The South of England is a treasure trove of ancient landmarks, world heritage sites and sweeping coastlines.

Mini adventurers will love discovering everything from lost kingdoms to climbing and sliding down sandy dunes. Big explorers will get a kick out of world-famous attractions from Dover to Stonehenge, making the South of England a perfect destination for families!

Exploring the South of England? 7 Family Activities you Can’t Miss - the needles, south england, royal armouries fort nelson, museum, isle of wight, explore, country park, beaulieu

We’ve selected some of our favourite family activities that you simply can’t miss, so your time exploring the South of England is one to remember. Read on to find out more:

Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium

If you want an action-packed family adventure, then make sure you stop off at Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium! There you will explore an interactive world of discovery as you journey through the fantastic array of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) activities on offer.

See science come to life through big explosions, feel the vibrations as you pluck the giant guitar strings, and blast off into the universe with Explorer: Space.

On your extraordinary journey through the centre, you and the whole family can revel in the mysteries of the universe as you fly through the Solar System in the mind-blowing Planetarium. Experience the sounds of a sonic rocket, before joining the crew to save Humphrey the Humpback. Later enjoy a close encounter with nature from the South Downs National Park.

Exciting Escapes

Designed for the adventurers, the heroes and the detective minds, Exciting Escapes is a perfect way to spend an afternoon bonding with the whole family. At their Southampton escape room, you can choose from five unique games as you race the clock in this Big Brother meets Crystal Maze experience.

Can you use your puzzle-solving skills and pure logic to defuse a WWII bomb before it’s too late? Or uncover dark secrets from the Cold War? Perhaps, you and the clan would like to travel to 2050 and investigate deep space espionage?

Whether you travel back to the 1920s or forwards to the future, you’re guaranteed an explosive experience that will make lasting memories. With escape rooms in Southampton, Portsmouth, Croydon and Basingstoke, and 21 authentic games to choose from, you’re all in for a treat at Exciting Escapes!

Bursledon Brickworks Museum

Children and adults of all ages will get a kick from the remarkable Brickworks Museum. Set in the last remaining steam-driven Victorian brickworks in the country, you can follow in the footsteps of the brickmakers that helped build Britain. Full of authentic smells, sounds, and sights, you’ll be transported back to the age of steam.

Kids can have a go at making a brick before exploring the humming machinery that is the heart and soul of the museum. The working resident traction engines, miniature railway and stationary engines are a thrill to see in action.

Pop outside and wind your way through one of the many family trails, before tucking into a sumptuous treat at the coffee shop to recharge.

With family activities throughout the year and the nearby River Hamble, Bursledon Windmill and Manar Farm, you can have a fantastic day out no matter what the weather throws at you!


There really is something for everyone at the multi-award-winning Beaulieu. Set in the heart of the New Forest, Beaulieu is home to the National Motor Museum, where you will find classic cars, F1 racers and the Batmobile!

Walk through the exquisite halls of the captivating Palace House – Lord Montagu’s family home since 1538. Inside you will discover the house’s history and get an insight into what life was like for everyone, from the former residents to the butlers and housemaids.

Bond fans will delight in the No Time to Die exhibition, where you can see the film’s iconic cars, gadgets, and costumes. Then there is the compelling, adrenaline-pumping World of Top Gear, where you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into the studio as you relive some of the show’s most ambitious challenges.

Little ones will delight in the enchanting new play area, Little Beaulieu, where their imaginations can run wild!

Royal Armouries Fort Nelson

Portsmouth is the home to the Royal Navy and the big guns! At Fort Nelson, you and your family can step back in time and explore the remarkable restored Victorian fort. You’ll be greeted by high ramparts, underground tunnels, stunning panoramic views, original fortifications, and one of the UK’s most extensive collections of artillery.

The jewel in the crown is the eye-opening museum. Within its walls, you’ll discover over 700 pieces of artillery from around the globe spanning the past 600 years. Keep your eyes peeled for the 15th-century Turkish bombardment canon, the enormous 200-tonne railway howitzer and the infamous Iraqi supergun.

Children will be entertained by the broad range of activities on offer throughout the year in this one of a kind attraction!

The Needles, Isle of Wight

The Needles are undeniably unique. Sat on the stunning coastline of Alum Bay, on the western point of the Isle of Wight, they’ve pulled thousands of visitors in over the years to take in their wistful beauty and distinctive geology.

Hop on board the chairlift and take in all the surrounding scenery as you go down to the beach below. You’ll be blown away by the sweeping ocean and how far the glistening waters stretch as far as the eye can see.

With The Needles’ breathtaking views, riveting history and timeless presence, it’s no wonder that they are one of the most photographed landmarks in the world.

After taking in the sights, make sure you check out the local traditional children’s rides and family attractions, including the famous Trinity Lighthouse.

Lepe Country Park

Lepe Country Park is a must-see if you are in Portsmouth. With a mile of beach to explore, pine fringed cliffs and historic D-Day remains, you can take in the spectacular views across the Solent. In the distance, you’ll even spot Henry VIIIs formidable Hurst Castle and the modern Spinnaker Tower.

Children of all ages (and grown-ups too) will enjoy searching for crabs on the seashore and wandering through the woodland and meadows of the New Forest National Park!

With so many fascinating places to explore in the South of England, where will your next family adventure take you?