This green oasis is nestled between Southampton and Eastleigh, offering families somewhere to play and enjoy nature.
I’m ashamed to say we only recently discovered Itchen Valley Country Park after booking a morning at Go Ape there. We had no idea the park itself had so much to offer families looking for a day out.
Itchen Valley Country Park boasts 440 acres of water meadow, woodland, and green space. There’s two play parks, one for younger children next to the Visitors Centre and another for older children in High Hill Field next to Go Ape. From this play ground you have front row seats to watch the ‘Go Apers' defend the final zip line of the course. There’s even a kids zip line in the play park so they can have a go if they are feeling adventurous.
Through the woods there’s a play trail with carved wooden animals to be discovered and clambered across.
The Visitor Centre houses nature-based displays, a shop and toilets. We liked the little tips posted around the centre about how to make small changes to your lifestyle to help the environment.
There are plenty of picnic tables in the park and you can even hire one of two barbecue sites if you decide to have a day out with a group of friends.
Itchen Valley Country Park is one of those places you could enjoy with your family and not spend a fortune. Take a picnic, make the most of the play parks and tire the kids out exploring the woods.
If you do fancy adding an extra bit of adventure to your day, we can recommend Go Ape. Itchen Valley is meant to be one of the more extreme courses but once we had got used to being up high we loved every minute. The main Tree Top Adventure is for over 18-year-olds and there’s also as course for 10 to 17-year-olds.
Where is it?
Allington Lane, West End, Southampton SO30 3HQ
When is it open?
The Country Park opens at 8.30am every day and closes at 7.00pm during GMT and 9.30pm during BST