These gardens /arboretum are situated 5 miles north of Southampton, just east of the quaint market town of Romsey. The gardens are well signposted.
The arboretum covers more than 50 acres and include stunning set gardens and one of the largest tree and shrub collections in England. The gardens host a variety of different exhibitions during the year and seem to have a permanent "art in the garden "shows. This being local sculptures and art features blended into an outdoor setting. There's a couple of exceedingly good restaurants on site that are good value. Unusually for gardens of this type, you will find loads to entertain children. Features include a fantastic tree house, a great childrens garden and wind-chime feature.
Entrance is £7 for adults and concessions for young people and older people.
Try it, I know you will love the place.
Some miles to the north between Southampton and Winchester is Marwell Zoo. Opened in 1972, it was one of the earliest zoos in Europe to place an emphasis on animal conservation and is considered one of the leading institutions in that field. It is best known for its large collection of ungulates and also its unique style of enclosures.
Hampshire residents have voted Marwell as the place in the county they are most proud of. The ‘Pride of Place’ poll was conducted online by Hampshire Council Council. Marwell was voted into Hampshire’s number one spot after gaining an impressive 30% of the votes cast.
Adult entry £13.25, Children £9.25 (Jan 2008)
The area near Calshot contains a wealth of things to see and do. Calshot Castle is a part of Henry VIII coastal defences sited on a coastal sand spit near the deep water channel at Southampton Water, Calshot Activity Center offers a wealth of over 400 courses for all levels of study.
Most people know that the Mayflower left Plymouth to carry the founders of the United States across the Atlantic. Fewer people know that Plymouth was just the last British port of call for the voyage, and it actually left from Southampton. There's a memorial recording the fact down on Town Quay opposite Mayflower Park at Cuckoo Lane - don't just snap the Titanic memorial, take a look at the mayflower memorial too. See http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~villages/mayflower.htm for more information (sorry, won't fit in the 'Contact' field)