We are very fortunate to live just a couple of miles away from Queen Elizabeth Country Park which includes Butser Hill. We have visited both on many occasions and now with the summer holidays upon us, they provide the ideal picnic spots.
Just at the start of the summer holidays we ventured to Butser Hill. Butser Hill is one of the highest points in Hampshire and has huge aerial masts right at the top (there’s great reception up there!)
There is ample parking and it costs £3 to park all day (although we have an annual Culture-All pass so parking for us is ‘free’). Butser Hill is part of Queen Elizabeth Country Park, but is separated by the A3(M).
The top of the hill is great to fly kites, watch the various gliders, hang gliders and paragliders. It’s also fab for walking and dog walking.
On a clear day you can see for miles and miles and this makes it a perfect place for a picnic.
Unfortunately, the Kiosk that is seasonal only appears to be permanently closed along with the toilets. This is a real shame as the cubicle toilet that replaces male and female toilets isn’t very pleasant. I have no idea why the Kiosk has/is closed – perhaps it’s not profitable or the toilet area needs upgrading? It’s a shame as it really will make us think twice about having another picnic there in the future.
Queen Elizabeth Country Park
A few weeks later, with the summer holidays in full swing, the boys and I went for another picnic, this time at Queen Elizabeth Country park. QE park is a large country park situated on the South Downs – it contains 1400 acres of woodland and downland – the woodland was mostly planted in 1930s. There are loads of footpaths that run in and through the park – brilliant for exploring with the kids or for serious walkers.
There are lots of areas within the park to park and have a picnic. We usually drive right to the top of the park and park at ‘Juniper’. Unlike Butser, the kiosk is open and the toilets are fully functional. It’s great to get the kids an ice cream and I’m rather partial to a coffee. We park up, again same price as Butser so pretty good value for a day out and set up our picnic. The boys love it up there as there is always something to do. There is an adventure/assault course that circles the grassy area and plenty of sticks to make ‘dens’.
After lunch we may venture for a walk in the woods and look at the ‘Giant’s Chair’. It’s a beautiful country park and loads to do. You can spot wildlife and walk for miles under the canopies of the trees.
What’s your favourite picnic spot at Queen Elizabeth Country Park? Are there any great walks you can recommend? What do you like to do at this park?