Why not try Yateley Common Country Park which enjoys free entry, including a no-fee car park at Wyndham’s Pool. This nature conservation area features ponds, a complex wealth of heathland and woodland which is full of a variety of wildlife. Take a leisurely stroll through the network of bridleways and you might see ground-nesting birds amongst other types like Night Jars and Dartford Warblers and hear the song of the Nightingale. Many butterflies are drawn to the heathland, dragonflies to the ponds and you could possibly meet the viviparous lizard.
Fleet Pond is notably the largest freshwater lake in Hampshire. As well as being a local nature reserve, it is another lovely and cost-free outing, the site of which is also of Special Scientific Interest. Fleet Pond Society have provided a pond dipping platform, plenty of bench seats along the footpaths and a viewing area called “Lion’s View” to the east of the pond. Car parking is not only available by the pond, but when this is closed, it is also available at Fleet Station. This August the area should be filled with the fragrance of brightly red hued Honeysuckle berries and the long stems of Purple Loosestrife are likely to be found growing in clusters by the waterside.
If you would like to relax in the water or take the children to an outdoor pool in this glorious weather, then the popular Aldershot Lido is a great place to go. An array of water flumes (subject to height restrictions) and a diving platform enhance this family friendly venue where you can soak in the sun whilst the children play. For the smaller children there is also a toddler paddling pool as well as a sandpit. A vast picnic area is set within 9 acres, meaning that you can bring your own lunch or enjoy some of the hot or cold food and drink available to purchase on the venue, whilst you appreciate the sunshine.
Farnborough’s Hawley Lake is a beauty spot where you can enjoy a walk with the rest of the family and maybe take the dog out for the day! A great place to begin your journey is Hawley Lake Sailing Centre. Follow two miles of the circular footpath around the lake and you may well spot some of the yachts and dinghies gliding along the water in the cool breeze, as well as water wildlife. The paths lead you to the trees of Hawley Wood and if you feel like stretching your legs for longer, you can also reach Yateley Common by venturing north.
Hartley Wintney Commons are a source of local pride, boasting a green flag award as well as Heritage site accreditation. There are several places to explore as part of Phoenix Green Common, West Green Common and the Mildmay Oaks. In combination they offer an array of flora and fauna, and you may even catch sight of a tawny owl on your journey. Mildmay Oak’s trees are a historic addition to Hartley Wintney’s landscape. West Green Common underwent a lengthy restoration conservation project in recent years and as a result is dotted with ancient wood plants and Hazel.
With the chalky River Whitewater stream flowing through it, Bassett’s Mead offers a charming circular walk in the countryside in Hook. The river is a haven for wildlife, especially birds, and there are ponds and woodlands along the way. You may wish to lay a blanket beside the river and enjoy a pleasant picnic in the sun! It is also easy to have a guided tour. For more information, please click here.
With all these lovely, low cost days out available, there’s plenty of areas for yourself and your family to explore! Have a good time!