We are really lucky to live in the county of Hampshire there is just so much in and around this area for us to explore and discover. As a family who love venturing outdoors and being close to nature we are often out and about and I love sharing these on social media to give others ideas but I’d realised I hadn’t written a days’ out post for a while here on my blog so I thought I would provide an informative style article and give you 3 nature and activity places to visit in Hampshire that are ideal for walkers, dogs and families to enjoy all the year-round.
Hogmoor Inclosure is located along Hogmoor Road, Bordon, Hampshire and is the third-largest nature reserve of its kind in the UK with over 54 hectares of strategic woodland and heathland. Having recently had the addition of a play area, car park, an activity room, toilets and cafe, it is most definitely perfect for those looking to spend a whole day outside together.
As a family, we love taking our dog over for long walks through the woods and heath areas. There are always plenty of other dogs there for her to meet and play with and we have only ever met lovely responsible dog owners. I personally love the whole feel of the heath and forest areas as you can often feel as though you aren’t in the UK at all. One big draw for the children are the sandy mounds that they can climb and jump down from as well as den building within the wooded areas, climbing and exploring. There are some very interesting focal points including places where the water collects (perfect for those wellies!) and the wooden statues.
The play area has been beautifully made and fits in well with the surroundings. With slides, a zip line, fort, wildlife pond, sand station, swings and more, there is something for almost every age group. The cafe is also located at this point which means you can choose to grab lunch or a drink here too.
Location – Hogmoor Road, Whitehill & Bordon, Hampshire, GU35 9HX
Opening Hours – The site has open access 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but facilities are limited.
Car Parking – There is a free car park on Hogmoor Road which is open daily from 8 am – 6 pm.
Footpaths – Yes
Dogs – Well controlled dogs are welcome.
Things to do – Walking, bird watching, wildlife spotting, cycling, public art, natural play area, picnic areas, waymarked trails, Café Hogmoor, planned activities in The Beehive Education Room.
Alice Holt Forest
Located not too far from the above, Alice Holt Forest is one of the largest surviving ancient woodlands in the South of England. Managed by Forestry England it offers a wide range of ways for people to enjoy the great outdoors here in Hampshire and the surrounding areas. From the Gruffalo trail to Go Ape, woodland walks and den building, play areas plus a cafe, plenty of areas for your dog to enjoy, accessible paths for wheelchairs and pushchairs, nature trails and cycle trails there is something for all.
We particularly love diving straight in and doing the kids trails, discovering the play areas in the forest and then wandering up for a hot drink and snack or a picnic next to the duck pond. I love that it feels safe to allow your children to run about and that there is always something to grab their attention. It makes the perfect place to visit for a day out.
Location – Bucks Horn Oak GU10 4LS
Car Park – Yes. Pay on departure
Car Park Opening Hours – Vary depending on the time of year:
|May to September||8am – 9pm|
|October||8am – 7pm|
|November||8am – 6pm|
|December to February||8am – 5pm|
|March||8am – 6pm|
|April||8am – 7pm|
Footpaths – Yes
Dogs – Yes
Accessible Toilets and changing places – Yes
Things to do – play areas, trails, cycling, running, exercise, bird watching, den building, Go Ape, picnic areas, cafe, dog walking.
Queen Elizabeth Country Park
With over 2,000 acres of open access woodland and downland to explore, Queen Elizabeth Country Park is a Hampshire place to visit that we have recently grown to love. Having often been here as a child, it was only recently that I decided to see how it had developed and what it could offer us now I have a family of my own. I am happy to report that it didn’t fail to make everybody smile!
With trails, woodland, play areas, picnic spots, an assault course and even a dog agility course, there is so much to see and do here. My children absolutely adore the play areas and taking the dog on the agility course, it’s a great way for all to burn off that extra energy! The one tip I would give is not to park at the bottom if you are aiming for these areas (unless you need to go to the cafe). There are different parking spots as you drive further round the country park and you can park right at the very top where you will find toilets, a kiosk, barbecue and picnic areas, play areas, the assault course and agility course. It is quite a steep walk up to this if you do decide to park by the cafe/visitor centre which may not be ideal if you have very small children, are elderly or would find the incline a struggle.
One thing I was definitely pleased to see here is an outdoor tap to refill your water bottles and to provide a drink for your dog. I must also give a mention to the very friendly staff in the shop and cafe who are always very welcoming and polite.
Location – South Downs, Hampshire PO8 0QE
Car Park – Yes. Open:
- 8am to 8pm March to October
- 8am to 6pm November to February
Pay on departure.
Opening Times – cafe and visitors centre 10 am-4:30 pm daily.
Footpaths – Woodland ones so they are not fully accessible for wheelchairs or pushchairs as they are uneven and can become very muddy
Dogs – Yes. The cafe is also dog friendly.
Toilets – Yes
Things to do – walking, running, cycling, trails, play areas, dog agility, nature walks, dog walking, park runs (on certain days), assault course, dog agility course, picnics, barbecues, visitor centre, walk across the road to Butser Hill.
*All information correct as of January 2022
All of these places to visit in Hampshire will provide hours of fun for everybody, to let your kids run off steam, your dog to get the exercise it needs and the time for you to take a breather from the stresses of your working week.
If you live in or near Hampshire, why not check these nature and activity places out and see how much outdoor fun you and your family can have?! If you don’t live in Hampshire, there are plenty of places to make it a holiday including glamping in Hampshire.
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