Local Country Parks in Hampshire

If you like to spend time outdoors while on holiday and enjoy long walks, exploring the countryside and getting out into nature, then along with the beautiful countryside surrounding us, we have several country parks within a 30 minute drive. 

In Hampshire, we’re lucky to have countryside and open spaces close to our busy towns and cities. The country parks are well worth a day out while staying with us and most are free to visit. All you need to take is a good pair of trainers or walking shoes, a picnic lunch or you can stop for refreshments at one of the on-site cafés.

Parking charges apply to visit the country parks and please check for any booking or advance tickets.

Queen Elizabeth Country Park – about 30 minutes from Wallops Wood near Petersfield, the Queen Elizabeth Country Park has 2,000 acres of countryside and woodland to explore. There’s plenty to entertain everyone from walking and cycling to children’s activities and play areas. Some of the paths are suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. There is a visitor centre and café on site as well as lots of information on paths and routes around the park. Dogs are welcome but may need to be kept on leads if there are livestock grazing.

Cycling at Queen Elizabeth Country Park
Cycling at Queen Elizabeth Country Park

Butser Hill National Nature Reserve – is located just off the A3 near Petersfield. This nature reserve is on the chalky slopes of Butser Hill where you can spot butterflies and moths including the Duke of Burgundy, Chalkhill Blue and Silver-Spotted Skipper. During the summer months you can listen to the Skylarks sing in the skies above. The nature reserve is within Queen Elizabeth Country Park so you can enjoy the facilities there while visiting.

Blue Adonis butterfly
Blue Adonis butterfly

Royal Victoria Country Park – this beautiful park is situated in Netley, just outside Southampton, on the shore of Southampton Water. There’s plenty of walking and exploring to do and you can visit the Chapel with an exhibition about the history of the military hospital that once stood on the site of the park. Most paths are accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs, and there is a café and gift shop on site. Dogs are welcome.

Itchen Valley Country Park is set in 440 acres of beautiful water meadows, woodland and meadows situated beside the River Itchen on the outskirts Southampton. There is plenty on site for the whole family including art exhibitions, craft activities, Go Ape, play areas and nature trails. The park is dog friendly although they will need to be kept on a lead along the main paths. There is also a café on site.

Staunton Country Park – located in Havant, about 30 minutes’ drive from Wallops Wood. It is a listed Regency landscaped parkland and forest within about 1,000 acres. An ornamental farm, lake, follies, maze, walled garden and glasshouses can be found within it. The park includes walking and cycling trails, orienteering as well as longer distance trails if you really want to explore the wider area. The farm is great for children and they can help out at feeding time and have fun in the play areas. There is also a café on site. The wider park is free but pre-booked tickets are required for the farm and garden.

Lepe Country Park
Lepe Country Park

Lepe Country Park is situated on the shore of the Solent in the New Forest, overlooking the Isle of Wight. The long stretch of shingle beach is popular with kite surfers and wind surfers, day trippers and families. Watch yachts, ferries and cargo ships on their way to and from the harbours and marinas dotted along the south coast. The country park is ideal for birdwatchers, nature lovers, families and dogwalkers. The park has an adventure playground, nature reserve and sensory cottage garden.

Yacht on the Solent
Yacht on the Solent