Secrets to discover in and around Hampshire

Sometimes, those special moments in nature are the little experiences you stumble across unexpectedly. There are lots of ‘hidden’ outdoor gems at our places in Hampshire, and spring is a wonderful time to discover them. The season's natural sights and sounds will help refresh mind and spirit, so take time out to relax in a pretty setting and soak up the view.

Timber and thatched Victorian fishing hut


The famous river Test chalk stream flows right through the heart of Mottisfont. If you follow its route upstream from the garden you'll come across a pretty thatched fishing hut. It's a lovely spot to stop and look for river wildlife such as kingfishers, trout and water voles. Mottisfont’s Victorian children would play in the fishing hut when they were exploring the river.

View of the wetlands with two walkers in the foreground
Walking trail

The Vyne 

Follow The Vyne’s estate walk beyond the gardens’ boundary and you’ll find yourself in the scenic wetlands. This was once a water meadow, but today this tranquil spot is brimming with native and migrant birds, as well as wildlife like the water vole. If you pop into the bird hide you can comfortably watch for beauties such as the great crested grebe, snipe and heron, without disturbing them.

View over field with timber framed cricket pavilion in background

Hinton Ampner

In the 1930s Hinton’s owner Ralph Dutton built a cricket pavilion in the ancient parkland, for him and his weekend guests. Now restored by Hinton’s estate volunteers, you can soak up wide views across the parkland, from the pavilion's veranda, and picnic tables.

18th-century carved Gothic seat in Uppark's gardens


If you wander across the lawns here you'll eventually discover Uppark's restored 18th-century Gothick seat. This beautiful canopied, ornately carved half-octagonal summerhouse is the perfect spot for some quiet contemplation as you take in the South Downs panorama.