Greetings from the New Forest
Well, as we enter July I start to think and get excited about the school holidays, 6 weeks to do fun things as a family. Don’t worry Rob and I will still be at the hotel, although I want all my days off to count, and I am nothing if not a planner, and I thought it would be great to share my plan ideas with everyone. As literally there is no place we would rather be this summer and so hopefully you will come and enjoy the summer with us and hopefully this gives you some ideas too!
Here is what I plan to do this Summer-
1) Paultons Park- this is number one on the kids list every year! To those who don’t know this is a family owned theme park and the home of Peppa Pig World. It is also only 10 minutes away from the Hotel. My children are now 6 & 4 yrs and after many fun trips they are now a bit too grown up for Peppa and so luckily Paultons have just opened a new Dinosaur world – The Lost Kingdom! This picks up nicely where PPW leaves off and the kids LOVE it, enough adrenalin to make them feel brave (and me!) and enough placid rides for the 4 yo. There is some lovely gardens there too and so no doubt we will picnic. Top tip, bring a towel and change of clothes as there is a great splash zone and some water rides too.
2) Winchester Science Centre– just 25/30 mins away we have an interactive Science and technology centre and home of the largest planetarium cinema in the UK. A great wet weather option and fun day out. There is a challenge to build an Earthquake proof structure… the Underwriter in me is all in!! So much to do from the Website the kids will love it.
3) Portsmouth Historic Dockyard & Southsea Sea Front- The Mary Rose attraction is re opening on the 20th July and also a chance to see HMS Victory, my son loves ships and I’m keen too and so we will definitely be doing this. Picnics feature heavily in our household and so we will combine this with lunch on Southsea sea front. A great prom to walk/ scoot down and also a fun fair and arcades – and bad parent moment but everyone loves the 2p machines in our family- slots of fun!!
4) Furzey Gardens, Minstead- only a few miles away from the hotel is this informal Woodlands Gardens that has a great range of beautiful plants from around the world. However, what the kids really enjoy is the fairy door trail! This is a firm favourite with us, a lovely trail around the gardens finding the fairy doors that lay nestled within the trees. There is also a great coffee shop so we can finish off with tea and cake or rolling down the hill….. perfect afternoon
5) Bolderwood- This is another great Forest outing – half a day easily spent here! You firstly have the deer viewing platform, who can spot those deer???? And there are several trails, we are ‘Jubilee’ trail folk which is a 1 mile round walk through the woods. Although there are more challenging walks for those with longer legs. Again we will be finishing up with either a picnic or an ice cream (who can spot the trend). There is an ice cream van stationed most of the year here and also there are toilet facilities.
6) Lyndhurst– whereas I try and avoid the one way system in the height of summer… we will be going to the New Forest Landmark of Bolton’s Bench, which is on the outskirts of Lyndhurst and can be accessed from the hotel without going around the one way system. It is great to let off steam and run up the hill, and play in the sand at Park Pale (next door car park name) and you pretty much always see ponies grazing on the grassy lawns surrounding. Of course…. We may pop into a tea shop on the way home.
7) Itchen Country Park – this is a Country Park near Eastleigh that is situated by the river Itchen, there is a forest trail, picnic areas J, café, 2 parks for the kids and most importantly a little zip wire. My children love it. There is also a Go Ape here but we have not yet done this….
It’s really near a Haskins and Hobby craft as well, so we can never resist stopping and having a wander round!!
8) Say Hello to the Gruffalo – Sea City Museum (16th August) you get to hear the Gruffalo tale and then create your own monsters using clay…. We might combine this with the regulation trip to Southampton to buy School shoes. We are only 15 minutes by car from the City and as well as Sea City Museum, there are lots of other attractions and a great John Lewis in the West Quay shopping centre.
9) Milford on Sea- now no holiday is complete without a trip to the beach, and we are quite spoilt, as within 30 mins of the hotel we have Christchurch, Bournemouth and Lepe beach, but I think we will go to Milford on Sea because my Son loves stones and rocks, and this beach has both in abundance….it also has good parking, a great promenade so again good biking and scooting and for the grown ups great views over the Isle of Wight….
10) Exploring in the Forest- living in such a great place we spend a lot of time exploring in the Forest around the hotel, we find Enchanted Far away trees, Gruffalo swings, horses, bug houses, log bridges, pooh stick bridge and lots of other things our imaginations have yet to find.
If I manage to do all this, I will let you know in September when I will next write and am on my gym mission after all those picnics and coffee shop stops! I hope you find this useful and have a lovely summer. We hope to welcome you all soon to enjoy some of the New Forest delights.