With a huge choice of flights to Southampton from Guernsey and Jersey, Hampshire is easy to get to and full of family fun, from theme parks and zoos to stunning nature and historic cities – here’s five of our highlights for this spring… 

1.     Paulton’s Park
Starting in Hampshire. Simply take a Blue Islands service over to Southampton and then South West England is your uncle. Not literally. Anyway, let’s start at the TripAdvisor voted number one amusement park in the UK – Paulton’s Park. Open two new attractions during 2018, this firm family favourite is well worth visiting either for the first time, or again. The ever-popular Peppa Pig world will, from May, have two new rides within it. The Queen’s Flying Coach ride allows families to take a tour on individual carriages high(ish) on a monorail around the new extension to the park. Or, people can take to the water on Grampy Rabbit’s Sailing Club, where they can cruise on around Peppa Pig World and discover Pirate Island.

paultons park

2.     Beaulieu World of Top Gear
If you’ve no kids in tow but want to indulge your inner child, and, well like BBC Top Gear, then here’s just the place. In fact, if you do like the TV show this is the best place on earth for you. The Beaulieu World of Top Gear features vehicles and the remains of vehicles from some of the iconic show’s top stunts. Recently refreshed to include cars from the most recent episodes, you’ll have the chance to see the Double Decker racing cars, scooters from the epic Vietnam trip and a double helping of rocket powered fun in the form of the Ski Jumping Mini and ill-fated Robin Reliant Space Shuttle. This really is to name but a few, so get yourself a ticket and head on down – I mean, how hard can that be?

top gear

3.     Oxygen Free Jumping
Right, time for some energy and a truly legal high over at Oxygen Free Jumping in Southampton. Home to 150 interconnecting trampolines you’ll be flying through the air like superman in no time. And with its big, foam pit for a landing, there’s no chance of injury – but if you leave your phone in your pocket, high chance of loss. This really is a world class facility, burning off energy has never been this much fun.

oxygen freejumping

4.     Marwell Zoo
For something more leisurely, how’s about a trip to Marwell Zoo, which will soon open an £8m. extension. The 140 acre park contains a train, five adventure playgrounds and literally hundreds of animals including snow leopards (although that could be tough to tell at this time of year), giraffes, penguins, tigers, cheethas, hippos and rhinos. Although that’s all jolly exciting, it’s not top-of-the-bill this year. What is though, is this: the £7.8m. Tropical House. The zoo’s biggest ever development, this two-level state-of-the-art building contains a cascading waterfall and rainforest with animals including  a two-toed sloth, Java chevrotain, crocodile monitor lizard, and pygmy marmosets getting the five-star treatment on their own private island. The size of two football pitches, the roof allows UV through to give plants within a chance to thrive. Some 1,000 species of fish will now call the aquarium home – so, get counting.

marwell zoo

5.     Supersonic Southampton
And finally what has double apexes, 375 metres of multi-level track and gives you the chance to stand at the top of a podium – Supersonic Southampton. Okay, that’s not what it’s actually called – but it’s what it’s known as. What it’s actually called is Teamsport Southampton, and what it allows you to do is channel that inner F1 star to such a degree you’ll consider quitting your job, it’s fun for all the family, for work, stag or hen parties as well. Book your ticket and look forward to – legally – taking a corner sideways.

go karting1

There we have it, five things to do once sunshine becomes a permanent feature and the temperature creeps into double figures.

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