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5 Best Value for Money Days Out in the School Holidays, in Hampshire

By Sarah Frost – 20th August 2020

It’s the school holidays, and you’re wondering how to keep the children entertained. They claim to be bored of everything in the house, and you’re running out of ideas. You also know how expensive it can be to take the family out for the day, so you want somewhere which offers great value for money.

Here are my top 5 suggestions of places to go which are all under £50 for a family ticket.


  1. Beach Day

Let’s start with a suggestion which is almost free! There are plenty of beaches to choose from in Hampshire, and you could enjoy a day out for as little as the parking charge; just take a picnic with you. Here’s some ideas:

Southsea: There’s plenty of parking, and a huge stretch of beach so it’ll be easy to find space. It is pebbly, so no sand-castle building opportunity, but you can paddle in the sea. You might be lucky enough to spot one of the warships making its way over to Portsmouth, or watch the hovercraft whizzing over to the Isle of Wight. Once the kids get bored of the beach you can visit the arcades by Clarence Pier and keep them entertained on the 2p machines. There’s also the funfair and several places for an ice cream or snack.

Lepe Country Park: If you want somewhere with fewer pebbles, and more sand then head to Lepe. There’s a lot of sand here and you can watch the windsurfers as it tends to get quite windy. There are also more secluded spots on top of the cliffs where you can enjoy your picnic without the sand. The play area and bird hide will help entertain the family and you can take a walk around the local nature reserve. Ice creams and lunch are available at the Lookout too.

Find more at: https://www.hants.gov.uk/thingstodo/countryparks/lepe


  1. New Forest

The New Forest might be one of the smallest National Parks in the UK but it’s plenty big enough to keep you entertained for a few days. There are over 140 miles of footpaths here which you could explore on foot or by bike.

The Tall Trees Trail is a highlight – an easy 1.5-mile trail where you can see the largest trees in the forest and learn some fun tree facts on your way around.

Other activity ideas would be to try horse-riding at one of the many stables. Whether you are beginners or experienced you’ll find a suitable stable. A 1-hour horse trek is a perfect way to enjoy the views of the forest.

See more ideas at: https://www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/

  1. Hawk Conservancy

Located near Andover is the Hawk Conservancy, a registered charity who look after over 130 birds of prey. There are various flying displays throughout the day which showcase different birds each time. The summer timetable also includes an opportunity to meet a bird of prey and watch a ferret race. There’s a play area and tractor ride across the bumpy fields. The whole family will enjoy learning about the birds, the important conservation work of the trust, and watching the incredible flying displays.

To plan your day, visit the website here: https://www.hawk-conservancy.org/index.asp


  1. Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway

If you’ve read my blog on Exbury here, then you’ll know it’s one of my favourite days out in Hampshire. Luckily they also have lots to keep the children entertained as well. The steam train is now open, which takes you around part of the gardens you can’t see by foot – just remember your face coverings.

Especially for the school holidays are some additional activities. You can meet and ride donkeys, make your own mini garden or join the reptile academy.

Check the website for specific timetables: https://www.exbury.co.uk/


  1. Beaulieu

Coming in at Number 1 is Beaulieu because it has the biggest variety of things to see and do on one ticket.

I have written a separate blog here, but here’s a summary of what you’ll find.

National Motor Museum: See over 280 vehicles from world record breakers to F1 cars. There’s also a fun, family exhibition with hundreds of childhood toy cars to see.

Top Gear exhibition: Not just for fans of the show, you’ll see a weird and wonderful variety of artefacts and vehicles from series over the years. See if your car features on the ‘Cool Wall’

Beaulieu Abbey: Explore the conserved ruins of this medieval abbey and learn about the monks who lived there over 800 years ago.

Little Beaulieu: Let the kids wear themselves out in the brand-new adventure play area for under-14s. There’s a zip wire, rope maze, and a designated section for little explorers.

Grounds and Gardens: I recommend walking the Millpond trail on your way out and looking out for the intricate tree carvings.

Monorail: You can take unlimited rides on the mile-long monorail which offers a birds-eye view of the park and grounds.

And that is why it’s my top value for money attraction in Hampshire! All that and more for under £50 for a family ticket when you book in advance on the website.

For up to date information and to book tickets, check the website here: http://www.beaulieu.co.uk


If you have any other places on your ‘Best Value for Money’ list then I’d love you to share them with me on social media.



Sarah x


This is a Girl About recommendation. This means that visits were not gifted in return for a review but paid in full by our writer and the venues 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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