If you are looking for a family day out that is packed with fun walks and greenery then have a look at Holly Hill Woodland Park.
Holly Hill is based in Fareham just off the A27. It’s really easy to find as it’s directly opposite Fareham Leisure Center. The woodland has an on-site car park straight off the road that is free. There are toilets at the main entrance before you go down the hill.
This is the perfect place to visit throughout the summer holidays or winter months. There’s loads to do from exploring the local wildlife to jumping over the stepping stones or walking through the dense trees.
Holly Hill is a nature reserve and is great for spotting all kinds of woodland creatures and insects. We’ve seen badgers and squirrels on a good day while sat on one of the many benches or rocks throughout the park.
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Exploring Holly Hill Woodland Park
Head to the entrance and you’ll come across a huge hill that takes you down and gives you two options to walk in. It’s a circular walk that gives you the option for an easy or harder walk.
While the terrain is mainly flat with a few hills, it’s not easy to ride your bike or push a buggy around. It is a walk through woods and while there are easier walks there are still hills especially down to the large lake near the middle of the woodland.
If you are looking for a longer walk then stick to the left-hand path and you’ll come across a small flat area with a huge map of the woodland and beautiful gardens with benches. Enjoy watching the birds and see how many squirrels you can spot jumping from each tree.
If you keep going you’ll come across more picnic benches. This open area is great in the summer as the grass is cut and the kids can run about in a flat area. At the far point, you get a lovely view of River Hamble. There’s a looking point that you can enjoy while relaxing by the sea.
Walking down further, we found many different ways down, you will come across the giant lake with sweeping trees and swans. There’s loads of local wildlife too including ducks and huge fish as big as an adult’s arm!
The stepping stones right by the lake are an instant hit with all the kids. There’s only about four or five which cross a small trickle of water but the kids each took in turns going over them multiple times.
Heading over the bridge from the lake you’ll come across a small garden full of the most stunning plants you’ve ever seen. We then headed to the climbing stones. These are huge are great for the kids to climb up and enjoy. The good thing is that there are benches everywhere around there within full view of the rocks.
Keep walking and there’s a fork again in the path with a green flat area. This is a great place to get the picnic rug out while the kids run about.
We took the longer path around the lake. It is hilly and stony but the kids loved exploring the less taken path and took it in turns to lead the way. We came across a small river and fallen log that’s a perfect place to stop to spot more local wildlife. There’s also less trees in this area so if you have older kids they might be fine cycling around here.
Also, because there are less trees in this area with low branches, the kids could use these trees to climb in. It was great to see their smiling faces they grabbed each branch and really explored.
The whole walk takes about three hours so if you take a picnic and find a good pot to watch the kids then they could play there for hours.
What we like the most is that there are so many different paths you can take. If you need a flatter route then sticking to the path is advised as off the beaten track can take you through some very stony and uneven paths that are through dense bushes and trees.
We also took a Treasure map printout with us which you can print out from our free Resource Vault. It’s full of things that the whole family need to spot or pick up, depending on how you are playing it.
Holly Hill is a dog-friendly woodland but they do ask to keep all dogs on leads due to the amount of wildlife.
Even though the woodland isn’t big, you’d be surprised to know that it’s easy to get lost in. Make sure that you have a good few hours on your hands as it’s easy to lose your sense of direction there due to the number of walks and hills.
Holly Hill is a really well-maintained parkland run by the local authority. There are plenty of bins by the picnic benches and loads of places to stop for a rest or a runaround.
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If you are looking for somewhere else to go then have a look at Fareham Leisure Center just across the road. They have a beautiful big playground plus a huge flat field that is perfect for scootering or playing games.
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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