New guide helps to promote family-friendly pubs

The Hampshire Tourism Partnership is launching a new publication this month designed to encourage families to eat out and get about now that the spring is on its way.  The Partnership, part of the regional tourism agency Tourism South East, has produced A guide to family-friendly pubs in rural Hampshire picking out the pubs across the county which offer a real welcome for parents and children of all ages.


Divided into three sections, the guide helps you to find the perfect pub for lunch out in the countryside, by the sea or in the New Forest.  Each pub has been visited to ensure that it offers basic facilities such as baby changing, a children’s menu, easy parking and access for pushchairs.  These are indicated by a simple key.  Every pub also boasts a special, child-friendly feature. This might be a big garden with play equipment, pigs, chickens or even parrots; a canal-front location with nearby boat hire, or an adjacent beach offering crabbing or shell hunting.  Some pubs are perfect for wet weekends, with boxes of toys or puzzles available and big sofas for lounging on.  Others are best enjoyed outdoors, where children can run around, spot ducks on the river, or watch the New Forest ponies coming and going.


Chairman of the Hampshire Tourism Partnership, Steve Munn, said: “Trying a new pub can be fraught with disaster when you have a family in tow.  Our guide has been designed to help locate the right pub for a happy lunch – and to suggest some great activities nearby, to make for a whole day out if you have the time.  In this era of the ‘staycation’, it will give you plenty of ideas for holidaying at home to save on those recession-squeezed family budgets.”


As well as encouraging Hampshire families to go out and explore the countryside on their doorstep, there’s a serious economic reason for producing this guide.  Project manager Eloise Appleby from Winchester City Council explains: “We know that the recession has changed people’s eating and drinking habits, and led to numerous pub closures across the country.  We are keen to protect Hampshire’s wonderful range of pubs, and hope that the Eat Out, Get About booklet will channel some much-needed income into their tills.  We also hope that by celebrating the best of the family pubs in the county we will encourage others to think of their younger customers when they review their menus or set up the garden for the summer months.”


The new booklet will be available FREE from libraries and tourist information centres from the end of March, and the information can also be found on the website  


The website will grow over the months to include new suggestions, and some seasonal alternatives such as picnic ideas with fresh ingredients from local farmers’ markets.