Outdoor Summer activities for 2024

April 12, 2024

Get ready for the best summer ever in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight! With beautiful countryside, vibrant towns, and historic attractions, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in the sunshine. From exciting festivals to quirky events and thrilling days out, you won’t find a shortage of fun ways to fill those warmer months. Get inspired and start planning your summer adventures with our roundup of fantastic outdoor Summer activities for 2024.

Dates for your diary

All Change! Visit The Watercress Line on the 15th-16th June, go back in time to the 50s and 60s with a weekend full of vintage vehicles from classic motorbikes to full size traction engines, unlimited travel on steam and heritage diesel locomotives and live music at Ropley and Medstead stations. 

Visit Winchester this summer to enjoy Hat Fair – the UK’s longest-running festival of Outdoor Arts. This year the festival runs from Friday 5 – Sunday 7 July and will take over the city centre streets and green spaces with bold and colourful street theatre, circus, comedy, dance, music and more. It’s free and family-friendly, with something for everyone.

diesel train at the watercress line
The Watercress Line Diesel Gala

Diesel Gala. On 12th-14th July enjoy an intensive timetable packed with multiple visiting diesel locomotives and London Underground stock joining the Watercress Line homefleet. Find out more about the railway and various heritage locomotive groups at their society stands and stalls, try some local Real Ale and more. 

As well as the beautiful flowers, shrubs, superb trees and the incredible outdoor space that awaits at Exbury Gardens, summer also holds lots of events and activities such as donkey day dates in July and August, alpaca walks, dog day and the ever popular Exbury Festival of Music.

The Army Flying Museum’s Wallop Wheels & Wings is back on Saturday 13 July and will be bigger and better than ever! Enjoy historic aircraft, classic and supercars, and motorbikes, plus family activities galore. There will also be an RAF Falcons parachute display, live music, living history, and much more. 

Join Gilbert White’s House & Gardens for music and theatre in the fresh country air. Including family favourites like Jemima Puddleduck on the 7th August and UK Fleetwood Mac on the 20th July. 

Horses and Wagons – a WW1-themed living history event – returns to the grounds of the RLC Museum this August. Take a walk to the Museum and enjoy finding out about the unsung heroes of WW1 from 9th August to the 11th. The event and the Museum are free to enter.

Enjoy throughout Summer

Visit Paultons Park this Summer and have the best day ever! With 5 amazing, themed lands including Tornado Springs and Peppa Pig World, plus an incredible variety of animals to meet, and stunning gardens, there’s something for the whole family! NEW FOR 2024- Meet our cheeky ring-tailed lemurs, and take a Jurassic adventure on Splash Lagoon.

Fiesta is back at Winchester Science Centre this summer! Get set for an exciting mini children’s festival of curiosity – free with general admission! Adventure outside for festival tents, mini stages and live science all set against the stunning backdrop of the South Downs National Park. 

Visit Portsmouth Historic Dockyard this summer, rain or shine there are adventures to be had! Step aboard HMS Warrior and soak up the sun whilst walking along the main deck. Or get out on the water and feel the sea breeze while taking in the sights of Portsmouth Harbour on one of our Harbour Tours. 

Summer is heating up at Clarence Pier! Climb aboard their thrilling rides and catch breathtaking views of the sea. Plus, with 3 huge arcades and indoor crazy golf, the fun never has to stop, even if the weather changes! Book online for discounts and a free date change for peace of mind! 

young boy running into the sea on a beach in the isle of wight
Isle of Wight

When the sun’s shining and the sea beckons, look no further than the Isle of Wight for the ultimate beach day out. Swap traffic jams for a smooth 1 hour sailing from Southampton, and take your pick from the Island’s many beautiful beaches to set down your towels and splash in the surf. Don’t forget to save 10% with this exclusive Red Funnel voucher!

Enjoy wildlife in the natural and peaceful surroundings of the ancient New Forest. Meet otters, lynx, wolves, ferrets, deer, new residents the Scottish wildcats and more at New Forest Wildlife Park and don’t forget to enjoy the Go Wild! play areas to burn some energy!

Pedal into Summer with Cyclexperience! Make the most of the better weather and get outdoors with friends and family alike to enjoy a day of cycling and exploring the pretty countryside. With the centre nestled in the heart of the New Forest, it means getting to the gravel tracks takes no time at all! 

Exploring Southampton this summer? Then join the Swashbuckling tour for all at Southampton’s Tudor House and Garden . This is a special tour of the Old Town with a focus on stories of buccaneers, explorers and smugglers! The tour is designed to be suitable for all ages.

For the ultimate outdoor activity, look no further than Laser Squad’s packed schedule this summer. With tactical games played out in the beautiful woodland setting of Queen Elizabeth Country Park bringing people together, whether friends, family or workmates.

Spend a whole day outside having close encounters with owls, eagles, vultures and more at the Hawk Conservancy Trust! There’s three flying display every single day, alongside talks and activities included in your ticket price that the whole family will enjoy.

Take a different route to the pub via boat! The Paddle to the Pub is the perfect way to explore the river and enjoy a summer’s day! There are a variety of options available, depending on what type of group you are. Looking for an after-work wind down? Look no further than the Sunset Chasers Paddling Tour with New Forest Activities. Enjoy a 2 hour picturesque guided tour, chasing the warm glow of the sun as it settles on Beaulieu River’s calm waters.  

This is just a taste of the incredible summer experiences that await you in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight! With so much going on, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to filling your days. Whether you want a thrilling ride at a theme park, a dose of history, or a celebration of the arts, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight has it all. Get out there and make memories that will last long after the summer sun fades! To stay updated with all the best family days out and ideas follow us on FacebookInstagramTikTok and Twitter! Don’t forget to download our exclusive vouchers for your days out.

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