Monday 6 December 2021

The Southampton Family Christmas Trail

(This is a paid partnership with Visit Southampton - see disclaimer)

I'm a huge advocate for Southampton and there is no better way than seeing exactly what the city has to offer than getting out and going for a long ol' walk. With Christmas right around the corner now is the perfect time to explore the city and take part in the free Christmas Family Trail which is back this year, bigger and better than ever before. 

There are two trails you can choose to follow, either the North Pole or the South Pole - you could even do both! Both trails take you on an adventure around the city as it lights up for Christmas and has been designed with families in mind. 

Just grab your map and look out for the penguins and polar bears along the way as it is they that will hold the clues you will need to unscramble to claim your prize. 

On one frosty morning, we bundled ourselves up in hats and scarves and ventured off into the city to take part in the trail. We chose to do the North Pole trail which takes you from Guildhall Square up into Bedford Place and then back around towards The Marlands. If you don't usually head north of the city centre then this is a great way to familiarise yourself with the area and have plenty of fun along the way. 

You can pick up the maps from MAST Mayflower Studios which is the starting point for the North Pole Trail, Next Home in the retail park which is the starting point for the South Pole Trail or from the information point in The Marlands Shopping Centre. There is also a downloadable option direct from Visit Southampton's website. 

Depending on how quick on their feet your little ones are, both trails should take around 45 minutes - we took ages because we kept stopping and looking around - it made for a really lovely morning especially when we made it to Bedford Place as we don't get up there as much as we used to. 

With steaming hot chocolates from Mettricks we went from location to location to collect our clues - as we were following the North Pole trail we were looking for polar bears and most locations had their posters in the windows so it was really easy for the four-year-old to spot. We went to twelve locations to find our clues and if you follow the South Pole Trail you'll be looking for eleven. 

Our final stop took us to Stakks where we just had to unscramble all our clues, work out the festive phrase each of the clues made up and then we could collect our prize. This year, the prizes won't be food-based which is music to our ears as our son has a dairy allergy. He doesn't always get to do things like this because the majority of the time the prizes are chocolate-based so it's great to see the Family Christmas Trail being so inclusive. 

The Family Christmas Trail is such a great free activity to do over the next few weeks, especially as the children are breaking up from school that little bit earlier. 

If you do want to find out more via Visit Southampton please head to their website or pop into one of the starting points to pick up a leaflet. 

Be sure to share any photos on social media tagging Visit Southampton! 

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