Including Royal Victoria Country Park walks
Royal Victoria Country Park is steeped in local heritage with its old military hospital, open fields, woodland, beach, and an amazing playground.
Royal Victoria Country Park can be found at Netley Abbey, Southampton, SO31 5GA. Based right on the Southampton water, Royal Victoria Country Park is a great day-out location for the whole family.
Start by driving through the automatic barriers. This is number plate controlled and is used when you need to pay for your ticket. There are three different car parking payment machines. One is at the bottom, opposite the Solent; one right by the cafe and one just behind the Chapel.
There is an option of three car parks in the country park. One is sat right by the water, and the other two are further to the north of the country park. Parking fees do apply. All three are within walking distance of the cafe and toilets located on the grounds. Car parking can be hard in the summer months but you can park on the grass behind the old former hospital.
If you are looking for more things to do ideas in Hampshire then have a look at:
The Definitive Guide To Days Out in Hampshire
The Full List of Country Parks in Hampshire
The Ultimate List of Walks in Hampshire That Are Child Friendly
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Royal Victoria Country Park’s History
Did you know that the grounds of Royal Victoria Country Park used to be a former military hospital? Used during the First World War, many soldiers were shipped here to receive the very best care and attention. Now, all that is left of this huge building is the Chapel.
The chapel offers tours and a permanent exhibition about the local grounds and what life was like in the hospital at the time. If you can, go up the Chapel tower as it offers amazing views of the local area like you’ve never seen before.
Royal Victoria Country Park’s Walks
One of the best things about Royal Victoria Country Park is that it’s completely flat which makes it great for pushchairs and bikes. The fields are vast which are great for family-filled games like football or rounders. You can follow the woodland trails past the cafe and play area through the forest and really enjoy the local wildlife.
If you keep following the paths then you’ll come across the seafront. The beach is shingle but is a great place to sit and enjoy the coast. You could have a picnic on one of the many fields or dip your feet into the sea on a hot day.
Royal Victoria Country Park’s play area
Royal Victoria Country Park’s play area can be found near the cafe and offers all kinds of fun for all ages. It has a range of fully accessible play equipment and a huge climbing frame, slide, zip wire, and swings.
Keep walking and you’ll come across the steam train. Charges do apply but it’s worth it as it takes you around the 1-mile route of the woodland, playground, and around the front of the park.
Make sure you visit Sophie’s Pond, which can be found just outside the white gates of Royal Victoria Country Park. It’s a sensory garden that is full of plants and animals. Take the short walk around the pond to truly experience how tranquil this area is.
Food and Drink at Royal Victoria Country Park
Royal Victoria Country Park has it’s own cafe that caters for the whole family. You can sit enjoy and grab an ice cream or sit outside on one of the many benches that overlook the vast fields. They also offer BBQ spaces that need to be pre-booked which are great for family get togethers or special occasions.
On sunny days, there is normally an ice cream van near the bottom of the park, by the seafront that offers a range of cold items.
Royal Victoria Country Park review
You really can spend all day at Royal Victoria Country Park as there is something to do for everyone. We start by parking near the cafe and taking a walk to the play area, then past the steam train and through the woodland.
We then stop for lunch and have a picnic on the furthest field, away from the historic Chapel as it can get quite busy in the middle field in the summer. We then pack up and walk down to the seafront for a dip before walking up the small hill and playing games for the rest of the afternoon.
It does get really hot in the summer months as the fields are all open and flat. There is little tree cover, unless you head to the cricket ground field which does have trees lining the green. This is one of our favorite fields to ride our bikes on as it’s cut regularly and is normally quiet enough for a bike ride.
Royal Victoria Country Park is open all year round. Make sure you get to the visit the wooden carvings on the far side of the park which are great for climbing on. There are a few benches there to which are great if you need the shade.
- The Definitive Guide To Days Out in Hampshire
- The Ultimate Guide to Things to do in Southampton With Kids
- 31 Family Days Out in Hampshire For All Ages
This really is a place for everyone. Dogs are welcome and because it’s mainly enclosed and the fields are so big it’s a great place to let the kids run free and play games.
Our favorite thing to do is ride the steam train and take a walk in our wellies on the stony beach in the Winter. We’ve found crabs and other sea life plus picked shells up that have been a range of different colours.
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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