Castles, Country Estates & Garden In Hampshire and the South
There are so many beautiful outside spaces near Basingstoke. If the kids need to wear off some pent up energy be it rain or shine there are plenty of places you can take them within an hours drive. So have a look at our list and start exploring.
Basing House Basing Grange, The Street, Old Basing, RG24 8AE
Visit the ruins of this once major Tudor Palace and castle. The Tudor Barn is stunning and is still standing despite the site being a scene of famous attack in 1643. Kids can dress up like a Tudor and learn learn lots about life during the English Civil War. There are regular events including family crafts and battle enactments.. Opens 1st March to 31st Oct.
National Trust: The Vyne , Vyne Road, Sherborne St John, Basingstoke, RG24 9HL
This Tudor Gem is just a stone’s throw from Basingstoke and has lost of things to keep the family entertained. There are woods, walled gardens, a children’s play area, a bird watching hut and a tea room. The house has been undergoing a 5.4million pound roof restoration recently so visitors have also been able to take tours of the tudor roof. This experience will close on the 28th of February.
Odiham Castle 2 Mill Ln, North Warnborough, Hook RG29 1HB
If you fancy a stroll by the canal on a sunny day then why not take one near Odiham castle. This is the ruins of a 13th Century royal hunting lodge near North Warnborough. A scheduled ancient monument, known locally as “King John’s Castle”. Its free to visit and there are some great child friendly pubs in the area.
National Trust : West Green House and Gardens West Green House Gardens
Thackham’s Lane, near Hartley Wintney, Hook, Hampshire, RG27 8JB
A formal garden which looks especially beautiful in the spring and summer. It’s a lovely place to spend a hour wondering on a bright day and the tea shop does some great cakes. Opening times are restricted so check before you visit.
National Trust: Sandham Memorial Chapel, Harts Lane, Burghclere, near Newbury, RG20 9JT
A chapel built to honour the ‘forgotten dead’ of the First World War. Outside the chapel there’s a traditional orchard and wildflower meadow with views across to Watership Down; a great setting for a leisurely picnic.
National Trust: Mottisfont, Nr Romsey, SO51 0LP.
A romantic house and gallery set in beautiful riverside gardens. You can take a very pleasant short walk by the river and visit some of the gardens water features and wooden play areas. There are carpets of spring bulbs, a stunning walled rose garden and a colourful winter garden. Mottisfont has some fabulous family trails on during the school holidays which will never fail to entertain the kids. Last year the Gruffalo trail was particularly popular. The house also has a small art gallery and frequently has exhibits from family illustrators. In the past Alex Scheffler and Lauren Child have both shown their work.
Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Jermyns Lane, Romsey, Hampshire SO51 0QA
A garden paradise for every occasion. The Gardens are a wonderful environment for families. The exciting play features are suitable for all abilities and include a tree house, a flying carpet swing and bamboo tunnels with a wobbly bridge. They also offer seasonal and self-guided activity trails. The Children’s Education Garden encourages discovery of the natural environment in a fun way. Most activities are free with admission and unless stated there is no need to book in advance.
National Trust : Hinton Ampner Hinton Ampner, near Alresford, Hampshire, SO24 0LA
Elegant country house with highly distinctive garden and beautifully manicured lawns. It has breathtaking views across the South Downs. Take a walking trail following the footsteps of the men involved in the battle of Cheriton was a major turning point in the English Civil War and resulted in an important Parliamentarian victory that helped shape the future of England.
Alice Holt Forest Alice Holt Forest, Bucks Horn Oak, Farnham, Surrey GU10 4LS
Come for a great day out in the woods! You can walk, cycle, play or have a picnic. In 2018 Alice Holt also have the Highway Rat Activity Trail. You can buy an activity pack from the visitors centre for £3. In the summer you can even hire a barbecue.
National Trust: Basildon Park, Lower Basildon, Reading, Berkshire, RG8 9NR
Make the most of your visit by treating yourself to a cream tea, experience the nostalgia of our 1950s kitchen, or stretch your legs following one of the waymarked trails through the 400 acres of historic parkland. On a sunny day it’s the perfect place for a picnic. Keep an eye out for the ball run event which takes place every year. For around £3 you get a handy backpack, tennis ball and a map to the ball run trail which has sites all across the park. Children will love it!
National Trust : Uppark House and Gardens South Harting, Petersfield, West Sussex, GU31 5QR
Perched on its vantage point high on the South Downs ridge, Uppark has amazing views. The nearby woodland is great for exploring and den-building but it is the house that provides the most interest for many families.
Uppark’s Georgian interiors illustrate the comfort of life ‘upstairs’, in contrast with the ‘downstairs’ world of the servants. A highlight of the collection is one of the best examples of a 17th century doll’s house in the country. The servants quarters is accessible via a winding underground tunnels. The cafe is in the old orangery and during the summer months you can have tea and cake outside with a stunning view of the Downs.
RHS Garden Wisley RHS Garden Wisley, Woking, Surrey, GU23 6QB
Wisley is one of the world’s great gardens, packed with horticultural inspiration. There is lots of space for this kids to runaround and plenty of spots to sit and have a picnic lunch. Wisley is designed to fascinate all ages and inspire young ones to start gardening at home. Throughout the year it has many popular events, some of which you need to book. Butterflies in the Glasshouse in particularly popular during February and the night lights at Christmas are amazing. Tickets can be bought on the door or in advance, but many families upgrade to a year pass and return throughout the year.
Windsor Castle, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 1NJ
Windsor Castle is ones of the countries most recognisable landmarks. It is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world and has been the family home of British kings and queens for almost 1,000 years. It is an official residence of Her Majesty The Queen, and her standard flies from the Round Tower when she is in residence. Must sees at Windsor are the Queen Mary’s Dolls House – the largest, most beautiful and most famous dolls’ house in the world. Also, St George’s Chapel with the tomb’s of some of the countries most famous monarchs – Henry VIII and Charles I.