**UPDATE – 21st January 2015 – The Culture All pass is no longer available, and the advice is to check with the individual attraction for their own annual passes.**
If you’re anything like me, you will get to the weekend, and have a conversation something like this: “So what shall we do this weekend?”; “I don’t know, what do you want to do.”; “I don’t mind.” ;”How about x?”; “No, too expensive”. And carry on until around 2 pm when you both decide that in fact, it is now too late to do anything.
But, what if you had an annual or yearly pass to a local attraction? Problem solved. Always somewhere to go and you’ve already paid for it, so you can spend money on a lunch out or extra activities. And, it’s not as expensive as you might think.
With an ornamental farm, playbarn, Victorian Glasshouse including Butterfly house, Maze, gardens and 1000 acres of landscaped parkland, it is hard to beat Staunton for a day out for all the family. Membership for a year gives you unlimited visits, entry for up to 5 children free with every membership visit, up to 6 individual complimentary tickets, and free unlimited parking. – a ticket for 2 adults and up to 5 children will cost you only £47.50. For a year’s entertainment, that’s excellent value.
2. Culture All Passport – NO LONGER AVAILABLE
Sometimes referred to as the Hampshire Culture pass, you could buy a Culture All Passport for just £75 for two adults and two children. This will give you unlimited entry not just to Staunton Country Park but also to Sir Harold Hillier Gardens; Milstones Museum; Manor Farm; Basing House; Rockbourne Roman Villa; Titchfield Haven Nature Reserve; Burlesdon Windmill and Aldershot Military Museum. You will also receive a parking pass giving you free parking at these attractions.
The pass also gives you various discounts at other venues such as a 10% discount off family tickets to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and certain activities at the New Forest Activities Centre. You can also obtain discounts in the giftshops at Milstones Musuem, Basing House, Staunton Country Park and the Royal Victoria Country Park.
When you buy a site ticket to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, it will give you one years unlimited entry to all attractions at the Dockyard (the only exclusion I’m aware of is the Victorian Festival of Christmas). Tickets are £26 (adults), £19.75 (children over 5), children under 5 go free. The Dockyard puts on family friendly events throughout the year which are all free to anyone with a valid ticket. You can even buy a two year ticket if you purchase the Admiral’s Boarding Pass.
Based in Gosport, learn about the development of naval armaments from gunpowder to the Exocet missile. There are two ways of getting unlimited entry for a year to this attraction. The first is to purchase a family ticket (which costs just £20 for 2 adults and 3 children) and complete a Gift Aid declaration.* The second way is to become a Friend of the Museum which costs £40 for 2 adults and 3 children. Membership benefits give you a free annual pass, a 50% discount on entrance for accompanying friends and relatives, entry to friends only events, priority notice of special events and openings, free tea and coffee in the Museum Coffee Shop with any purchase and 10% off room hire, admission to the Royal Naval Submarine Museum and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
Home of HMS Alliance, take the children to learn about the Horrible Science of Submarines. A family friendly attraction with Busy Boats Bay play area, there are frequent family activities throughout the year. Get a years ticket for just £34 for a family of 2 adults and 3 children and complete a Gift Aid declaration to get a year’s unlimited entry.*
6. Other Ideas
Yearly passes are not just limited to the big tourist attractions. Many local soft play centres offer termly or yearly passes which work out much cheaper than a session by session play – and you will always have something to do. Why not enquire at your local leisure centre or soft play centre? Have a look at our Things to Do page for new ideas or ‘like’ our facebook page for up-dates.
*Gift Aid is not possible if you are not a UK tax payer or if you purchase a joint ticket to another attraction. It must be the ticket to just the one attraction.