Sarah Peters motors round Basingstoke, visiting some of the top attractions to find out if they are worthy of their "family friendly" labels.
Wellington Country Park, Odiham Road, Risley, RG7 1SP
0118 932 6444
With 350 acres of glorious countryside this is a fabulous destination. There's a great toddlers area, enchanted forest, sandpits with slides, a sweet animal farm complete with cute pink piglets and petting barn and miniature railway (£1 a go). Picnic tables around the pretty lake make a great place to lunch or have a BBQ.
Included are some brilliant special events: Fairy Pixi Party, Pirates Day, Superheros Day, Clowns in the Park. If children come in fancy-dress they get in free.
Admission: Adult £6.75; Children over 3 £5.75; Family (2 children and 2 adults) £22.50
Baby changing facilities: Yes, in men's and ladies.
Buggy access: Really good. Worth taking a buggy for a toddler as it's a big area to get around.
Refreshments: Bring a picnic or pop along to the 1812 café. £3.75 for a children's lunch box.
Wellington Country Park Farm Shop, Welsh Lane, Heckfield, Hook, RG27 0LJ
0118 932 6132
This lovely farm shop sells local fare. Award-winning cheeses such as Wigmore made from sheep’s milk and Waterloo from cow’s milk are highly recommended. Plus, Jude’s gorgeous Hampshire ice cream is heavenly.
Milestones, Churchill Way West, Basingstoke RG22 6PG
0845 603 5635
A very hands-on museum with Victorian-style cobbled streets, a railway station, a sweet shop with rows of glass jars full of sugary confectionery, cars and buses from the “olden-days” and costumed actors wandering about. Children can dress-up in costumes: frilly mop caps and waistcoats abound.
It’s a fun day out for families partly because there’s so much to see and exhibits are well presented. Children under five get a special key to the post-office, a fun soft play area.
Admission: Adult £7.90; Children (5 -15 years) £4.50; Under 5s free; Family (2 adults and 2 children) £22.50.
Parking: Plenty, free.
Baby changing facilities: Yes.
Buggy access: Very easy access and plenty of space to manoeuvre round the exhibits.
Refreshments: limited café with sullen staff. At time of going to press, a new management is taking over which can only improve the standards! Watch this space!
Tylney Hall Hotel, Rotherwick, Hook, RG27 9AZ
Tylney Hall is one of the finest hotels in the county, yet families are made welcome. With yards of wood-panelling and creaky floorboards it’s a real find if you fancy a taste of what it's like to live in a gracious country house.
Under 3’s stay for free and they get all the essentials (cot, high chair, bottle warmer and baby supplies), plus a rubber duck and bubbles and duck food to take to the pond! Older children are charged a nominal fee, but have appropriate goodies waiting for them too.
Bedrooms are beautiful; many with four poster beds and stunning views. Everywhere you look there's richly-polished, mahogany furniture and swathes of luxurious, heavily-patterned fabric.
How many other hotels supply a porcelain ring holder for your jewels to rest in overnight?
The Oak Room restaurant is rather grand: a haven for beautiful people, devouring beautiful food! A three course Sunday Lunch menu is £29.50 for a meal that is good as it gets!
Children's dining is as special: two courses from £12.00 including battered fish & chips and knicker-bocker glory.
Accommodation: Family suites and summer special rates available.
Hotel facilities: Swimming pools, croquet lawn, tennis court, Spa.