Hinton Ampner National Trust gardens: things to do in Winchester with children
The glorious weather of the May Bank Holiday weekend gave us the perfect opportunity for a family picnic. And what better place to set out our sandwiches than the beautiful gardens of Hinton Ampner National Trust in Hampshire? This 20th Century garden and estate surrounds a 18th Century manor house overlooking the rolling South Downs. When it comes to things to do in Winchester with children on a sunny day this one does not disappoint.
Hinton Ampner: things to do in Winchester with children
Hinton Ampner house was closed for essential maintenance work during our visit but the ground floor reopens to the public from 2 June 2018. However, there was still plenty of outdoor fun to be had in the gardens. The manicured lawns and informal paths with wild flowers and topiary make for a wonderful natural playground that our girls and cousins loved exploring.
Here are five activities that entertained our kids during an afternoon at Hinton Ampner National Trust in Hampshire:
Spotting veg growing in the walled garden
We spotted potatoes, beetroot, rhubarb and broad beans flourishing in the vegetable patches of the walled garden. There were also flowers in every direction watched over by a cheery scarecrow and his hound.
Search for sculptures in the woods
From the English Civil War battlefield that butts up against the gardens you can step through the wibbly wobbly topiary hedge onto a woodland trail that leads you to more formal boxed hedges and flower beds. On the way keep your eyes peeled for a lady hiding in the trees.
Pick a spot for a picnic
Find a picnic spot in the sun overlooking the Hampshire countryside or a shady spot in the formal gardens. Fill up and then lay back and relax…well, as much as you can while the kids squabble over the last of the hummus.
We settled down for our sandwiches, fruit and vegetable sticks in the shadow of a blossoming chestnut tree.
Hunt for trees
One of the family activities at Hinton Ampner is to search for the different varieties of tree growing around the estate. This ancient conker tree that we settled under for our picnic was on the trail.
Play on the lawns
The lawns in front of the house are a perfect place to allow the kids to let off steam while you admire the flower beds and views. Make a daisy chain, search for mini-beasts or play chase.
How much does admission to Hinton Ampner cost?
Entry to Hinton Ampner costs £37.50 for a family. We used our National Trust membership cards to get in for no extra cost. Find out more about things to do at Hinton Ampner, opening times and activities on the National Trust website.
Read about other National Trust Hampshire days out in my post about Mottisfont Abbey.
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