25 Post-lockdown Treats

Mottisfont Abbey and its stunning rose garden are just one of the National Trust places now open for

Mottisfont Abbey and its stunning rose garden are just one of the National Trust places now open for visitors - Credit: Archant

As lockdown eases, here are 25 things to enjoy now and in the future

Hinton Ampner is widely acknowledged as a masterpiece of 20th century garden design

Hinton Ampner is widely acknowledged as a masterpiece of 20th century garden design - Credit: Archant

National Trust

Hampshire’s National Trust properties may still be closed but all have now reopened their grounds and gardens for enjoyment during July. Toilets and car parks will be the only facilities onsite available, and you do need to book online at nationaltrust.org.uk prior to your visit. The National Trust are asking that all visitors stay a maximum of three hours at some properties so check before you go.

We can't wait to visit Little Beaulieu when it reopens

We can't wait to visit Little Beaulieu when it reopens - Credit: Chris Moorhouse

Beautiful Beaulieu

For cooped up kids, Beaulieu Abbey, its grounds and gardens are all open now to visitors. We can’t wait until Little Beaulieu, the attraction’s newest play area is open...but for now, experience the gardens at the best time of year in full bloom. You need to pre-book your ticket online at beaulieu.co.uk before you travel.

Visit Marwell and see their new SUPERSIZED trail

Visit Marwell and see their new SUPERSIZED trail - Credit: Marwell Wildlife

Zoo Days

The announcement that zoos and safari parks can now open is a relief to all of Hampshire’s wildlife attractions we have no doubt. First on our stop is Marwell Zoo in Winchester to see their brand new brick adventure, SUPERSIZED. Featuring up to 40 models of curious real-life creatures, from sneaky predators such as the venomous blue-ringed octopus to the aptly named assassin bug, these fearsome creatures have been magnified to an eye-popping size. Book online at marwell.org.uk

Tell your story

The Berry Theatre in Hedge End isn’t letting lockdown get in the way of creativity, and have launched their online collaboration Tell Your Story; asking local residents to write a short story to bring a smile to the faces of the people in Eastleigh most affected by isolation. Visit theberrytheatre.co.uk for tips and advice on storytelling and information on how to submit your own.

Rest and Relaxation

While everyone has been confined to their homes, the iconic Chewton Glen spa has been going through some major changes. Designed by Anita Rosato the indoor pool has received a full face lift, with new tiles and muted colour schemes to relax and reflect the hotel’s countryside location. There will be a new communal steam room and the hydrotherapy pool has also been transformed. The changing rooms and pool bar will also have a brand new look in time for opening on July 4. Keep an eye on chewtonglen.com for updates on bookings.

Practice Pilates

Missing your group exercise class? Lymington local and owner of Coast Pilates, Rebecca Coetzee has made all of the Club’s classes available online for people to enjoy in their own homes during lockdown. The subscription service costs £21.95 per month and provides unlimited access to a video channel which has lessons graded from complete beginner to advanced. Rebecca says, “The beauty of Pilates is that it is an exercise routine which is perfect for the very fit, through to those who are recovering from illness and injury and everything in between. All you need is a mat, a bit of space to stretch and a computer or tablet to get started, which is excellent if you are trying to find a way to exercise from home.” You can find out more and sign up at coastpilatesonline.com

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Water therapy

Taking to the water can help soothe your soul and connect you with nature following what has been an incredibly tense time for all of us. The new pontoon at Fairthorne Manor ymca-fg.org is back open for business. You can hire SUPs and canoes or bring your own and launch for £5 to enjoy the upper reaches of the Hamble. New Forest Activities newforestactivities.co.uk are also offering socially distanced courses along the Beaulieu River, perfect for wildlife spotting.

Good hair day

Something we are all dreaming of. With salons due to open in July, we’re booking in to see Southern Hairdresser of the Year award winner Andrew Smith. With salons in Fareham, Gosport and Waterlooville, overgrown locks are sure to be in safe hands. Keep an eye on andrewsmithsalons.co.uk for updates and to add your name to their booking priority list.

Making scents

With lockdown putting a hold on trips to the salon or spa, Chandler’s Ford based therapist Claire Osborne from Hiltingbury Holistics has created candle making kits you can do at home to bring a bit of calm and relaxation to isolation while you’re waiting to book back in. You can also treat yourself to her hand-poured candles with scents such as sandalwood and black pepper, lavender spa and thai lime and mango. Visit hiltingburyholistics.com to order and to book treatments post-lockdown.

Switch off

Eastleigh’s The Point has been helping people to relax since lockdown began with their Connection Point programme of online meditation, guidance and support. With lots of free to access information and workshops, it’s a great way to take time out from isolation and feel connected to Hampshire’s community. Find out more and join in at thepointeastleigh.co.uk

Plan your escape

Travel to far flung places may be off the cards for a little while longer, but we’re keeping everything crossed for a Hampshire getaway this month. With many hotels due to open on July 4, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to five star breaks. Heckfield Place heckfieldplace.com is the ultimate retreat, offering excellent food, spa and countryside setting as well as their Assembly Events to base your stay around. In the meantime, check out their live channel on Instagram @heckfield_place for online talks and classes to get you in the mood.

Among the vines

Hampshire’s vineyards are really making a name for themselves on the international wine scene, and with many beginning to open their doors to visitors, now is a great time to see the vines for yourself and partake in a little socially distanced tasting. Based in the Test Valley, Black Chalk is one to watch and will be opening on July 4 for tours as well as tastings and picnics. Keep an eye on blackchalkwine.co.uk for booking details and to order a bottle or two if you can’t yet get out.

Family fun

Give the kids (and you) a break from home schooling with a trip to Mighty Adventures Crazy Golf in Hedge End. Discover a mythical land of giant sea monsters, mysterious shipwrecks and terrifying dinosaurs on the recently reopened course. You can now book online at mightyclaws.co.uk to secure your spot.

Apples and pears

Hampshire’s farmers markets are back, and we can’t wait to browse the stalls once more of some of the county’s finest food and drink producers. Social distancing measures are currently in place for Winchester, Southsea, Alton and Emsworth with more expected to be announced this month. See hampshirefarmersmarkets.co.uk for details of further openings.

Great gardens

The NGS is back up and running, with beautiful Hampshire gardens open once more for visitors. To avoid overcrowding, you now need to book your visit online at ngs.org.uk before you attend. There are currently seven gardens to choose from, with more expected to open as social distancing measures are put in place.

On two wheels

If you’ve been itching to get out on a bike but don’t want to commit to owning one, then you’re in luck this month as cycleexperience in the New Forest opens again for hire. Escape for the day on the moor and heathlands of the Forest from £18.50 per bike. Book your slot at cyclex.co.uk.

Shop local

As non-essential stores begin to open up their doors, avoid the queues and head to some of Hampshire’s market towns for some of the best independent shopping experiences. Think Bradbeers in Romsey, The Consortium in Winchester and Chesapeake Mill in Wickham to name just a few. These local names need your support, as the saying goes... ‘Use them or lose them!’

Culture on call

As we await the opening of our county’s museums and entertainment venues, get your culture fix from Hampshire Cultural Trust’s Culture on Call. An amazing website full of stories, poetry, interviews and more that should satisfy the creative part of our brains for a little while longer. cultureoncall.com

Open for art

Arches Open Studios by a space arts will continue this year online on July 11. Log on for a mix of live streamed events and content that can be accessed throughout the day with links to all the activities going live from 11am. A great way to virtually meet Southampton artists and to find out more about the city’s bid for the City of Culture. Aspacearts.org.uk

A little bit of calm

While galleries are still closed, Southampton City Art Gallery is there to fill the void with their online exhibition Calm in the Collection. Scroll through the gallery’s archives as they bring together their most calming pieces of art as chosen by the members of the Cultural Services teams. Southamptoncityartgallery.com

Go to the Opera

We may not be able to physically set off for an evening at the opera just yet...but that’s not stopping The Grange Festival from bringing the opera to us at home. Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro will be available to stream from July 12 online at thegrangefestival.co.uk and there are plans for the rest of the festival to be available online also.

Coffee and Cake

We’re super excited to visit the newly opened The Deck at Chesapeake Mill this month. The already successful sister site in Emsworth is an established mecca for coffee and cake lovers, and this new addition to the wonderful shopping destination of The Chesapeake Mill in Wickham will surely have new visitors flocking to sample their menu. Takeaway will be on offer initially from Tuesday to Saturday 10am-4pm. Find out more at www.thedeck.me

On the Big Screen

We’ve just heard that Suzuki’s @TheDriveIn will be bringing its drive-in cinema tour to Southampton in September. Showing films such as A Star is Born, Grease and Back to the Future amongst others from September 24 to 27, this will be a fun way to get some much-needed film action on the big screen at last. Tickets cost £35 per car, visit https://atthedrivein.seetickets.com/ to book.

Wet and Wild

If, like us, you’re missing that feeling of plunging in to a cool swimming pool on a hot day, then there is no better time to get out in to the county and experience one of the beautiful wild swimming spots on your doorstep. See our article here for some of the best spots to try as the weather hots up.

Take to the Waves

If you feel you’ve explored as much as you can on dry land...now that you can take to the water, there’s so much more to see out on the open waves. Universal Yachting are now open and taking bookings for yacht charters. Based out of Mercury Yacht Harbour on the Hamble River, Universal have a fleet of yachts available for day charter experiences with everything ready to go upon pick up...you can even pre-book a picnic to enjoy on board. Click here for more information

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