Wightlink ferry departs Lymington port, Hampshire

What’s open in Hampshire: Things to do from 12 April

Looking for somewhere off-Island to visit this month? Then you’re in luck with our handy guide to newly opened experiences on the mainland from 12 April. Whether crossing the Solent is enough of a scenery change or you’d prefer to venture further into Hampshire, there’s something here for you.

And don’t forget to look out for the green ‘We’re Good To Go’ tick from Visit England when planning your visit. This means attractions and transport providers have done everything they can to keep visitors safe and protected.

Drone photograph of Portsmouth featuing the Spinnaker Tower and Portsmouth Harbour

Near Wightlink’s ports - Portsmouth

Have you visited Portsmouth’s creative quarter, where historic fortifications have been transformed into working art studios and a waterfront dining space? The Hotwalls Studios and The Canteen are just a stone’s throw from our port at Gunwharf. The studios have been designed for you to watch some of the city’s most creative people at work, and you can buy pieces from the artists and makers themselves. Check out Lizzie Cornelious and Louise Braithwaite whose waterfront illustrations feature scenes on the Solent, including Wightlink’s ferries!

Gunwharf Quays offers the perfect opportunity for a post-lockdown wardrobe refresh. You’ll find over 90 stores offering 60% off RRP – among them the likes of Armani, Kate Spade, Joules and more. You can now enjoy dining al fresco at Guwnharf Quays too, with a large number of bars and restaurants offering table service outdoors.

Southsea Castle is now open for visits to the outdoor ramparts – perfect for exploring the old fortifications and catching a panoramic view of Southsea and across to the Island. Free to enter there’s also a great café with outdoor seating where you can relax a while.

If you have been missing all the fun of the fair, then you’ll be delighted that one of the South coast’s largest amusement parks, Clarence Pier is open again too. Top tip – book your tokens or wristband online to save money and to get priority access to the park.

A misty New Forest landscape with pony - thanks to Go New Forest

Near Wightlink’s ports - The New Forest

Visit Exbury Gardens and hop on board the Steam Railway. Take the family to explore 200 acres of woodland gardens and enjoy the stunning seasonal flowers. The gardens are also dog-friendly, so you won’t have to leave Fido at home!

The Beaulieu National Motor Museum attraction grounds and gardens are also welcoming visitors back – you can access the grounds, gardens, and wider parkland including Little Beaulieu, their adventure play space.

Adventurers, explorers, and adrenaline junkies will love spending time with New Forest Activities – which is fully open again. Be sure to visit them for a fun-filled day of thrilling outdoor activities including canoeing, kayaking, archery and more.

The New Forest Wildlife Park is welcoming visitors now too. Lockdown has been tough for everyone and the animals have missed having company, especially the otters – so they’re looking forward to seeing you!

The outdoor spaces at the historic village of Buckler’s Hard are open now too. One of the most peaceful locations in the New Forest, it’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy a hot drink outdoors while watching the boats on the Beaulieu River.

Magma ride at Paulton's Park

Elswhere in Hampshire

Travel into the beautiful Hampshire countryside and visit Chawton House – an Elizabethan manor house that once belonged to Jane Austen’s brother, Edward. Walk in the beautiful grounds to enjoy the Walled Garden, shrubbery walk, and wilderness; walk in the historic Parkland and stop off by the Tea Shed for a hot drink and cake outside.

Looking for an exciting and adrenaline-fuelled day out? Visit Paultons Park and experience Tornado Springs for the very first time! This brand-new themed world features 8 exciting new rides and experiences including a spinning rollercoaster, gyro swing ride, and a driving school attraction.

The birds at the Hawk Conservancy Trust are looking forward to seeing visitors again. Get your family outside for a adrenaline rush provided by nature, as you marvel at the three world-class flying displays.

Keep an eye on the fantastic Hampshire’s Top Attractions website for more inspiration on places to visit.

*Please note: most ticketed attractions will need to be pre booked. Please check opening times before travelling.

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