Discover more about Hampshire attractions and what’s on this February!

January 20, 2021

We know that you can’t head to our attractions at the moment but they’re looking forward to welcoming you all back for some fun when it is safe to do so! In the meantime, they have lots of online fun and activities for you to get involved with! Keep reading to find out what you can enjoy from home, some fun facts about our attractions and gardens you can visit during lockdown if they are local to you. For Covid-19 updates on our attractions click here.

Did you know?

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens have the most comprehensive collection of Champion Trees in Britain and Ireland with 611 trees considered to be the largest, finest, or most rare of their species. The Children’s Education Garden at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens was opened in 2006 by Sir David Attenborough!

The Love Lock tree in Beaulieu’s Grounds and Gardens was commissioned by Jonathan Montagu, son of the late Edward Lord Montagu, and his wife Nathalie Daoust for their wedding. It is open for visitors to lock their own padlocks on the tree as a romantic gesture.

The gates are closed at Clarence Pier for the season, which means it’s their engineer’s busiest time. Every nut and bolt of every ride is meticulously checked during the closure and any components that need to be are replaced. The pier is also being prepared for 2 brand new rides ready for 2021, they can’t wait to have you back!

Some common expressions were derived from the language of weaving such as ‘cloth ears’? As one former employee, born in 1920, put it: ‘You was overwhelmed at the roar of noise, and for about three days all you could hear was the roar in your ears. But after that, you became part and parcel of it and you could talk quite normally. Although you didn’t realise it, you were doing a lot of lip reading.’ A new series of Whitchurch Silk Mill’s popular online ‘Ripping Yarns’ is planned for you to find out more!

Buckler's Hard
Buckler’s Hard

The saying ‘Your number’s up’ may have originated at the New Forest shipbuilding village Buckler’s Hard? If the Master Shipbuilder wasn’t happy with a team’s work, he’d display their number outside his office and summon them by shouting ‘Team 4, your number’s up’. No one wanted their number to be called!

Did you know that Blackgang Chine is the oldest amusement park in the UK? They are celebrating their 178th birthday this year! 

Did you know Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is often the backdrop to Hollywood films?  The Dry Dock in Les Miserable with high Jackman and Russell Crowe is the one many people remember, however one of the last blockbusters to film at the dockyard was Transformers: The Last Knight. In the movie famous character Bumblebee come to seek help from the submarine HMS Alliance, which within the plot, is also a Transformer, to find a spacecraft.

Recently 134 individual props have replaced the metal cradles that were previously used to support HMS Victory within her Dry dock. These new props replicate the support offered by the water when the ship was afloat and reduces the stresses on the ships frame. You can see these up-close when you take the Under Hull Walkway, where you can descend into the base of the dry dock and view the 3600 tonne ship from below.

No 3 Dry Dock (which is beneath The Mary Rose) is a Grade 1 listed dock. It was completed in 1803 and is Scheduled Ancient Monument SM397. It was the first dry dock to be built using the inverted stone arch principle pioneered by Samuel Bentham, Inspector General of Naval Works,

Good to know…

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens the world-renowned 180-acre gardens has seen refurbishment to the historic Jermyns House and a new restaurant alongside the self-service café and the tea-room in order to serve the growing number of visitors, expected to open Spring 2021. The improvements are part of a new project focusing on the future of gardening in a changing world. Garden designer, Tom Stuart-Smith, will be leading the creation of a ‘frontier garden’ featuring plants at the limits of outdoor conditions in the British Isles. 

Sandown’s new hotel is set to be a welcome addition to its classic British seaside holiday feel. Premier Inn at Sandown Esplanade and the Cookhouse & Pub restaurant will open later this year, adding to the new entertainment along the seafront, including Dino Crazy Golf and Sky Nets at Sandham Gardens! Want to get A Taste of the Island at Home? Test out the recipes for black garlic and mushroom risotto, garlic bread, and tomato soup!

The Brickworks Museum in Bursledon continues to care for the nation’s collection of bricks and brickmaking machinery during the closure. They are looking forward to Spring when they hope to be able to open to the public again, and to summer when they are exploring bringing back their events in a covid-secure format, restrictions willing.  

Just because the Bombay Sapphire Distillery can’t welcome you in person at the moment, doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a Bombay Sapphire cocktail or two. Keep an eye on their website and social channels as they’re launching new virtual Tours and Cocktail Masterclasses soon!

Text Quest has lots of fun quests for when we are free to walk about our cities – and when the weather is better! But we also have virtual quests that can be played NOW, including an exciting new murder mystery.

Jane Austen’s House From Home provides three virtual tour opportunities. Explore the Museum gardens under the expert guidance of the Museum Cat! See the house and lots of objects up close with audio clips and a street-view style walk through of each room. Virtual Tour Live takes place twice a month on Zoom, led by an expert tour guide providing a walk through of the rooms Jane Austen knew and loved, examine objects she owned, and hear stories of the house through the ages.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t need to go by unnoticed…

If you live near Selborne why not enjoy a romantic dinner from home? Gilbert White’s Cafe is offering a three-course meal to takeaway on Friday 12th February. This one day only offer is perfect for couples wanting to make Valentine’s Day in lockdown special. 

Join Jane Austen’s House for a bumper Valentine’s Day celebration of all things Jane Austen with the Jane Austen Love Fest! With a fun and eclectic line up of talks, readings, music and games, this special online event will give you the chance to indulge your love of Jane Austen’s life and works, and to share them with fellow fans around the world.

Treat your loved one to a deluxe takeaway from the Hawk Conservancy Trust. Choose from the three-course dinner menu, prepared by expert chefs, or a romantic afternoon tea hamper! Email [email protected]hawkconservancy.org for details and to pre-order.

Half Term Fun in Hampshire!

Army Flying Museum
Army Flying Museum

The Army Flying Museum’s February Half Term activities will focus on online fun with the themes of camouflage and misdirection.  Go to their website to find a selection of brand new ‘Clever Camouflage’ resources for families to download and enjoy.

The beautiful gardens at Gilbert White & The Oates Collections are open throughout February, explore the natural world and get some fresh air in 25 acres of garden and parkland, tickets are available on the website.

Mottisfont’s February half term trail will look at how nature bounces back. As you explore the grounds, look out for first spring flowers and find out how the gardens recover from winter weathers. There’ll be activities and learning opportunities along the way.

To view all of our attractions click here! Be sure to stay updated on all our attractions and find out the latest news first by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.