is also five adventure playgrounds placed around the zoo to keep the children happy. There is a road train that you can hop on and off to make your way around the zoo. You are able to take along a picnic and there is plenty of picnic areas or you can go to one of their several cafes. Plus there is a fantastic ice cream parlour! We are planning a trip over Easter to do their Wild Egg Trail.
Millets Farm– Oxfordshire
I’ve mentioned Millets Farm a few times on my blog, it’s one of our favourite places to visit. It is a Farm Centre in Oxfordshire and has a farm shop and a lovely garden centre. The best bit is that it also has farm animals and a play area all year round, all for free. Throughout the year they have lots of events going on, they open their Pick Your Own fruit fields and the girls and I love doing this every year. Last year we went pumpkin picking too and that was lots of fun. It is also our favourite place to see Father Christmas and have been for the last two years, plus we go ice skating then too. They have such lovely events going on and we are heading there in the Easter holidays with my niece to do their Decorate An Egg session, which the girls will love.
Science Centre – Winchester
This is a great day out for children, we took the girls there when they were 3 and 1 years old. Alice at age 3 years old got more out of it than Holly, but she still had fun. All the exhibits are hands on and children can get involved with it all. There are toddler steps for them to be able to reach things. Downstairs in the centre is a small soft play area for toddlers and there is an indoor picnic area. There is a large car park, but we did the park and ride option which the girls loved. It caters for all ages and we will definitely be returning now the girls are that bit older.
Highclere Castle – Berkshire
The home of Lord and Lady Carnarvon and more famous for being where Downton Abbey was filmed. It is a beautiful castle set in the most wonderful grounds. I’ve been there several times over the years and it is a stunning place. They do tours of the castle at different times throughout the year and hold several events too. You can go for afternoon tea in the coach house, which looks really lovely and I’m adding to my list of things to do. There will be an Easter Egg Hunt on the 16th April, which is in aid of Naomi House & Jacksplace hospices. The children will follow the clues to find their egg!
Legoland – Windsor
I took Alice to Legoland for the first time last summer the day before she started school. It was perfect timing, as everyone else had gone back to school so it was a bit quieter. There is so much to do there we didn’t manage to get round the whole place and I didn’t take Alice’s swimsuit, so we didn’t do the splash park but it looked amazing. They do great shows and we went to the pirate show and had an ice cream while watching it. They have several cafe’s and restaurants and there is something for everyone. My friend Katy wrote this great post about tips for going with under two’s.
Cotswold Wildlife Park – Oxfordshire
This is on my list to do this summer, Andy went as a child and said it was great. There is lots of animals to see and gorgeous garden to explore. They have opportunities for you to watch animals like penguins, lemur’s and tigers being fed. There is also a train that takes you around the park for a small fee. The adventure playground looks amazing, with a sky maze connecting trees houses with jungle bridges and slides. For younger ones there is a mini manor with slides, a mini zip wire and a sandpit.
Royal Victoria Country Park – Southampton
We first went here last summer and it became our new favourite place to go. There is no entrance fee, you only need to pay for parking which was reasonable. The country park is big and there is so much space for everyone. We took a picnic and laid out our picnic blankets. We brought along some games to play and the girls just ran, carefree and happy. After lunch we went over to the playground they have, which is really big with lots to do. There was also a train to ride around the park, which you had to pay for and the girls loved it. We finished off the day with an ice cream. It’s a great day out and they also have and excellent range of barbeque facilities which are perfect for social gatherings.
Milestones Museum – Hampshire
I can’t wait for my girls to be a little bit older to enjoy this museum. It’s a place that takes you back. Explore what life was like for Hampshire people in the past by wandering through Milestones’ old cobbled streets. And as you wander round you may also encounter some of our costumed characters. You can pop into the old 1940’s sweet shop to buy your sweet ration. Under 5’s can go and play in the post office. You can explore the dressing up tent and dress up like a Victorian.
Finkley Down Farm – Hampshire
I have really fond memories of going here as a child and it is a popular one for us to take our girls. They have lots of animals for you to see and you can buy a bag or bucket of food to feed them. They have opportunities to ride a donkey, hold a rabbit or a baby chick. There is a large playground area and the biggest tube slide that Alice loves. Along with a big sandpit full of buckets and spades. There is also a big indoor barn which has soft play inside. There is an under 1’s areas, toddler area and an area for larger children. This is perfect for those days where you are not sure if you there will be spots of rain. It has a lovely cafe and good options for children, with plenty of picnic tables outside and indoors if you bring your own. We’ve reviewed this previously and you can read it here.
And that’s it, as you can see there is so much to do in the South of England and I probably could have added another ten places to the list!
I’ve joined up with some of my favourite bloggers and they are sharing their top places to visit where they live. If you live or are visiting any of these areas, you should take a look.
Just click on each of the badges and you will go straight to their post…