Seven National Trust sites in Hampshire for a perfect day out in the countryside
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Luckily the National Trust has plenty of fantastic buildings, walks and visitor attractions in Hampshire which are only a short drive away from Portsmouth – as well as a few further afield – which are perfect to explore with plenty of woodland den building opportunities or gardens and heathland to explore.
Most sites will charge a fee for entry but visits will be free to National Trust members with adult prices starting at £84 a year - but you can save money by signing up for a family or joint membership.
In Hampshire these are just some of the gems you can explore:
- Mottisfont (near Romsey): This 18th century house also features ancient trees, babbling brooks and rolling lawns which are perfect for a countryside day out. Inside the house there is a permanent 20th century art collection and exhibitions in the top floor gallery, which opens again in July. There are also vast grounds for families to walk, play and enjoy a bite to eat in as well as an on-site cafe. It is also dog-friendly. If you are going in June you can spot the house's world-famous collection of old-fashioned roses too! Where: Use SO51 0LN. Opening hours: Gardens are open from 10am to 4pm, house usually opens at 11am. Check the website for the most up-to-date details. Standard ticket prices: £18 adults, £9 children although prices vary for peak and off-peak entry. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mottisfont
- Uppark House and Garden (near Petersfield): The 17th-century house with views as far as the English Channel, Uppark houses one of the best 18th-century dolls' house in the country – although it is currently closed for essential conservation work. The gardens are fantastic to explore and have been gradually restored to its original 19th-century design, with meadow, woodland and the wide glade. What was the old Orangery is now a glorious cafe with stunning views across the South Downs, come and enjoy a warming treat in this beautiful setting on the Hampshire and West Sussex border. You can also enjoy a Meadow Walk with views across the South Downs, or walk under the canopy on our Woodland Walk. The South Downs Way is also accessible on foot from Uppark. Where: Use GU31 5QR. Ticket prices: £11 adults, £5.50 children with family and garden-only tickets available. Uppark open Thursday - Sunday only from 10am to 4pm. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/sussex/uppark-house-and-garden
- Hindhead Commons and the Devil's Punch Bowl (Hindhead on the Hampshire and Surrey border): Straight up the A3 is the spectacular heath and woodland which has now been reunited by the Hindhead Tunnel. With two heathland areas are a mass of heather and native trees with glorious views across the punchbowl to the north and across Hampshire to the south – perfect for your family to explore. There is also a cafe on site which is open from 10am to 5pm. Where: Use GU26 6AB. Pay and display parking is on site. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/surrey/hindhead-commons-and-the-devils-punch-bowl
- New Forest Commons (near East Wellow): The New Forest Commons is teeming with wildlife to discover and you can enjoy a leisurely stroll within the varied landscape of woodland, grassland and heathland. The National Trust looks after a series of commons within the area including Bramshaw, Foxbury, Hale Purlieu, Hightown, Rockford and Ibsley. But make sure you get there early a there is limited space in the car parks. Where: Follow the Omega signs – for Bramshaw use SO51 6AQ, for Hale Purlieu use SP6 2QZ, for Hightown use BH24 3HH, and for Rockford and Ibsley use BH24 3NA. Opening hours: Dawn till dusk. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/new-forest-northern-commons
- The Vyne (Sherborne St John, near Basingstoke): Enjoy learning about the history of this grand Tudor mansion, including an exhibition space showing off more than 500 years of history. The 17th century family home is set in a landscape of gardens, woodlands and wetlands to explore. A short stroll from the house will also reveal a bird hide overlooking water meadows. There also a shop and a tearoom on site. Where: RG24 9HL – follow brown signs as sat nav is not reliable Opening hours: Gardens are open from 10am to 4pm, house from 11am to 3pm. Ticket prices: £14 adults, £7 children with family prices also available. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-vyne
- West Green House Garden (West Green, Hartley Wintney): This charming 18th century house is surrounded by a delightful series of walled gardens which visitors can enjoy. There are plenty of original features in the garden including a grand water staircase, created by Marylyn Abbott, which provides the focal point to the Nymphaeum fountain. Next to the house is a small topiary garden where you can spot water lillies, and beyond that is a handsome aviary which has unusual breeds of bantams and chickens. Where: Use RG27 8JB. Opening hours: Garden and tea room open from 11am to 4pm. Ticket prices: £10 adults, £5 children. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/hampshire/west-green-house-garden
- Hinton Ampner (near Alresford): When Ralph Dutton’s home was destroyed in a catastrophic fire in 1960, he decided to rebuild it in the light and airy Georgian style he was a fan of. The new house had a set of tranquil garden rooms, each with distinctive planting, and rooms filled with ceramics and art Dutton had collected. Outside the house there are extensive lawns and a park with ancient woodland to have a stroll in and enjoy a picnic and there is an on-site cafe. Where: Use S024 0NH which will take you to the Hinton Arms pub, next to the main entrance of the site. Opening hours: Between 10am and 4pm, except the shop which opens at 11am. Ticket prices: £15 adult, £7.50 children with family and garden-only prices also available. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hinton-ampner
For a full list of National Trust sites you can explore visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk