Staunton Country Park is the perfect green getaway. Based in the heart of Havant, the park is a peaceful idyll away from busy city life. The lake is popular with anglers and the petting farm is a must for families looking for a fun day out with young children.
The petting farm is designed with young families in mind; everything is on a size and scale that small children can enjoy. The usual farmyard favourites are there, such as pigs, sheep, Shetland ponies, and chickens. There is also a selection of more unusual animals such as llamas, alpacas and a Poitou donkey. You can get closer by taking part in one of the daily animal encounters and buying animal feed from the reception on your way in. There are some real characters to meet, like Autumn the Tamworth pig, and Amber the shy barn owl.
Walking, Cycling and Orinteering
Staunton Country Park offers the perfect venue for keen walkers and cyclists. Trails are available online and from the visitor centre. If you’re up for a challenge, then try the orienteering course. Ideal for beginners and children, the course is fun to do with friends to see who completes it first. Head out through the park and into the woodland beyond to find the 24 stations (wooden posts) - each has a number and letter. Collect all 24 letters as proof that you made it all the way around. Finish the course and collect your certificate from the visitor centre or Victorian Coach House.
Leigh Water offers mixed angling in attractive surroundings. Buy day tickets and annual memberships from the visitor centre, or from rangers and volunteer bailiffs.
Glasshouse, Gardens and Maze
The Victorian Glasshouse is the largest on the south coast and is home to many beautiful and exotic species. You will find tropical flowers and plants from around the world, such as coconut palms, giant bamboo and bananas. The famous giant Amazon water lily makes an appearance during the summer months. The lily is in the pool between May and November and blooms in late June until August. It's well worth a visit just to see that. The walled garden outside the glasshouses is spectacular in the summer and is alive with many bright and colourful flowers, as well as bees and butterflies. You’ll want to take your time strolling around and taking in the sights, sounds and smells. Try not to get lost if you venture into the maze -it isn’t particularly big, so you should find your way around easily enough.
The venue was once part of an estate owned by Sir George Staunton, who is said to have introduced Earl Grey tea to England from China in the late 18th century. Tea-themed events are held every year to celebrate its history, with talks, tea tastings and children’s activities. There are several other historic structures to find around the park. The first is the Shell House, built in 1828 of finely patterned flint. The second is the Beacon, a small ionic temple built in 1830 from materials from the demolished Purbrook House. And there’s the Chinese Bridge, constructed in 1831.
Play Barn and Ride-on Tractors
George’s Play Barn is a fantastic addition to the farm as it gives children somewhere to play, whatever the weather. There’s a soft play area for younger ones and a climbing frame with slides, rope bridges and cargo nets for older, more energetic children. Parents can sit and watch with a well-earned drink in the seating area. Just outside are the ride-on tractors. These are great fun and very popular, but there may be queues during busy times.
A packed calendar of activities is held throughout the year, with nature trails, educational classes for children, history talks and tea-themed events. This is on top of the usual seasonal events that you would expect at Easter, Halloween and Christmas. Please visit their website for dates and details.
Food and Drink
The café inside the farm is in the style of a Regency Tea Room. The cafe stocks locally-sourced food and offers simple sandwiches, cakes and treats, as well as nutritious meals. There’s also a wide selection of Fair-Trade teas. You are more than welcome to bring your own picnic. Benches can be found in the courtyard, on the Oval Lawn or inside the Play Barn. There’s a BBQ to hire in Leigh Park Gardens behind the children’s play area, overlooking Well Meadow. It comes with a small charcoal hearth and large picnic table.
The shop is stocked with fresh produce, plants and vegetables (all produced on the Staunton estate), as well as toys, gifts and firewood. The gift shop is next to the car park.
|Open New Year|
|Open (1 Jan 2019 - 31 Dec 2019)|
|Monday - Sunday||10:00||- 17:00*|
* April to October 10am - 5pm
November to March 10am - 4pm
Closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Close at 4pm in Winter.
Map & Directions
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Nearest major road is M27. On to A27 to B2149 following brown and white signs.
Public Transport Directions
Buses 20,21 & 23 stop outside the park.