Following on from yesterday’s post… A couple of weeks ago we were invited to stay in Hampshire by the lovely folk at Hampshire’s Top Attractions. Our second full day in Hampshire was truly beautiful. We had a better sleep the second night, and breakfast the next morning was just as delicious!
After visiting Waitrose to pick up picnic goodies, we headed to our destination – Exbury Gardens. I had been looking forward to this adventure ever since the ticket arrived in the post as the photos in the booklet were stunning. We were not disappointed.
Exbury Gardens is in the New Forest, close to the beautiful village of Beaulieu. The gardens are set in acres of land, with the most beautiful collection of flowers and trees.
We had a wander around before settling down to eat our picnic.
The children had so much fun exploring the various different sections – with the herbaceous garden proving popular with Busby! It provided coverage for a rather excellent game of hide and seek.
I loved the hydrangea walk – I’ve never seen so many variations of colour in hydrangeas before!
This path took us down to the lake and the little stream, which kept the children entertained for ages!
Not only is Exbury Gardens absolutely stunning, but they also have a miniature steam train ride! Both children were over the moon with the little ride, which lasted about 20 minutes and took us through parts of the gardens we hadn’t had time to explore.
In fact, H-Bear was so in love with the little steam train that we had to watch the train turnaround for the next journey!
After an afternoon of exploring the garden and riding on steam trains, we settled down for a cream tea (£9.50 for two – and it was massive!) and an ice cream.
A full family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children, with access to the gardens and train ride) costs £40.19. Under threes are free. We had an amazing day out at Exbury Gardens, and will definitely return here next time we visit Hampshire!
Both children were desperately in need of a nap by this point, so we went for another drive and discussed dinner options. We had thought that we might get the ferry across to the Isle of Wight for a evening and have a picnic on the beach, but it was quite pricey to take the car across for just the evening, so we decided to have a picnic on Beaulieu Heath instead.
The Heath is owned by the Forestry Commission, and the car park was free, so we rocked up in search of a perfect picnic spot… and perhaps some wild horse spotting!
We went for a gorgeous walk before food (you might have seen some photos on my Instagram and in this month’s Siblings post) in search of horses, but sadly H-Bear was a little bit too loud…
Anyway, the picnic was a success and we even spotted aeroplanes (both real and model), much to H-Bear’s joy!
We then headed back for our last night in the hotel.
Read all about our final day in Part Three tomorrow.