With the weather chilling slightly and everything looking a bit more Autumnal its the perfect time to get out and about in the fresh air. We’ve put together a list of fun things to do outside…………………..
Start off your walk from either Warsash Shore or Lower Swanwick, at approx. 3 miles this walk will take you along the river path opposite Hamble, you’ll see all the boats and river wildlife. It can be quite fresh as the path is exposed so wrap up warm, you can also cycle along the path, but be warned, its very bumpy. Bistro 8 at Universal Marina is a nice place to stop for refreshments.
Park at either the large car park just before you drive into Lee on Solent from the East or one of the car parks at Meon Shore/Hillhead. Wander along the front and watch the kite surfers do their thing. We like collecting stones/shells on the beach too, there are a few places for refreshment, Titchfield Haven café, The Osbourne View or The Shack.
Meon Valley Trail
The trail runs 10 miles from Wickham through Droxford and Soberton to West Meon. If you start at Wickham, park in the car park at Station Close and make your way to the disused railway line which forms the trail. Its a lovely tree lined walk/cycle, perfect for taking dogs and letting the kids explore. You will find places for refreshments just off the trail in the villages along the way.
We are loving getting out and about on our bikes at the moment, its a bit cooler so perfect for huffing and puffing after the kids.
Investigating how sweetcorn grows (luckily Daddy knew the answer to that one 😉 )
Our favourite place to cycle to is the common, it can be accessed by many points, Fleet End Rd, Dibles rd, Church rd and also Chilling Lane. We quite often cycle down to Solent Breezes, its a nice safe route with the kids if you head down through the woods from the end of Church rd, head right along the gravel track and then left down a tarmac road. Pass through a metal gate, if you turn left you’ll get to Solent Breezes, or right to circle back round along the beach towards Hook Park, this is better as a walk though. The kids love seeing the horses along the way and looking out for rabbits and deer, there are lots of badger sets that they enjoy spotting too.
Cycling in the New Forest is ideal for families wanting safe off-road and gentle cycle routes, where they can experience cycle tracks through the open heathland and sheltered woods. We’ve yet to try a bike ride in the forest with the kids, however the one i’d like to try goes from Brockenhurst to Lyndhurst, past the Balmer Lawn Hotel and the shallow river where kids can paddle, another activity we’ve been meaning to do for years. Beaulieu to Bucklers Hard would be a good one too, whenever we drive through the forest the kids are fascinated by the free roaming ponies, donkeys and pigs. See the link below for directions and cycle maps.
Staunton Country Park
Staunton is a real hidden gem just north of Havant and to the East of the A3. The cycle route is 2.6 miles and will take you past the lakes and through the parkland at the Country Park, park at the main car park and cross over the road into Leigh Park gardens, this is where the route starts. It is predominantly off road and a fairly easy route so good for families. See link below for map.
What child can resist an activity that involves finding food. Even the most outdoor hating child will be tempted by the juicy blackberries that are ripe for picking around now. We found some great ones on the bushes just out the back of our close and easily passed half an hour picking (and eating!) enough for our pudding that evening. Just beware of the prickles and the blackberries at dog weeing height, perfect height for kids picking unfortunately!!
This time of year involves a walk to the park most weekends for our family. We’ve got a great new park about 10 minutes from us, perfect for the kids to cycle or scoot to. They always seem to see a friend there so it becomes a real social occasion. We like these kind of trips as the kids are often tired from school or preschool so an hour out getting some fresh air is just enough on a Saturday afternoon.
I’ve had this on our to do list for a couple of years now, the kids love strawberry picking so I’m sure this will be a hit too. Local to us is Pickwell Farm in Netley, Durleighmarsh Farm Shop near Petersfield also have a wide range of produce including pumpkins that you can pick yourself. They have pick your own flowers, which I think my kids would love, in fact I’m sure they would as they’re always trying to pick other peoples flowers!
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