Summer holiday days out in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight

July 18, 2023

Places to go this summer holiday in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight

Ready to discover the best summer holiday days out in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight? Hampshire’s Top Attractions has fantastic family days out lined up for you during the summer holidays.

Whether you’re seeking a countryside day out, outdoor adventures, or historical fun, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight have it all. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the New Forest and explore the rich heritage. For outdoor enthusiasts, there is an array of activities, such as hiking, cycling, and water sports! Get ready for an unforgettable adventure as we explore the best places to visit and experience the true essence of this captivating region.

Explore the outdoors

Bring your family to Sir Harold Hillier Gardens for a fun day out exploring. Find the woodland tree house, run through the bamboo tunnels, jump on the wobbly bridge, and make music in the sound garden. Family ‘flutter-by’ Self-Guided Trail runs throughout the summer. Don’t miss seeing the young woodland pigs too!

Family time is different at Buckler’s HardSoak up the peaceful atmosphere of the village and escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life this summer. Screen time is swapped for woodland adventures, little ones become intrepid explorers, and the tranquil views allow everyone to breathe a little more deeply.

Places to go this summer holiday in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
Gilbert White’s House & Gardens

Lose yourself in the stunning grounds at Gilbert White’s House & Gardens. This year there is a Lost & Found Explorer Trail where you must navigate the grounds and solve clues to locate and name the mystery creature. If the creature is successfully found, you can claim your official Explorer prize! 

Enjoy a fun day at the Watercress Line: Experience unlimited steam train rides through the beautiful Hampshire countryside, explore the playground, visit the footbridge used in Harry Potter films, and relax in the picnic areas at our heritage stations. Children under 5 years go FREE (standard travel only).

Get set for an action-packed summer at Beaulieu as history comes to life with colourful characters, falconry displays, phantasmagorical rides, and living history parades! See exciting new exhibitions across the attraction, including Sculpture at Beaulieu, and take a trip on our much-loved Veteran bus or ever-popular Monorail.

Meet the animals

There’s farming fun for everyone at Longdown Activity Farm during summertime with a fabulous daily schedule of animal activities including bottle-feeding kid goats and calves. So many exciting play areas too, including a wheelchair swing in the all-inclusive playground. Don’t miss the bumpy tractor ride (ground conditions permitting). Tearoom and kiosk, Gift shop, Farm Produce Shop, and Changing Room facility with adult-sized equipment. 

Bird of prey flying in the sky above a crowd of people at the Hawk Conservancy Trust
Hawk Conservancy Trust

With over 3000 five-star reviews on TripAdvisor, the Hawk Conservancy Trust is a guaranteed day of family fun this summer. Join them for a full day out, with a jam-packed summer timetable including three world-class flying displays, close encounters, talks, and activities – all included in your ticket price!

New Forest Wildlife Park offers something for visitors of all ages. It is home to over 260 animals from 40 species, including both native and exotic species.  Along the nature trail visitors can observe wild roaming deer, wallabies, wolves, lynx, Scottish wildcats, and more. Chat with the f riendly keepers about the animals and enjoy the playgrounds suitable for all ages and abilities.

With hundreds of fascinating animals, play areas, cafes, and 140 acres to explore Marwell Zoo is guaranteed to keep visitors of every age entertained this summer. Meet Tashi the red panda, Mburo the giraffe, and Valentina the tiger on a thrilling walking safari on the fringe of the south downs. 

Visit the Isle of Wight
Red Funnel Ferry leaving the ferry port to head to the Isle of Wight
Red Funnel Ferry

Leave your passport and travel stresses at home and enjoy an Isle of Wight adventure, just a one-hour sail from Southampton with Red Funnel. Bring the car, the kids, dogs, bikes, kayaks, paddleboards… whatever you need to fit more into your Island escape! Plus save 10% with this exclusive HTA voucher.

Visit Osborne this summer for the ultimate family day out. Visit Queen Victoria’s palace by the sea and laugh out loud as you enjoy an exciting show of Punch & Judy, see Mr Punch and friends getting up to mischief, enjoy a delicious ice cream and go for a dip in the Solent. Afterwards, visit the Swiss Cottage to see where the royal children played, and take part in their Family Tree Trail – find all 12 trees and complete activities as you explore the grounds. Book now and save 10%

Learn and have fun

Winchester Cathedral invites families to embark on a summer adventure filled with exciting activities and entertainment for all ages. From creative workshops to captivating tours, and interactive trails, Winchester Cathedral offers a range of experiences that guarantee a memorable visit, whatever the weather! Find out more at 

Discover real history, real people at Milestones, Hampshire’s Museum of living history! Roam the immersive townscape and learn about Victorian life through to post-WWII. Browse the wares of the Victorian shopkeeper, scrub up nicely for the laundress, and be sure to be on your best behaviour – the air raid warden might be on patrol! 

Family smiling infron of ship at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Enjoy a summer of unexpected experiences at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. With 9 attractions, family activities running throughout the six-week holiday, and brand-new exhibitions such as ‘Dive the Mary Rose 4D’, and ‘Armada Maps National Treasures’! 

Explore the historic city of Winchester. Enjoy an immersive Anglo-Saxon experience in two parts at 878 AD, an interactive adventure for all the family! Discover the life of the past today as you meet live actors, compete in challenges and so much more during your journey.

Visit the Army Flying Museum for a fun family day out. Enjoy the aircraft, interactive exhibits, indoor and outdoor play areas, 1940s House, children’s activities, trails, dressing-up, and much more, plus the Apache Café with its fabulous airfield views. Pay once and visit free of charge for 12 months.  

Summer holiday days out in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
Winchester Science Centre

Get set for an action-packed adventure at Winchester Science Centre! Discover two floors of fun interactive exhibits. Watch ‘don’t try this at home’ demos in Science Live and fun experiments in the free Science Theatre show. Go on an indoor or outdoor nature adventure. And fly through the stars in the Planetarium.

Action and Adventure

Visit Paultons Park this Summer for the most magical family day out. 5 amazing, themed lands including Tornado Springs and Peppa Pig World. Plus an incredible variety of animals to meet & stunning gardens!! A Magical Pirate Adventure Show will be performed every day throughout the summer holidays!

Escape to the picturesque Beaulieu River Nature Reserve this summer and embark on a family adventure with New Forest Activities! Their Family Canoeing experience is a must-try activity for all ages. Join an expert guide for a 90-minute guided canoeing tour, explore stunning waterways, spot wildlife, and create cherished memories.

Schools are out for Summer! Are you enjoying a few precious weeks away from the office to be with your children? Riverside Bowl is the venue for you! Rain or shine, the fun never stops. Indulge in competitive activities, from 10-pin bowling to AR Darts, tasty stone-baked pizzas, and refreshing beverages.

Summer holiday days out in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
Thruxton Motorsport Centre

Head to the Thruxton Motorsport Centre this summer! Feel like one of the F1 packs in their racing cars or unleash your inner racing addict with their Supercars. Try the 4×4 Off-Road Centre or head down to the Skid Pan driving!

Cyclexperience is a family-run bike hire centre offering a world of adventure for all ages and abilities. Pedal through breathtaking countryside, explore historical landmarks or enjoy coastal trails. 

Activities for the whole family

Families will love a variety of thrilling activities at Ironsight Activities. A unique activity centre with indoor and outdoor gaming zones and combat arenas! Enjoy Airsoft, Laser Tag, Paintballing, Splat Master, and CQB Tactical Players! Suitable for all ages from 7+.

Visit Calshot this summer for a taste of Hampshire’s heritage. From being the site of one of Henry VIII’s forts to playing an important role in both WWI and WWII, the area has a wealth of stories to uncover. So, visit the beach or Calshot Castle and learn more about the rich tapestry of Hampshire’s history that surrounds Calshot. 

This summer The Brickworks Museum is going totally prehistoric with an interactive family trail all about the fossils. Get hands-on with history, delve deep into the very ancient past, and explore the secrets in our clay.  

Did you find this blog helpful for discovering summer holiday days out in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight? Check out more of our blogs and things to do! We’ve also got an array of vouchers for discounts at lots of attractions!

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