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TOP 3: National Trust Properties in Hampshire

By Sarah Frost – 4th December 2020

National Trust properties in Hampshire


Houses and gardens are some of my favourite places to spend a day out, and there are three main National Trust properties in Hampshire. You don’t need to be a member to visit, although you do need to pre-book on the website. Membership can be a more cost-effective way of visiting though if you planned to visit all of them (and more) in a year. Girl About Cheshire has written a great article where you can find out whether it’s worth the cost here


One of the things I love about National Trust is that there is always something on, and the activities vary throughout the year. There are Easter egg hunts, summer picnic activities, and winter trails. In Hampshire, all the below houses have Peter Rabbit adventure trails throughout December, where you and your family can hunt for the Beatrix Potter decorations dotted throughout the grounds. Many of the rooms in Mottisfont are also decorated for Christmas and they always look stunning.

Here’s some more information on each of the National Trust properties in Hampshire.


The Vyne, near Basingstoke


I’ll start with the one which is closest to me, and also the one I’ve visited the most times. The Vyne is a Tudor mansion, which was bequeathed to the Trust in 1956. You can choose a time slot for the house when you enter the estate (although it is currently closed due to coronavirus). You can walk over a bridge across Vyne lake and continue up the drive toward the main house.

Alternatively, you can continue straight on and walk to the woods. There’s a bird hide on your left where you can sit and spot a number of wild birds in the wetland area. In the woods, there are three circular trails marked with green, yellow or brown arrows. They are varying lengths, and it can get very muddy in Autumn and Winter so you may need wellies.

On the main lawn, there is plenty of space for picnics in the warmer weather, and the backdrop of the lake is beautiful. For refreshments, you can visit the Brewhouse tea room, and in Summer there’s also a Jude’s ice cream kiosk.

To book tickets: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-vyne

Mottisfont, near Romsey


If I had to choose a favourite National Trust property in Hampshire, I think it would be Mottisfont. I have fond memories of visiting here with my Granny in the Summer when the rose gardens are particularly stunning.

Mottisfont has a rich history; you’ll be able to find a priory in the foundations which originates from 1201. The main house was then built in the 18th century and guests at the time included Charles Darwin. During the Second World War, it became a convalescent home for wounded soldiers and then in 1957 it was given to the Trust to look after. 

The gardens look lovely all year round, however, May and June see the Walled Gardens filled to brim with roses, making this the most popular time to visit. There is a river walk and a large meadow to enjoy as well as several picnic tables in the grounds. There are many quirky features to find, including an Angel mosaic.

In the later months, there is a Winter garden filled with colour and scent. From 5th December – 1st January the house and gardens will be adorned with festive decorations. There will be a traditional nativity scene in the Cellarium, and small woodland creatures among the decorations for little ones to look out for.


To book: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mottisfont



Hinton Ampner, near Alresford


Hinton Ampner is probably the best one for walkers, and there are four downloadable, dog-friendly trails. They include an ancient tree trail and a walk that takes in sights from the Battle of Cheriton, a key battle in the Civil War. In the grounds themselves, there are stunning views of the South Downs and it also has its own church. The cafe uses several ingredients from the gardens, even during winter. 

There has been a manor house here since Tudor times, although the current one is Georgian. The house is currently closed due to coronavirus but hopefully will reopen in 2021. The cafe and gardens remain open, and there is the Peter Rabbit trail to enjoy in December.


To book: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hinton-ampner



I will keep this article updated into 2021, when hopefully more facilities are reopened. The gardens themselves are still worth a visit in themselves, and Mottisfont house has some rooms open.

There are also a number of National Trust car parks in Hampshire that make good starting points for a walk, for example in Selborne.



Sarah x


This is a Girl About recommendation. This means that it was not gifted in return for a review but paid in full by our writer and the venue had no idea that I was there. We only recommend places we absolutely love, and places that we know you’ll love too!


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