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Free Days Out in Hampshire which includes beaches, museums and quirky ideas
We all have months where money is tight and needing free days out ideas for the whole family is a must. Staying in can be fun but when the kids are bouncing off the way, there’s only one thing for it, to get out!
There’s no need to spend your monthly wage on a trip out. We have loads of free days out in Hampshire ideas for the whole family that will keep you all busy and amused, no matter the age!
Outside Free Days Out
Hampshire Country Parks
Explore Hampshire’s countryside by visiting one of it’s country parks. Take the bikes and scooters and see what you can find. Some even offer free parking and have a playground and picnic benches for you to enjoy!
Itchen Valley Country Park (Southampton)
Lepe Country Park (Hythe)
Manor Farm (Bursledon)
Queen Elizabeth Country Park (Horndean)
River Hamble Country Park (Hamble)
Royal Victoria Country Park (Netley Abbey)
Staunton Country Park (Havant)
Titchfield Haven (Titchfield)
Basingstoke Canel (Basingstoke)
Beaches in Hampshire
From traditional sand to fun on the stones, we really do have some cracking beaches in Hampshire. Our full list of the best Hampshire beaches can be found here.
Calshot Beach (Southampton)
Calshot is a mile long shingle beach and is perfect to watch the ships come in. The other side is a salt marsh which is home to the local wildlife and birds. There’s plenty of parking and a cafe near by.
Lepe Beach (Southampton)
A stony beach with patches of sand, Lepe has lots to offer! It was a tarmac path along the seafront and plenty of rock pools when the tide goes out. There’s a huge car park right by the beach and a playground a short walk up the hill.
Tanners Lane Beach (Lymington)
You can park really close to the beach. Watch the tide though as it can be rough for swimming at times. There are pondweeds too but if the kids just want to throw stones or enjoy a stony beach then this is perfect.
Hurst Spit Beach (New Forest)
With lovely views of the Isle of Wright, this beach is lovely to watch the world go by. The cafe is limited so bringing lunch is a good idea. Parking is hard to come by too so visit early to make sure you get a spot.
Weston Shore (Southampton)
Plenty of parking either end, this is a shingle beach with a playground on the beach and a tarmac path that is perfect for scooters and bikes.
Free Things to do Printables
If you are looking for ideas on what to do in Hampshire then have a look at our free Resource Vault. Our vault is full of printables that you can use as many times as you like.
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Walks in Hampshire
Looking for somewhere to take the kids for a picnic or a bike ride? Our full list of walks in Hampshire is here but our favourite are below.
Black Dam Ponds (Basingstoke)
This has lovely flat and wide pathways that are perfect for scooters and bikes. Enjoy the pond while having a lovely picnic on the lush green fields. This is a great walk for younger families who need to be kept amused.
River Itchen (Winchester)
Running through the city of Winchester is the River Itchen. As it leaves the city it passes by St. Catherines Hill and continues onto Southampton. You can follow it via different trails and each are just as interesting as the others.
The Zig-Zag (Selborne)
The path zig-zags, as you can probably gather from its name, but as you take each step and gradually get higher above the quaint village (and more out of breath!) it is most definitely worth it, the views from the top are amazing! From here you can choose to either walk back down or to investigate the surrounding woodlands which can also lead you back down to the car park.
New Forest National Park (Brockenhurst)
The New Forest has loads of nooks to park and walk-in. Our favorite is The Cricket Ground as it has everything you need for a great day out. The ground is flat for ball games and the small river that trickles past is great for a dip on a hot day.
Farley Mount (Winchester)
There’s loads of places to walk in Farley Mount. Apart from the actual mount itself which is great to run up, there’s loads of different paths through the woods or fields depending on what you are looking for.
This little beach has a great view with a small harbour. It has three car parks and a cafe on-site.
Butser Hill (South Downs)
This walk isn’t for the faint-hearted but is great for the kids. Roll down the hills and run off some steam through the untouched greenland of the South Downs.
Porchester Castle (Portsmouth)
The castle grounds are free to explore. Make sure you visit the cafe as their homemade cake is amazing! Walk around the castle to get a full view of the Hampshire coast.
Holly Hill (Fareham)
This hilly walk is perfect for toddlers and up who love to climb and explore. There are two walks depending on your stamina and stepping stones, bridges and plenty of picnic benches.
Jane Austen Walks (Alton)
This is a circular walk that takes you through the heart of Alton. You start at Jane Austen’s house and walk through the fields she walk on too.
Canoe Lake (Portsmouth)
Just off the seafront, this stunning lake is perfect to visit for the whole day with the children. It has a cafe, toilets and loads of space for picnics. Play around the lake or even bring a net and see what animals you can see.
Victoria Park (Portsmouth)
Victoria Park is a public park by the Portsmouth Guildhall. It’s a huge grass area that is perfect for picnics and playing outdoor games with the family.
Want something a bit different? Have a day out in Hampshire and see what local treasures you can spot from local wildlife to historic monuments.
Winchester Farmers Market (Winchester)
On every second Sunday from 9am to 2pm, browse the markets for the best and quirky produce and gifts. It’s a great way to see the city while exploring what the city has to offer.
Southsea Castle (Portsmouth)
Southsea Castle is based right on the seafront. While it does cost to go in, running around the outside of the fort is great fun for all the family. It’s on a big hill with loads of green space, perfect for a picnic and a fun afternoon by the seafront.
There are loads of free Geospotting apps that are perfect to get the whole family out and about. The prizes are normally something like a picture or another clue for the next prize.
Cruise Ship hunt
Visit any seafront location in southern Hampshire and you’ll sure to see some cruise ships. Make a list of the ships you want to see and spot as many as you can.
Hampshire Trails available in most towns
These trails are normally made by the local council. Visit the local Travel and Tourism shop to get a print out (normally for a charge) or get the kids to make their own by giving them a list of local attractions.
Odiham Castle (Basingstoke)
This ruined castle is a great fortress that the kids can run around. Let them explore the history and the green space throughout these runes.
Deer viewing at Bolderwood (New Forest)
Bolderwood has everything you could need for a day out in the New Forest. It has plenty of parking, toilets in site and a great walk that is perfect for the whole family. If you are extra lucky you may see the famous deer wandering through the trees.
Netley Abbey (Netley)
This ruined castle which was built in the 13th-century. It’s sat next to some woods that you can explore too.
Painted rock hunting anywhere! Find your nearest Facebook group and start searching
Hatchet Pond (Brockenhurst)
Explore this wonderful area with on-site free parking and loads of flat walks for the whole family.
Riverside Park and Mill (Southampton)
Feed the ducks or explore the river. Riverside Park has everything your family needs for a great day out which include on-site parking, playgrounds, skate parks and flat paths that are great for bike rides or scooters.
Indoor Free Days Out
Free Museums in Hampshire
Looking for somewhere dry to take the kids that’s also free? Try one of these Hampshire museums that are family-friendly and fun. Here’s our full list of our favorite free museums throughout Hampshire.
Andover Museum (Andover)
Andover Museum is a great place for the kids to learn about the prehistoric times all the way through to preset day.
Army Medical Services Museum Keogh Barracks (Aldershot)
Open most of the year, the museum hosts the carriage used by Florence Nightingale during her time in the Crimea and details the story of the military and medicine.
Adjutant General’s Corps Museum The Guardhouse (Winchester)
This museum is in the Guard House of Peninsula Barracks in Winchester and is great if your kids are learning about The Second World War. It holds personal accounts of the time plus the Queens own driving permit which is on loan to the museum
Southampton City Art Gallery (Southampton)
Exhibitions change regularly so there’s always something to do and see. Opening times are Monday to Friday 10am to 3pm and 10am to 5pm on Saturdays.
Curtis Museum (Alton)
The museum covers 100 million years of history and displays include prehistoric tools, Roman pottery reconstruction, Saxon burials, the Battle of Alton 1643 and the notorious tale of Sweet Fanny Adams.
Willis Museum (Basingstoke)
Open all year round, this is a local working museum with galleries on local archaeology and natural science. Learn more about Basingstoke and the history around you through the ages.
Fort Nelson (Fareham)
This old fort is the perfect place to let the kids run around and explore the old tunnels and grounds. It’s free to enter but there is a parking charge.
The Royal Dockyard (Portsmouth)
Enter for free and walk around the grounds that lay home to the Mary Rose and the Victory. It costs to get into each museum but it’s free to walk around and see what they have to offer.
Portsmouth City Museum (Portsmouth)
This museum explores the city’s naval past. It changes regularly so make sure you keep going back to see what they have to offer.
Portsmouth Natural History Museum (Portsmouth)
This museum holds everything you need to know about Portsmouth. Make sure you check out the Butterfly House and take advantage of all the fun activities that the center has to offer.
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Quirky Days Out in Hampshire
Winchester Cathedral (Winchester)
This huge cathedral not only has beautiful gardens but is also a wonder in itself. Walk around the accident rooms and let your kids explore this age-old building by touch and sight.
The Great Hall and King Arthur’s Round Table (Winchester)
Right in the center of Winchester, this crown jewel is steeped in history. Look around the great hall and let your kids run outside to the full view of the city center.
Royal Garrison Church (Portsmouth)
Royal Garrison Church is located on Penny Street in Old Portsmouth. Check the churches opening times but it’s well worth a look as it has a long and fascinating history.
If you enjoyed this post and would like some more ideas on things to do in Hampshire then head over to the Things To Do section here on Things To Do In Hampshire With Kids where you’ll find over 50 day out ideas in Hampshire that the whole family will enjoy. You could also pop over and follow our Facebook page here or our Hampshire days out Pinterest boards for lots more ideas on what you can do as a family in Hampshire; Days Out For The Kids in Hampshire and Cheap and Free Days Out in Hampshire.
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