Things to do in Hampshire this September

August 14, 2020

As the year whizzes by we are already looking ahead to September and are getting ready to say goodbye to summer. However, after being locked down for weeks we all definitely deserve to extend the holiday season, and with so many things to do in Hampshire this September, it’s not going to be difficult to find plenty to keep us entertained!

Let’s take a look…

All three Hampshire based Go Ape Sites are open
All three Hampshire based Go Ape Sites are open

This September at Butser Ancient Farm step back in time as re-enactors bring the ancient buildings to life. Each weekend pre-booked ticket holders can meet either Saxon, Roman or Prehistoric demonstrators with socially distanced displays of ancient life, meet the farm’s rare-breed animals and relax in the beautiful South Downs National Park. Must pre-book tickets.

Gilbert White & The Oates Collections presents an array of socially distanced and online events in September from outdoor theatre to yoga and herbal workshops and great online talks. Take a look at the website to see what’s on.

All three Hampshire based Go Ape Sites are open both midweek and weekends throughout September, take to the trees and make some memories you won’t forget.

It’s SUPER SEPTEMBER at Paultons Park and this month you can make the most of the park being quieter whilst enjoying over 70 rides and attractions including Peppa Pig World, Lost Kingdom, Critter Creek and Little Africa! Pre-booking is essential.

Enjoy a family day out at the Watercress Line: ride on a steam train, visit the footbridge used in Harry Potter films, get up close to the locomotives in the loco yard and relax in the south-facing picnic areas. Children under 5 years go FREE (standard travel only).

Enjoy historic Fort Nelson – the perfect place for a scenic walk whilst taking in the best view of Portsmouth. Their Voice of the Guns gallery and newly refurbished Artillery Hall will be open as well as the underground tunnels. Open daily but please book in advance.

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens has just published a new children’s activity leaflets, have fun whilst learning about ‘Wildlife & Habitats in the Gardens’ and ‘Senses in the Gardens’. Pick up a copy a from the Ticket Desk for £1, normal admission fees apply.

Continuing due to popular demand, Exbury Garden’s craft events will be carrying on at the weekends in September! Families can take part in either ‘Make a mini garden’ or ‘Bird Box making’ events for just £6 per pot/box plus gardens admission or membership.

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard has now reopened. With the new HMS Victory under hull walkway experience, taking you under the 3600 tonne ship and feel the extraordinary scale. Their new Ultimate Explorer ticket, now also includes entry to the King Henry’s the Eighth’s Flagship, the Mary Rose.

Adults and Juniors (from 8 years old) can find their inner Lewis Hamilton at Thruxton Kart Centre. Get on track in a range of karts and race on three different circuit configurations. Arrive and Drive sessions start from £20 per person. Group events available, including kids parties.

This September the Spitfire returns home to Middle Wallop as the Army Flying Museum for Wallop Spitfire Week. RAF Middle Wallop was declared operational in April 1940 and became a Spitfire base during the Battle of Britain in 1940, hosting key squadrons and their aces. Now the aircraft and some of its pilots stories will come to life with an exhibition and replica Spitfire between 21-27 September.

Beaulieu’s ever-popular Simply car rallies will continue in September including Simply Vauxhall (12th September), Simply Ford (13th September), Simply British Classics (20th September) and Simply Porsche (27th September). Tickets are only available on a pre-booked basis, participant and visitor tickets also include entry to the whole of the Beaulieu attraction.

The fun never stops at New Forest Activities
The fun never stops at New Forest Activities

Summer may be over, but the fun never stops at New Forest Activities. Visit The New Forest, hire a bike, and spend a day exploring the sights and sounds of the forest. Or take your family along to a canoeing tour on the stunning Beaulieu River.

September is a great time to explore on a quest with Text Quest, enjoying the late-summer sun. There is a quest for everyone, those who relish a challenge and those who want to discover more about the cities that they love. All quests are outside, so they are safe.

There’s farming fun for everyone with a fabulous daily schedule of animal activities at Longdown Activity Farm. Don’t miss their bumpy tractor ride (ground conditions permitting), and there’s plenty of fun playtime equipment too.  Longdown Activity Farm is fully compliant with Covid-19 safety guidelines. All visitors, including season ticket holders, are required to pre-book tickets on the Longdown website. Open daily to 31 October, and then Friday to Monday throughout November.

Lockdown has made everybody step back and think, so Itchen Vally Country Park has dropped the tempo a bit and activities reflect this with Walk and Talks for the adults and Story Walks for the children. All activities have been created following Covid-19 guidelines so groups will be smaller.

The D-Day Story is looking forward to seeing you and the kids this September. Being safe doesn’t mean that you can’t still have fun in the museum. They have lots of interactive activities and are sanitising their displays regularly. They are proud to have achieved the Visit Britain ‘Good to go’ standard. Keep an eye out in your local Portsmouth library for the free D-Day Story activity book. Packed with ideas to try out indoors and outdoors, and have fun learning about D-Day at the same time. Available in September.

Queen Elizabeth County Park has a brilliant new trail to enjoy. Grab your Reptile Run pack from the visitor centre and explore the park with your children like never have before, taking in the sights with a reptile theme. Packs cost £3 and include a guide, craft, pencil and a prize.

Dogs go free on Hovertravel
Dogs go free on Hovertravel

It’s time for walkies on the Isle of Wight! Dogs travel free on Hovertravel, so four-legged friends and their owners can enjoy a stroll along the sandy beaches neighbouring the Ryde terminal. The hovercraft flight from Southsea takes under ten minutes and well-behaved pets are always welcome onboard.

Step back in time to 1816 and follow in Jane Austen’s footsteps with a visit to the newly reopened Jane Austen’s House.  Experience aspects of the Austens’ daily life including Jane’s early morning piano practice and leisurely family breakfast.

New Forest Wildlife Park has had many births recently including fallow fawns (including twins) bison calf, otter cubs and mouflon lambs. Visit them in the autumn to enjoy these and all the other animals at the park. Or treat yourself to a one to one Keeper experience and get up close to our residents.

If you’re in need of a lovely night out, making the most of the wonderful summer weather then the Hawk Conservancy Trust have the event for you! Sunset on the Savannah is the perfect evening out if you want to watch their magnificent birds soar across the sky as the sun sets gently behind them. To add to this idyllic summer evening, a delicious picnic is included as part of your ticket!

Enjoy spectacular views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight this September with a visit to Hurst Castle. Discover centuries of military history at this artillery fortress while enjoying a drink and homemade treat from the castle café. With plenty of open spaces, it’s a great day out!