Seven National Trust sites in Hampshire for a perfect day out in the countryside

The Summer half term is almost here and parents will be busy thinking of ideas for keeping children occupied at the end of the month.
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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.

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In Hampshire these are just some of the gems you can explore:

Children climbing a tree in the grounds of Mottisfont. ©National Trust Images/John MillarChildren climbing a tree in the grounds of Mottisfont. ©National Trust Images/John Millar
Children climbing a tree in the grounds of Mottisfont. ©National Trust Images/John Millar
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

For a full list of National Trust sites you can explore visit