Space, history and the Spinnaker

Kids can see stars at the UK’s largest-capacity planetarium, chase clues on the Winchester Treasure Trail or enjoy animal adventures at Marwell Wildlife. All grown-up? Get historical over Winchester Cathedral and Castle, spend time and money at Gunwharf Quays, or put your head in a spin up the Spinnaker.

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Country kids

Get hands-on with the exhibits at Winchester Science Centre and explore the UK’s largest-capacity planetarium. Follow the children’s trail to bring Winchester Cathedral to life in a fun and active way, or continue chasing clues on the Winchester Treasure Trail, a self-guided trek aimed at finding long-lost goodies.

There are animal adventures on offer in Otterbourne, where you can walk the alpacas, and more at Marwell Wildlife, a 140-acre zoo that’s home to over 200 exotic and charismatic species and three equally wild play areas.

Rev up the action at Team Sport indoor karting, an epic 375-metre circuit in Southampton, with cadet karts for nippers. Try transport from a bygone age as you steam through Hampshire on the Watercress Line, saddle up and ride at Gleneagle Equestrian Centre, or Go Ape at Itchen Valley on Tarzan swings and zip lines.

There’s skiing, snowboarding and ringos on offer at the Alpine Snowsports Centre; hockey, tennis, cyclo-cross, athletics, crazy golf and more at The Outdoor Sports Centre; and an amazing aviation museum at Solent Sky.

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For the grown ups

Join the 300,000 who annually make the pilgrimage to Winchester Cathedral, see King Arthur’s Round Table at Winchester Castle, or take a march through military history at The Royal Green Jackets Museum.

Up the pace with a powerboat tour or rib charter on The Solent, with a river-rafting adventure with Seadogz, or with a match at St Mary’s, home of Premier League football club Southampton. In Portsmouth, the Historic Dockyard awaits, home to museums and historic ships, such as the Mary Rose, set within a working naval base. Head to Hayling Island for a day of adventure, with windsurfing, paddle boarding and kayaking lessons on offer with Andy Biggs and CBK.

Climb 170 metres above the Solent at the Spinnaker Tower – higher than the London Eye and Big Ben – and bag a free return trip if you can’t see the three Solent Forts. Spend some time and spend some money at the shops and diners of Gunwharf Quays, or take the ferry over to the Isle of Wight (no duty free).

Closer to base in Winchester, stock up on fresh ingredients for the Aga at the UK’s largest farmers’ market, follow the Jane Austen Trail for a lasting sense of her legacy, root out the many walking and cycling trails, or wrap up the day watching comedy, theatre, ballet or opera in the cultural quarter.

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