Brownsea Island

Our family favourite day trip. Discover this National Trust island, famous for red squirrels, wildlife and Scouting.

A ferry from Sandbanks (20 minute drive) takes you to the island, to escape for quiet walks exploring the pine forest, natural playgrounds and small secluded beaches. 


The New Forest National Park

Approximately 150 square miles, once a royal hunting ground for King William 1. Great for walking, cycling, and spotting the wild, but friendly, New Forest Ponies.

Visit Beaulieu and see its Victorian-Gothic Palace, medieval Abbey and National Motor Museum (45 minute drive).

See Exbury Gardens' spectacular 200 acre site, world-famous for the Rothschild Collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and rare trees and shrubs, and take a 20 minute trip aboard the 12 ¼ inch gauge Steam Railway. Children will love the adventure play area (45 minute drive, or 10 minutes from Beaulieu).


Moors Valley Country Park and Forest

Country Park and forest - a fantastic place to play and explore.

A huge forest play trail, treetop trails (Go Ape for kids and adults) and forest Segway. A steam railway, Gruffalo spotters trail and various play areas.

Also an 18-hole golf course, orienteering and cycle hire for adults and older kids. 20 minute drive.


Paultons Family Theme Park

A theme park and home of Peppa Pig World and the Lost Kingdom. 40 minute drive.


Knoll Gardens

Naturalistic style garden with county’s most extensive collections of grasses, created by acclaimed plantsman Neil Lucas. Children’s trail. Excellent plant nursery. 25mins drive.