Activities for kids

Exbury Steam train - a must for the youngsters

Paulton’s Park and Peppa Pig World

This has to be one of the biggest local attractions with over 60 rides and an amazing 4D cinema. Plenty of safe rides for toddlers in Peppa Pig World. About 25 minutes pleasant drive through the forest. www.paultonspark.co.uk

Longdown Activity Farm

Small children can bottle feed the kid goats, feed the ducks, meet the pigs and cuddle baby rabbits, chicks and even maybe a piglet. Plenty of other activities as well and good picnic area. About 25 minutes drive away. www.longdownfarm.co.uk

Moors Valley Country Park

A favourite with our grandchildren – there are walking, play, tree top and cycling trails, Forest Segway rides, play areas, a model steam railway, and a ‘go ape experience’ with zip wires. Just off the A31 past Ringwood – about an hour’s drive. www.moors-valley.co.uk

Hurst Castle

A great day out! Start at Keyhaven (5 minutes drive) and take the small ferry down Keyhaven river to Hurst Castle – this takes about 20 minutes. (Adults £5.50 return, children £3.00) The ferry stops directly in front of the castle entrance. The castle was originally built by Henry V111 and continued in defence of the realm right up to 1950. There is plenty to see inside and there is an excellent small café, toilet facilities etc. (Adults £4.50, children £2.50.) If the weather is fine take a picnic – plenty of grassy areas. www.hurstcastle.co.uk

Crabbing

Fun and easy on the pocket! If you are staying in Mulberry Barn nets and buckets are in the garage. Our favourite place is down at Keyhaven on the ‘hard’ dock area where the fishing boats off load and the lobster pots are kept. Crab off the left hand side behind the pots – here you are of the way – and just drop your line in with a piece of bacon and haul them up! The Gun Inn is just across the car park and has a large garden – speciality – Crab sandwiches!

Bournemouth Oceanarium

Perhaps best to keep this for rainy days. About an hour’s drive and right on the sea front. Several different areas depicting fish from the Amazon, Great Barrier Reef, Key West etc. Also a virtual interactive dive cage. Easy to combine with a look around the town and a walk on the famous pier. 15% discount if you book on line. www.oceanarium.co.uk

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