Days out: Hope Nature Centre

We’re not short on things to do in Wiltshire. We have fields and woodland on our doorstep and National Trust Properties down the road, but if I give my kids the choice there’s only ever one answer:

‘Hope Nature Centre please, mummy!’

Situated in Southwick Country Park, Hope Nature Centre is a fantastic place for children to roam and explore, and there are plenty of animals to meet as well. For 50p you can buy a bag of animal food from the front desk and feed the rabbits, chickens, goats and sheep. This is always a hit with my kids. I love that they’re not scared of animals. They’ll happily hold out their hands and collapse into giggles when the goats tickle their palms with their tongues.

Other animals to see include; alpacas, donkeys, pigs, Shetland ponies, emus, geese, ducks and snowy owls… Quite an eclectic mix!

Dotted about the park are numerous play areas for children to enjoy as well. Swings, giant slides, climbing frames, outdoor play houses, a wooden garden assault course, a mini golf course and THREE large trampolines (just as well – the place gets packed during the summer and no child likes to wait their turn!)

One of the newest additions to the park is a seated Story Time area. During the warmer months the Centre runs Story Time sessions there and the girls are looking forward to it already. There are plenty of benches and picnic spots for the adults to sample too (all within close watching distance of the play areas.)

When the kids are knackered and hungry why not take a trip to ‘Squirrel’s Tearoom’ (located next to the entrance and car park) for an ice cream/cake/hot meal? The food is sourced locally, freshly cooked and the choice is ample. The chocolate fudge cake and scones with jam and butter are a firm favourite with us…

With the Easter holidays approaching and the miserable weather (finally) improving, Hope Nature Centre offers a fun, safe, outdoor environment for children of all ages to enjoy.

They are open 7 days a week.


Adult – £2.50

Child – £1.50

Family* – £7.00

(*two adults and two children)

The Hope Nature Centre is a registered charity (No. 1080993) that was set up in 2000 to help provide work placements for young adults with learning difficulties.

Leave a Reply