There are so many brilliant things going on in the Test Valley to get you & your family outdoors in the fresh air…some are more high octane than others depending on the age and inclination of your children. But here are our best picks and top recommendations:
Re-opening this year on the 29th March 2017, Treerunners is an exciting, challenging and sometimes demanding activity that uses zip lines, snowboards and tarzan swings as well as other challenges to get you from tree to tree. Set in a beautiful oak forest, it is the perfect day out for families and suitable from 7+.
Ironsight, located between Andover and Stockbridge, offers superb adrenaline fuelled activities for ages 7 to 107! Engage in paintball wars, battle in high tech laser tag games, duel in JT Splatmasters, warfare in Airsoft, bounce with Zorb balls or fire Rubberball or Dart wars all in the purpose built indoor gaming arena.
MARWELL ZOO, Winchester
Marwell Zoo is a 140-acre zoo situated at Owslebury near Winchester, in the English county of Hampshire. The zoo is home to over 1,200 animals of 135 different species, including giraffes, tigers & penguins. There is a lovely train ride through the grounds and 5 adventure playgrounds. Enjoy daily talks and animal feeds as well as the cafés and gift shops.
CHOLDERTON CHARLIE’S FARM, Andover
Cholderton Rare Breeds Farm AKA Cholderton Charlie’s is a Rare Breed Survival Trust (RBST) registered Rare Breeds Farm, and is part of the Cholderton Rare Breeds Farm Park experience. They have many gorgeous animals for you to meet, feed, cuddle and pet, most of which are British Rare Breeds. Down on The Farm they have: Pig Corner, Rabbit Village, Goat Mountain, Donkey Den, The Chicken Coop, Duck & Geese Ponds, Pony Pastures, Sheep Shelters and the Farmyard! The farm run great activities throughout the day, giving guests lots of opportunities to interact with the animals. During peak times and weather permitting, they also do Tractor-Trailer Rides around the Grazing Field.
FINKLEY DOWN FARM, Andover
Open all year round, Finkley Down Farm has a massive indoor play barn with different areas for different age ranges. There’s lots of outdoor play as well, with pedal go carts, mini ride on tractors, sandpit and trampolines. Throughout the day there are animal handling and feeding activities for children to get involved in. Reptiles and Birds Of Prey have now been added to a Farm-tastic family day out. Pony rides (extra charge) take place at weekends and in school holidays. Events are held during the year with the Easter Extravaganza, Superheroes Weekend, Teddy Bears Picnic, Summer Spectacular. Halloween Half Term and Magical Christmas.
HAWK CONSERVANCY TRUST, Andover
The Hawk Conservancy Trust is a brilliant visitor centre and conservation charity that works in the fields of conservation, education, rehabilitation and research of birds of prey. The Trust’s park is set among 22 acres of stunning woodland and wildflower meadow. With over 50 species of birds of prey and other animals, visitors will have the opportunity to get close up and personal to the best that nature offers. Do not miss the incredible daily flying demonstrations which take place and give visitors a chance to see a variety of owls, kites, hawks, cultures and eagles flying in a natural setting. For younger visitors, there is the chance to have plenty of fresh air and exercise and the adventure playground is a popular destination for children. The raptor passport trail leads children round the Trust’s park, discovering different bird of prey species, encouraging them to learn while having plenty of fun. In the summer months, a tractor takes the children around the perimeter of the 6.5 acres of wildflower meadow, a highlight for many. Feathers Restaurant offers a wide selection of local and homemade produce and refreshments in unique surroundings.
PAULTONS PARK, New Forest
Need we say more!?! A fun filled, action packed day out for the whole family!!
MOORS VALLEY PARK, New Forest
Morris Valley is a brilliant place for children of all ages to play and explore. There are play trails, tree top trails, play areas, Gruffalo trails, railways, cycling trails, Go Ape, Hawk walks…there are SO many things to do that you could probably stay for a week! This is a brilliant day out and we highly recommend a visit.
FURZEY GARDENS, New Forest
Furzey Gardens is a haven of peace and tranquility, run as a social enterprise, supporting Minstead Trust’s continuing charitable work with adults with learning disabilities. Here, children can go hunting for the tiny fairy doors hidden around the gardens. Come and join in the fun, creep around at the base of trees and you might discover twisted in gnarled old oak or nestled under bushes, a tiny door no more than a foot high. Furzey gives up its secrets slowly though and you will need to look hard. There are reputed to be over 40 of these secret fairy doors, designed and carved by master thatcher Simon Sinkinson.
MOTTISFONT ABBEY, Nr Romsey
Mottisfont is a beautiful National Trust property set in wonderful gardens. There’s plenty of space to run, jump and play around Mottisfont, and always something for families to do. Enjoy exploring and testing your limits in our Wild Play areas, including Boggy Climbing and Pump, Pool and Paddle, perfect for splashing around. There are seasonal activity trails to enjoy in the school holidays. Inside, there are spotter trails for exploring the house and our exhibitions. Become an art expert in the gallery and uncover mysteries in our rooms. Every summer, we hold an exhibition that’s especially appealing for younger audiences.