WITH temperatures soaring, sun-worshippers are getting out in the great outdoors to enjoy some summer fun. 

Here's our pick of the best five hotspots in and around Southampton in which to enjoy the heatwave. 

Royal Victoria Country Park, Netley

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Offering fantastic views across Southampton Water, Royal Victoria Country Park is a great place to watch the busy shipping coming in and out of Southampton or simply splash around in the shallows.

Once the home of the biggest military hospital in the Victorian Empire this 200-acre site has bags of history too.

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The park’s ancient woodlands, large open spaces, boardwalks and ponds offer something for everyone. There are picnic areas, family barbecue fields for hire and a cafe.

The play areas include a secluded fairy village and youngsters can enjoy the miniature railway and some inflatable fun. 

You can even enjoy a glamping adventure here. 

Woodmill, Swaythling

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Sometimes there's just nothing better than messing around on the river.

One of Southampton's best-kept secrets, Woodmill Outdoor Activities Centre has access to a private lake and the River Itchen through lovely Riverside Park. 

Take to the water in a kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard or test your limits on an adrenaline-filled high ropes course among the land and water-based fun on offers. 

This is the only centre in the UK with four different types of water on offer, giving paddlers of all disciplines an exhilarating challenge on every visit, including superb conditions for those taking their first paddle.

The extensive grounds of 17 acres also offer bushcraft, fishing, abseiling, orienteering, climbing, archery, rafting and more. 

Southampton Common

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The Common is the largest of Southampton’s open spaces featuring woodland, rough grassland, ponds, wetlands, lakes and parkland.

It is a much loved and well-used green open space in the centre of the city, popular for informal leisure activities as well as large events.

The diverse habitats support an amazing abundance and variety of wildlife and in 1988 most of Southampton Common was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

A perennial family favourite, children will love feeding the ducks, playing in the impressive playground, which boasts, zip wires, elevated play houses and tonnes of sands, or getting an ice cream from one of the refreshments outlets. 

Both the Shirley and Avenue sides feature rather fabulous watering holes as well. 

Paddling pools, various locations

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What better way for the little ones to cool off than at one of the area's paddling pools or splash parks.

Sites are currently open at Totton, Eastleigh and Hedge End.

Pack a picnic, your swimmers and your sun cream and you're away! 

For water babies, there's nothing more fun than splashing around in the shallows, basking in the sun on an inflatable or chasing their friends around with a water pistol.

The Sports Centre, Southampton

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This is a 56 acre space to be enjoyed by anyone and everyone. 

There's a range of traditional and alternative sports including a BMX track, netball courts, football pitches, crickets pitches, tennis courts and bowls greens. 

Enjoy crazy golf, a trim trail, a full athletics track and even a ski slope for downhill and ringos fun. 

Young children will love the pleasure park a retro fairground providing hours of fun on the carousel, slide and trampolines. 

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