Yes, you read that right, FREE 🤩 We’re often used to having to pay to go to attractions and to go on family activities while on holiday, but in fact there’s a whole lot that you can do for free that everyone will enjoy.
We’ve put together an assortment of activities that won’t cost you a thing, although we can’t guarantee free parking 🙁 Taking your own picnic lunch will also save on the pennies. By enjoying some free days out, you can save towards visiting a bigger attraction or treat yourself to a meal out instead!
Most free activities are outdoors as there’s so much you can do without needing to part with any cash.
Old Winchester Hill is a walk with fabulous views close to Wallops Wood. You can walk directly there from your cottage or drive there and walk up the hill from the car park. Check out walking routes directly from your cottages here or this website has an alternative walk around the hill.
The Meon Valley Trail is a stone’s throw from Wallops Wood. It is a disused railway line running from Wickham to East Meon. It’s safe for walking, running & cycling so a great place to take the kids.
There are several beaches within a half hour or so from Wallops Wood. There’s plenty you can do with the kids at the beach including searching for colourful sea glass and unusual pebbles. Take a picnic with you and enjoy some time out looking at the sea views.
If you visit Emsworth why not take the kids crabbing 🦀 All you’ll need is a bucket and crab line that can be bought from the hardware shop in the town. While you’re there, take a walk around the harbour or sit on a bench on the sea wall and while away a few minutes looking at the views across the harbour.
There’s a Splash Park at Lee-on-the-Solent, just half an hour from Wallops Wood. The Splash Park is free for children under 11, so a great place to entertain the younger members of the family! There’s plenty of free parking on the roadside nearby, and once you’re done you can head to the beach to relax and take in the views across the Solent.
Picnics are always a hit with the family and you don’t have to go very far at all. Our meadow is a great place for a picnic where the kids can run around while you relax on a blanket.
Kite flying is another fun activity for the kids. Our meadow is also a great place for kite flying, or if you want to go a bit further afield, Portsdown Hill (which is just above Portsmouth) is popular for kite flying too, while you enjoy the amazing views across Portsmouth from the top of the hill.
This weekend (7th & 8th August) is the Portsmouth International Kite Festival where you can see some amazing kites. It’s held at Southsea Common overlooking the Solent, and well worth the day out. It’s also free to attend!
If you’d rather do some free indoor activities, or the weather isn’t on your side, there’s also plenty of places to visit that you can turn into a day out. Please check opening times with each venue and you may need to book in advance even though entry is free.
The Novium Museum in Chichester is built over the remains of a Roman bathhouse and with three floors of fantastic exhibitions. It tells the fascinating story of Chichester and its rich heritage. Although it is free to visit, you will need to book tickets in advance.
Portsmouth Museum & Art Gallery is free to visit and offers something for everyone. Take a walk through Portsmouth’s heritage, discover the world of Sherlock Holmes, see fascinating works of art, trace the history of Portsmouth FC. It’s definitely worth the stop off if you’re out and about in Portsmouth. Find out more about visiting the museum.
Southampton City Art Gallery includes a diverse collection of fine art, telling the story of European art from the Renaissance through to the present day. There are regular rotating displays, national touring exhibitions and work by local artists. There’s also a range of creative workshops and activities to suit children of all ages. The gallery is free to visit.
Just a 25 minute drive from Wallops Wood, is Winchester Cathedral. The cathedral has a long history with roots back to the 7th century, although the cathedral standing today dates from medieval times, having been remodelled and extended over the centuries. Find out more about visiting Winchester Cathedral.
Southsea Castle is free of charge to visitors and you can explore the Keep, enjoy panoramic views from the top of the Keep to the Isle of Wight and Solent. There’s plenty to while away a couple of hours and enjoy refreshments afterwards.
Fort Nelson is home to the national collection of artillery. You can explore this massive Victorian fort with its deep tunnels, high ramparts and enjoy the spectacular views over the Solent .There’s a range of indoor and outdoor events for the family including a junior assault course, a maze and interactive trails. Entry is free but you need to book tickets in advance.