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5 Ideas for Father’s Day Activities in Hampshire

By Sarah Frost – 16th June 2020

With Father’s Day just around the corner, you may have already made plans. If you haven’t yet, here are some of my ideas for how to spend Father’s Day in Hampshire this year, when there are reduced options. Some of the below do require pre-booked tickets so you will have to be quick!

Number 1: Exbury Gardens

My top choice this year is Exbury Gardens, and it’s where I’m taking my Dad albeit he’ll be driving himself down to meet us! There’s 200 acres of garden to explore so despite the steam railway and buggies being closed, there’s plenty to see here. In the summer months, the Sundial Gardens and Hydrangeas are particularly lovely, but I will be writing a blog about my visit soon. You do need to pre-book tickets which are limited to 500 per day but at the time of writing, there were still some available. Eddy’s will be open for hot and cold drinks and sandwiches. We will be taking a picnic though (and hoping for some good weather) as there are picnic tables around which have been spread out further than usual.


Number 2: Beaulieu

If I hadn’t already booked Exbury, I would have gone for Beaulieu. The motor museum remains closed, but the gardens are open for pre-booked visitors. I’ve heard through their social media that there are a few vehicles dotted around the gardens if your Dad is a motor fan too. Beaulieu village is very pretty too, and you’ll be able to catch sight of the Abbey. Again, I would recommend taking a picnic here to enjoy.



Number 3: National Trust

If you are lucky, you may be able to catch cancellation tickets now to one of the National Trust properties nearby. Mottisfont is extremely popular due to its stunning walled rose garden. My parents visited this week and commented on how lovely the gardens were. They were also able to enjoy an ice cream from a stall there. There’s also the Vyne near Basingstoke which is home to gardens and woodland trails to explore.



Number 4: The Coast

In case you’re struggling to get tickets to any gardens in time for Sunday, here are a couple of ticket-free options for you. You could head down to the coast somewhere. Southsea is a great choice as there is heaps of space on the common or on the beach. It may be pebbly, but you could grab fish and chips, or even a beer from one of the retailers on the promenade and sit on the beach watching the waves. There are lifeguards at various points so you can see where it’s safe to swim, if you’re brave enough!

Alternative beach spots for a picnic or ice cream include Hayling Island and Lepe Country Park.


Number 5: New Forest National Park

Last (but not least) in my list is the New Forest National Park. You can’t get much more spacious than this for a socially distanced picnic. There are 100s of trails that you can walk on or take the bikes down for a fun bike ride. See if you can spot a New Forest pony, or maybe even some deer. Check out their website for ideas of where to go and what to see.




Whatever you choose to do I hope you have a lovely time and I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for some good weather in Hampshire. I’ll let you know how my trip to Exbury goes soon!


Thank you for reading,


Sarah, Girl About Hampshire

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