9 of the best free things to do with 5 to 10 year olds in the South
Youngsters are always overflowing with energy and looking for new activities to keep them entertained - but days out can be expensive.
If you are looking for inspiration on things to do - and save on some pennies - these activities around the South are sure to appeal. And they're all completely free.
Hit the beach
From the pebbled shores of Brighton and Eastbourne, to the golden sands of Cornwall, Somerset and Sussex, you don't have to travel too far in the South to reach the sea.
Spend a day splashing in the waves, playing games on the sand, or just taking in the views.
Soak up some history
Housing a variety of intriguing natural history exhibits, youngsters will have a great time marvelling at some of the specimens on display, which include a 105 foot long replica dinosaur skeleton and the skeleton of a giant blue whale.
Visit: The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD - nhm.ac.uk
Wander in the footsteps of Winnie the Pooh
Famed as being the home of Winnie the Pooh, this beautiful forest sits in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and stretches over 2,000 hectares, offering an abundance of scenic walking routes for visitors to explore.
Visit: Ashdown Forest - ashdownforest.com
Picnic in the park
The hilltop setting of this pretty park provides an excellent vantage point to soak up the views across the city of Bath.
Take along a picnic to make the most of the setting and afterwards, take some time to have a wander around this most scenic of spots.
Visit: Alexandra Park, Shakespeare Avenue, Bath, BA2 4PS
Explore the fort
Stretching across 19 acres, the Royal Armouries museum at Fort Nelson boasts secret underground tunnels, ammunition bunkers, barrack rooms, outer fortifications, and an ever changing array of exhibitions, ensuring there's something new to discover on every visit.
Visit: Royal Armouries: Fort Nelson, Portsdown Hill Road, Portchester, Fareham, PO17 6AN - royalarmouries.org
Enjoy a day of play
Boasting a kids play area, skate park, fountains, petanque, chess, table tennis, open parkland and regular events, The Level has plenty to keep youngsters of all ages occupied in the heart of Brighton.
Visit: The Level, Union Road, Brighton, BN1 4ZN - thelevelbrighton.org.uk
Have an outdoor adventure
Fuel your adventurous side and take the youngsters on a day of exploring around Ferry Meadows Country Park, where there are both cycle and walking routes to enjoy, duck feeding, and plenty of spots to set up a picnic.
Visit: Ferry Meadows Country Park, Ham Farm House, Ham Lane, Peterborough, PE2 5UU - nenepark.org.uk
See the seven sisters
Ideal for a sunny day outdoors, the Seven Sisters Country Park won't fail to impress with its imposing chalky cliffs.
As well as taking in the views, visitors can explore the area on foot or bike, and enjoy a spot of bird watching too.
Visit: Seven Sisters Country Park, Exceat, near Seaford, East Sussex, BN25 4AD - sevensisters.org.uk
Be king of the castle
Take a trip to the castle of Henry VIII in Portsmouth and explore its historic grounds, which was built in 1544 to protect the country from invaders.
As well as a tour of the castle, events and exhibitions are also held throughout the year and entry is completely free of charge.
Visit: Southsea Castle, Clarence Esplanade, Portsmouth, PO5 3PA - southseacastle.co.uk