Low-cost family fun at Hampshire Outdoor Centres

Nov 3 2023

instructor guiding children before climbing

This blog post is brought to you by Fostering Hampshire Children. Check out their #OpenYourDoor campaign to learn more about what foster care is and how you can support children across the county who need our help.

Spending time outdoors is a great way to bond with your family. The unique adventures you share create precious memories to be treasured for years to come. They don’t have to cost a lot either. Read on to discover some of the low-cost fun you can have at Hampshire Outdoor Centres.

Argoed Lwyd Outdoor Education Centre

a sheep standing by a tree with a mountain in the background

Situated in the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park, Argoed Lwyd is a fantastic setting for low-cost family fun. The sprawling park has a lot to offer, especially for young people interested in the natural world. Take advantage of its status as a designated Dark Sky Reserve and go stargazing (check out our handy how-to guide), or explore the history of the land at the UNESCO Global Geopark at Fforest Fawr. For a more gentle adventure, take a stroll along the banks of the Brecon and Monmouthshire Canal. There’ll be plenty of chances to help young nature enthusiasts spot wildlife, like red kites and herons.

Calshot Activities Centre

Calshot Castle overlooking the Solent

Calshot has something for everyone, from thrill seekers to history buffs. Calshot Castle has almost 500 years of history, so whether your child has a school project coming up or wants to learn about Calshot through the ages, it makes for a great day out. For budding biologists, Calshot Spit is a great place to discover a variety of wildlife. The Solent is on one side, and on the other there are salt marshes and mudflats, each with their own unique plants and animals. For an adrenaline-pumping day out, treat them to an Action Adventure Experience. Zoom down the slope on the ringos, tackle crafty climbing problems, or feel the rush on the aero trek obstacle course.

Runway’s End Outdoor Centre

the canal at Runway's End

Nestled along the bank of Basingstoke Canal, Runway’s End offers a fantastic base for a fun family day out. The 33.5-mile-long canal towpath has plenty to see along it, so you can choose where you start and how far you go. Hampshire Countryside Service have mapped out walking routes using the towpath. There are routes for keen walkers and casual walkers, as well as story trails for little ones. Children who want to get up close and personal with nature can ask for a minibeast hunting worksheet from the centre. Don’t fancy walking along the canal? See it from a different angle with a guided canoe tour.

Thrill-seeking families can add some extra action to their day with a half day adventure. With activities like archery, rock climbing and caving on offer, there’s plenty of fun to be had.

Tile Barn Outdoor Centre

children readying to ride bicycles

Tucked away in the village of Brockenhurst, Tile Barn is an ideal place for a family adventure in the New Forest. Animal lovers will be able to see ponies, deer, and birds wondering freely through the National Park. In autumn, you’ll even get to see pannage, where domestic pigs roam freely and eat fallen acorns from the ground. There are plenty of walking routes that take you through woody trails as well as though the New Forest villages. For some added fun for young explorers, you can pick up orienteering and woodland walk activity packs from the Centre.

Round out your day in the New Forest with an adventure activity. Try your hand at archery or take on the tower!

Whatever your family’s into, there’s an adventure waiting for you at Hampshire Outdoor Centres. For more information and to book, visit our website. Keep up with all the latest news and offers from us by signing up to our newsletter.