Glorious gardens & country parks for days out in Hampshire

Hampshire & the Isle of Wight are famed for their stunning array of country parks and gardens. From the smaller more intimate landscapes to the larger woodland creations, garden-lovers are spoilt for choice. Hampshire is also home to fantastic historical destinations offering an insight into centuries of horticultural heritage and giving inspiration to the next generation of garden enthusiasts.

Here is our top selection of country parks and gardens in Hampshire for great days out:

Classic gardens in Hampshire

Gilbert White's House Gardens in Hampshire
Gilbert White’s House Gardens in Hampshire

Set in a spectacular 200 acre space, Exbury Gardens house the world-famous collection of Rothschild rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias with beautiful views in every season. With a steam railway, adventure play area, tea rooms, riverside walk and art exhibitions, it will captivate visitors of every age.

Established by the distinguished plantsman Sir Harold Hillier, Sir Harold Hillier Gardens is an award-winning garden currently holding 14 National Plant collections, making it one of the world’s most important plant collections. Breathtaking beauty and tranquillity in every season.

Houghton Lodge Gardens is set alongside the magnificient River Test. With a walled kitchen garden with quintessential English charm, a whimsical topiary peacock garden and a tranquil oasis inspired by the East in the Oriental Garden. There’s even resident alpacas.

Hampshire is famed for its Country parks

A historic walled garden to a maze and tranquil sensory garden, there is a lot to explore at Staunton Country Park. The Victorian glasshouse is full of tropical plants and a giant Amazon waterlily.

Explore over 2000 acres of downland and woodland at Queen Elizabeth Country Park and enjoy the views at the top of Butser Hill. Walking routes, cycle trails, adventure trails and play areas are all available for the whole family to enjoy.

Royal Victoria Country Park has fantastic views across Southampton Water and the ancient woodlands, large open spaces, boardwalks and ponds offer something for everyone. With tree houses, walkways, a zipslide and climbing wall, there is much to discover.

If you are looking for a county park thats a little different, head over to Hamble Valley Country Park where you can experience watersports and crabbing off the pier!

Discover 100 years of farming heritage with the traditional Manor Farm, costumed characters and Victorian school room. Finish with a visit to the country park with its mix of woodland, riverside, open space and farmland. Here you can find family picnic areas, children’s play equipment, BBQs to hire and toilets.

Visit Lepe Country Park in Hampshire, with over a mile of beach is a great day out for all. Whether spending the day searching for seashore crabs and building sandcastles or enjoying the play area or a stroll around the coast to the D-Day remains or through the local nature reserve, there’s lots to do. Finish your visit at The Lookout, Lepe’s restaurant with panoramic views over the Solent – a destination for visitors whatever the weather!

Gardens with history

The garden at Gilbert White & The Oates Collection is the work of the pioneering naturalist Gilbert White and it is a wonderful mix of 18th century landscape design, practicality and ingenuity. The museum enjoys 30 acres of garden and ancient parkland with historic varieties of plants, views and tranquillity.

Queen Elizabeth Country Park in Hampshire
Queen Elizabeth Country Park in Hampshire

Step across the crystal clear river at Mottisfont and enter a little piece of paradise with the sound of water never far away. Carpets of spring bulbs, a stunning walled rose garden, rich autumn leaves and a colourful winter garden make Mottisfont a feast for the senses all year round.

Discover Osborne‘s gardens that offered Queen Victoria and Prince Albert a sanctuary away from the public eye, where they could relish in private family life. They strolled together, cultivated vegetables alongside their children, and planted numerous trees throughout the grounds.

Gardens with added extras

Explore the secret woodland garden and dozens of fairy doors at Furzey Gardens. By visiting you are supporting local charity Minstead Trust who provide training and work experience where people with learning disabilities can learn new skills in horticulture and hospitality.

Located behind Marwell Hall, Marwell Zoo’s fantastic Formal Garden includes a representation of three garden styles of the 16th and 17th century. Enjoy a stroll round the knot, parterre and kitchen gardens and become acquainted with the plants and their uses.

Birdworld has 26 acres of landscaped park and gardens whilst being home to over 1000 birds and 180 species from around the world!

Did you know Paultons Park has glorious gardens that surround it? The magnificent cedar trees are over 160 years old and there are a huge selection of different gardens to enjoy here, such as the Jungle Falls Garden, Snakes & Ladders Garden and The Spring Garden. It’s an unexpected surprise garden for your bucket list.

Ready to explore our amazing gardens?

So there you have it, glorious gardens and country parks in Hampshire. From classical gardens with hundreds of years of history, to gardens nestled next to rollercoasters, there is a Hampshire day out perfect for everyone!

Updated July 2024

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