Top 10 things to do with families!!

Aug 9 2017, 10 12 am

Updated Aug 9 2017, 10 13 am

Top 10 things to do with families in the New Forest, Dorset and the Isle of Wight.

Hoping to head off in one of our amazing campervans? Well here’s some suggestions of great things you can do with your family in the New Forest, Dorset and the Isle of Wight while you’re away.

1. Visit Beaulieu National Motor Museum – In the grounds of one of the New Forest’s most ancient dwellings are some of the world’s most beautiful, rare and amazing cars. From speed ace Sir Malcolm Campbell’s world-beating Blue Bird, to Harry Potter’s flying Ford Anglia and the last Cadillac Elvis Presley every drove, they’re all here, along with special exhibitions, activities for children and the chance to snoop around the private rooms of the Montagu family at Palace House.

2. Fun and games at Paultons Park – Paulton’s Park has been voted the number 1 UK theme park for families by readers of Which?, NetMums and many reviewers on Trip Advisor. It is home to Peppa Pig World, as well as over 70 wonderful rides and attractions, all included in the price. You’ll find the park at the edge of the New Forest National Park, set within 140 acres of beautiful parkland.

3. Leisurely peruse Exbury Gardens – This earthly paradise offers an explosion of colour in the spring, an oasis of calm and tranquillity in the Summer, followed by a glorious show as the leaves change for Autumn. Discover Exbury’s hidden beauty and escape the cares of the world as you explore a myriad of pathways. It’s always worth a look at the spectacular and amazing wiggly tree (Platanus Orientalis) with its huge trunk and sprawling branches.

4. Bound and leap to Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary – In the depths of the New Forest is a very special attraction. Between the months of April and September you are very likely to see a herd of fallow deer in the bolderwood meadow. The herd are fed daily by the local New Forest keeper and are very accustomed to human presence. If you’re lucky you’ll find one of the rare white deer which is a very uncommon colour. The platform at Bolderwood provides an excellent photo opportunity to capture an experience you’re unlikely to have anywhere else.

5. Become a Knight at Carisbrooke Castle – Famous for its Donkeys and as a royal prison to Charles 1, Carisbrooke, on the Isle of Wight, is now the location of a stunning new Edwardian-style Princess Beatrice Garden designed by TV presenter and award-winning garden designer, Chris Beardshaw. Why not live the dream of becoming King or Queen of the castle and enjoy the birds-eye view from the castle keep or walk around the glorious battlements?

6. Gaze into the stars at the Island Planetarium – The Island Planetarium is a brilliant place to have a cosmic time with the family, stimulating your imagination as you travel on a fantastical journey through time and space. Set within Fort Victoria Country Park on the Isle of Wight, the location offers woodland and seashore walks, a Marine Aquarium, Model Railway and Underwater Archaeology centre, so you can certainly make a day of it! The Planetarium offers a number of daily shows, plus a Solar System walk and Stargazing evenings and weekends. You’ll be an expert astronomer when you leave, learning about the universe, stars and planets, discovering fascinating facts about the life and death of a star and much, much more. You’ll travel from the surface of the moon, to the depths of outer space in an encapsulating, immersive Astrodome 360 Star Theatre.

7. Swing from the trees at Monkey World – Monkey World in Wareham, Dorset, offers a safe sanctuary for over 250 primates. The site acts as a rescue centre for the beautiful, intelligent creatures, apes. Many of which arrive at the centre having suffered abuse or neglect, and are going through a slow rehabilitation to live in family groups within the 65 acres of gorgeous countryside. Gain a captivating insight into life at the park and its inhabitants through the daily keepers’ talks. Guided tours are available and offer the opportunity to learn more about the primates’ lives have been transformed since arriving at Monkey World. Spend a day whiling away the hours watching the monkeys and apes interact, and let the kids use up all their energy on the huge Great Ape Adventure Play Area.

8. Splash and splosh your way through the Oceanarium – See amazing creatures from beneath the waves at this Dorset attraction. Meet over 150 species of fish as you journey through the Amazon, Ganges and the Great Barrier Reef on your underwater adventure. On your journey, you’ll be spotting friendly turtles, enjoying the brilliant penguin beach encounter, looking out for terrifying crocodiles on crocodile rock, watching otters frolic at the otter oasis, and if you’re feeling really brave, entering the visual interactive dive cage to see the sharks from a new perspective.

9. Challenge yourself at Dorset waterpark – Are you up for the challenge? This obstacle course in Corfe, Dorset, is like no other.. because it is on water! Dorset Waterpark is a huge woodland water park spread over two lakes overlooking the stunning Corfe Castle. Each lake features different obstacles for you and your family to tackle. You’ll have to work together as a team to get through this course, with many challenges along the way such as bridges, monkey bars, climbing walls and many more. The obstacles are all inflatable floating on the water, but sturdy – so you’ll only have yourself to blame if you fall in!

10. Park your camper and just take in the view – When you head out onto the open road with your New Forest Safari Campervan, you have your home-from-home with you! That means you can experience any landscape – forest, coast, moors or sunsets with your own chair and pot of tea. Holidays don’t get better than that!

Now you have your days sorted, it’s time to work out where you set up your camper for the night!

We can recommend three fantastic campsites in the area with lovely facilities. Lytton Lawn, in Milford-on-Sea is owned by Shorefield Holidays. You’ll be treated to premier hard standing and serviced grass pitches, both available with electric hook-up. Guests also have free use of the leisure and entertainment facilities at Shorefield Country Park, just 2.5 miles away. Another fantastic site to stay at would be Hollands Wood, Brockenhurst. Lying just North of Brockenhurst village off the A337, this campsite has easy access to the forest by way of a huge range of walking and cycle paths. The village is only a short ten-minute walk away, offering an array of restaurants, pubs, banks and shops. Sandy Balls campsite, situated in the North of the New Forest, provides fully serviced touring pitches, including both hard standing and grass. The facilities available include an on-site shop and heated shower blocks.

So what are you waiting for? You have your days planned and your campsite chosen, it’s time to plan a fun, memorable trip for your family with New Forest Safari campers!


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