Last weekend, we were delighted to be invited by Exbury Gardens to enjoy a family day out in their beautiful gardens and steam railway in Southampton. With Father’s Day just around the corner, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to celebrate and create some unforgettable memories together. As a family of four, we love exploring new places, and Exbury Gardens did not disappoint.
We decided to make a weekend of it and camped the night before in our trusty campervan at Holland’s Wood Campsite in the New Forest, just a short 20-minute drive from Exbury Gardens. (For those wondering about whether the car park is suitable for a camper or motorhome – it’s perfect – massive car park with plenty of turning space.) Waking up to the sounds of nature and being surrounded by the beauty of the forest set the tone for the magical day that awaited us.
What to expect when visiting Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway
Upon arrival at Exbury Gardens, we were warmly greeted by the friendly staff who provided us with a map and some helpful tips to make the most of our visit. We had packed a picnic for our day out, but we couldn’t resist sampling the delicious treats at the on-site café, Mr Eddy’s Tea Rooms. The coffee was top-notch, and the kids loved their ice cream and lunch boxes!
The gardens themselves were absolutely breathtaking, with vibrant flowers, lush greenery, and serene water features. We enjoyed a leisurely stroll, taking in the sights and snapping some fantastic photos along the way. The kids were particularly excited about the adventure playground, where they spent a good chunk of time climbing, swinging, and sliding to their hearts’ content.
The steam railway at Exbury Gardens
One of the highlights of our day was the charming Exbury Steam Railway. The 20-minute journey took us through parts of the gardens not as accessible by foot, allowing us to appreciate the beauty of the landscape even more. The kids were thrilled to spot wildlife during the ride (a pheasant, squirrels, and birds) and my husband was over the moon with this unique Father’s Day experience.
Throughout the day, we noticed several activities and events catered to families, making Exbury Gardens a fantastic destination for all ages. We highly recommend checking their website for upcoming events and planning your visit accordingly.
Overall, our day at Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway was a memorable and enchanting experience for the whole family. We can’t wait to return and explore more of what this beautiful place has to offer. If you’re looking for a fun and educational day out with the kids, look no further than Exbury Gardens – it’s guaranteed to leave you with lasting memories and a newfound appreciation for nature’s beauty.
Exbury Gardens FAQs
Where is Exbury Gardens and where can I find out more information?
Exbury Gardens is located in the New Forest near Southampton, 20 minutes from Junction 2 of the M27. Click here for more details on the gardens.
What can my family expect when visiting Exbury Gardens in Southampton?
I can assure you that Exbury Gardens is a magical place for families to explore. With lush gardens, vibrant flowers, and exciting attractions like the steam railway, there’s something for everyone to enjoy!
Is Exbury Gardens suitable for young children?
Absolutely! My little ones have always loved our visits. The gardens are stroller-friendly, and there’s even a fantastic adventure playground for kids to burn off some energy.
Are there any special events or activities for families?
Yes, Exbury Gardens often hosts family-friendly events and activities throughout the year. From Easter egg hunts to Halloween trails, art exhibitions to tree-climbing competitions, there’s always something fun going on for the whole family to enjoy. We loved the concept of The Listening Tree Project and the beanbag throwing contest that got rather heated – pictured above.
Can we bring a picnic to enjoy at Exbury Gardens?
Of course! You can pack a picnic to enjoy in one of the many beautiful spots around the gardens. There are also several cafes on-site if you’d prefer to grab a bite there. The food was really good, and I was super impressed with the specialised vegan and gluten-free cafe offerings!
How much time should we plan for our visit?
I’d recommend setting aside at least half a day to explore Exbury Gardens. With so much to see and do, you’ll want to take your time and truly soak in the beauty of this enchanting destination. You could definitely spend an entire here and not be bored. It’s just beautiful.
Are dogs allowed at Exbury Gardens?
Yes, well-behaved dogs are welcome on a short lead. It’s a great place for a family outing with your furry friend!
I hope these FAQs help you plan a fantastic visit to Exbury Gardens in Southampton. It’s truly a delightful experience for the whole family!
Summing up our day at Exbury Gardens
We recently had the pleasure of visiting and reviewing the enchanting Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway. This beautiful destination not only offers a stunning collection of flora and fauna but also an exciting steam railway ride that transported us through the lush gardens. Our experience was nothing short of magical, with captivating sights and engaging activities for all of us. Thank you Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway for having us!
Last Updated on June 22, 2023 by Lucy Clarke