IMMERSIVE gallery experiences, trails revealing garden secrets and evenings of outdoor theatre are all being planned for National Trust properties and gardens in Hampshire this summer.

Below is a round up of some of the best National Trust events and activities to keep the whole family busy this summer.

Mottisfont, Romsey

An immersive gallery experience and outdoor activities introduces families to trailblazers and dreamers who have made a big impact on the world around us.

Featuring colourful illustrations from the best-selling picture book series Little People, BIG DREAMS, this interactive exhibition and trail introduces little artists, activists, sports stars and scientists from all over the globe, drawing on their inspiring stories to encourage children to be bold, be brave and dream big.

Meet Malala Yousafzai and hunker down in a tent full of colourful rugs, cushions, and books to read. Step into blown-up scenes from Martin Luther King’s story – see the crowds and hear his famous ‘I have a dream’ speech. Lie on Frida Kahlo’s bed and practice drawing your feet, just like she did, and grab some binoculars to discover the natural world with David Attenborough.

Outside, an inclusive activity trail inspires creativity and courage, with more little people to meet. Kids can try out sporty challenges and learn about sporting heroes, in the special Olympic Arena. They’ll complete their own ‘Booklet about Me’, with pictures and thoughts about what makes them happy, and in the BIG DREAMS art gallery they can add self-portraits and write down their dreams.

Across the gardens and wider estate at Mottisfont there is space to run, play, jump and picnic. And with its beautiful river and bridges, Mottisfont is the National Trust’s no.1 destination for games of Pooh Sticks too.

Little People, BIG DREAMS exhibition and trail, July 23 until September 4, for ages 3 to 7+, trail £2.

Basingstoke Gazette: Visitors on a garden tour at Mottisfont, Hampshire

The Vyne, Basingstoke

Acres of sprawling gardens and woodlands are just waiting to be explored in the summer holidays, along easy to navigate paths.

From July 22 to September 4, there’s a whole range of new activities introducing kids to the natural world.

In the woods, ‘treasure’ trails challenge little ones to find the oldest trees and to create stories about The Vyne’s hidden past. The ‘build it up’ nature experience will get the whole family involved in developing their den-building ‘survival’ skills. Look out for swooping birds, fluttering butterflies and dancing dragonflies with the help of spotter sheet guide. There are more fun nature activities on the Everyone needs Nature trail.

Don’t forget to explore the wetlands – they’re great for bug safaris, and from the bird hide you can spy feathered summer visitors enjoying the water and reed beds.

Outdoor theatre at The Vyne will see Much Ado About Nothing take place on Saturday, July 23 at 7pm.

As you like it will be held on Saturday, August 6 at 7pm.

Booking essential on 0333 666 3366 or online at

Hinton Ampner, Alresford

With its hedges, grassy parterres and myriad of paths Hinton Ampner is a great place for games of hide and seek.

Spacious lawns and a large parkland are perfect for picnics and hunting for wildlife – the park’s ancient trees are home to all sorts of creatures.

From July 16 to September 4 kids can follow Sprout the Scarecrow around the grounds to hunt for favourite places and their secrets, on the Hidden Hinton garden trail. Discover a secret path, design your own stained glass window, and find out why sheep poo is magic.

Outdoor theatre at Hinton Ampner will see The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny take place on Thursday, August 11 at 7pm.

Booking essential at, or call 020 8317 9000

Uppark, Petersfield

Set high on the South Downs, there’s plenty of room to let off steam on Uppark’s huge lawn. Wander into the wildflower meadow to spot orchids and watch insects collect nectar; it’s a great place for picnics too.

From July 16 to September 4 families can find out how we protect the house and wildlife here on the new Conservation Trail challenge. Have you got what it takes be a ranger, gardener or conservator? Grab a trail sheet and hunt out the 10 activity points in the garden, woods and meadow.

The trail sheet comes with Bug Bingo too, so keep your eyes peeled for centipedes and caterpillars, bumblebees and beetles and cross them off for a full bug house.

Outdoor theatre at Uppark will see The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny take place on Thursday, August 18 at 7pm.

Booking essential at, or call or call 020 8317 9000

Basingstoke Gazette: Children playing in the springtime at Mottisfont, Hampshire.

Winchester City Mill, Winchester, free entry

Step off Winchester’s bustling high street and into this wonderful working water mill, which offers free entry for everyone.

A new activity book (£3) is full of ideas for things to do and look for – watch out for the naughty flour thief. There’s wildlife to spot from the island garden surrounded by water, and below the mill you can see the thunderous river Itchen powering the water wheel. At weekends our volunteer millers are making flour for use in the café and for visitors to buy and take home. You’ll discover all sorts of delicious, freshly made treats in the café, from savoury bakes, toasties and frittata, to soups, cakes and iced coffees.

SEE ALSO: Broadband provider, toob, will donate £2000 to the Murray Parish Trust as part of the Hares of Hampshire free public art trail

Family workshops at Winchester City Mill

Hosted by Mollie from Field Farm Project, family friendly workshops in willow weaving will offer a fun taster session in willow weaving. Using natural materials, you’ll be able to explore a mix of projects, from willow fish and birds, to Brigid’s Cross weaving. All materials are harvested from sustainable sources and where possible locally sourced in Hampshire. Workshops will take place on August 15, 10am-12pm and 1.30-3.30pm, child £5, adult £20, for ages 6+, book at or on 07979 321369

Ceramicist Tash Fry will show you how to make your very own little otter figurines, using the hand-pinching technique. This is a great activity for families to enjoy some relaxing, creative fun together, whilst learning about Hampshire wildlife, and the mill’s resident otters.

Ceramic otter sculpting workshops will take place on August 22, 11am-1pm, child £7, adult £20, for ages 5+, book at or call 0344 249 1895.

Find out more at