A beautiful palette of spring colour covers our Hampshire gardens and countryside. Mottisfont's rose garden is littered with bright pink and purple bedding plants and you'll spy the first roses too. Delphiniums and irises in cool blues and whites fill Hinton Ampner's south border. Pink cherry blooms droop low in the orchard. At The Vyne frothy apple and pear blossom covers the fruit orchard, against the gentle sound of buzzing bees. If you step beyond our Hampshire gardens into the woodlands in early May you'll discover seas of fragrant native bluebells.
Listen to the skylarks as you climb to the top of Stockbridge Down. Or explore Mottisfont's bluebell woods, fields and hedgerows full of wildlife. Our downloadable trails will introduce you to some memorable sights and sounds across Hampshire this spring.
We've got lots of May half-term adventures for little ones, around Hampshire. Learn about hedgehogs and hares on Hinton Ampner's and Uppark's activity trails. Mottisfont is helping kids design their own gardens, and at Winchester City Mill there's duck-themed fun and pumpkin seed-planting.
Families can go on a real life Bear Hunt, at our special weekends on the Isle of Wight. Bring Michael Rosen's much-loved book to life as you follow our trail and hunt for the bear through the sploshy waves at St Helens Duver (12&13 May) and in the swishy grass of Newtown’s meadows (2&3 June).
Visiting Mottisfont’s famous walled rose garden in June and early July is a ‘must’ for every garden lover. The fragrance and colour from thousands of flowers is unsurpassable. The gardens stay open until 8pm on set dates in June, plus there’s a new rose experience in the little stone cottage nearby.
Over 90 varieties of rose burst in bloom between June and August at Hinton Ampner. A highly scented collection, many are repeat flowering, giving delicious fragrance and colour well into August: Look out for 100 ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’ roses near the pond - Head Gardener John Wood's favourite.
Uppark’s ‘In her Shoes’ season tells the stories of five women who have shaped Uppark's extraordinary history. Among them is Emma Hamilton, who rose from obscurity as a dancer, to power and influence as Lord Nelson’s lover. 5 May - 7 September, free exhibition.
Bold, beautiful and brilliantly diverse, this exhibition showcases the winner and finalists of the £10,000 Woman’s Hour Craft Prize. Launched by BBC Radio 4, the V&A and the Crafts Council, the show celebrates the work of the UK’s most innovative and exciting makers. Until 24 June, free exhibition.
On quiet early mornings in Uppark you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a native brown hare. The permanent grassland and woodland edges here provide the perfect habitat, and in spring they're at their liveliest, as courtship begins.
In spring, our New Forest heaths are filled with bird song as the nesting season gets underway. Look out for the little Dartford warbler as it flits between clumps of scented yellow gorse. If you're lucky you may catch that evocative sound of spring - the cuckoo. Our guided evening nightjar walks introduce you to another New Forest rarity.
On Stockbridge Down you'll find our flock of friendly Wiltshire horn sheep. Ranger Cat Hadler calls them her 'local ambassadors', and they're led by ‘head boy’ sheep Walter. Find out how they're creating a landscape that’s a haven for butterflies.
Help your local National Trust places in Hampshire like Mottisfont, The Vyne or Winchester City Mill by joining your local supporter group. Some are more volunteering focused, and others enjoy social outings together like trips and tours, or lectures.