26 things to do in Hampshire

Hampshire is a historic county located on the south coast of England. Known for its picturesque countryside, charming towns and villages, and rich history, Hampshire is a popular destination for visitors looking to experience the best of England’s southern region. The county is home to a diverse range of landscapes, from rolling hills and lush forests to stunning coastlines and tranquil waterways. In addition to its natural beauty, Hampshire is also home to some of England’s most significant historical landmarks, including Winchester Cathedral and the birthplace of Jane Austen.

Home to one of the most beautiful national parks in the UK, the New Forest National Park stretches across 140,000 acres of ancient woodlands and is swarming with animals and wildlifeVisiting with family? Don’t worry there are plenty of activities to keep the kids busy and the family entertained.

The county is home to several bustling cities such as Southampton, Portsmouth, and Winchester. Each city has a unique history, culture, and attractions. For instance, Southampton boasts the medieval walls and towers of the old town, while Portsmouth has historic dockyards that feature HMS Victory, the flagship of Lord Nelson. Winchester, on the other hand, is home to an iconic cathedral, with charming streets full of quaint shops and cafes to explore.

Apart from the vibrant cities, Hampshire is also blessed with picturesque countryside, including the South Downs National Park, the New Forest National Park, and the Test Valley. You can take leisurely walks through rolling hills and fields, discover charming villages and country pubs, or go on a bike ride and soak in the stunning scenery.

The county is also home to several beautiful coastal towns and villages such as Bournemouth, Southsea, and Lymington. You can stroll along the Victorian promenade in Southsea or explore the charming fishing village of Lymington.

Discovering Hampshire’s rich history: a guide to historical landmarks and attractions

Hampshire is a county steeped in history, with plenty of fascinating landmarks and sites that offer a glimpse into England’s rich cultural past. Here’s a guide to some of the historical attractions you can explore in Hampshire:

  • Winchester Cathedral: one of the most iconic landmarks in Hampshire, Winchester Cathedral is a stunning example of Gothic architecture and has been a place of worship for over 900 years. It is also the final resting place of several notable figures, including Jane Austen.
  • Highclere Castle: made famous by the hit TV show Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle is a stunning stately home that has been in the same family for over 300 years. Visitors can tour the castle and its grounds, which include beautiful gardens and parkland.
  • Portchester Castle: this ancient castle was built by the Romans in the 3rd century and was later expanded by the Normans. It played an important role in defending England’s south coast for centuries and is now open to the public for tours.
  • Beaulieu Palace House: this historic estate was once home to the powerful Montagu family and is now open to the public as a museum. Visitors can explore the house and gardens, as well as the adjacent National Motor Museum.
  • Jane Austen’s House Museum: located in the village of Chawton, this museum is dedicated to the life and work of one of England’s most beloved authors. Visitors can see the house where Austen lived and wrote several of her most famous works.
  • The Mary Rose Museum: this museum is dedicated to the Mary Rose, a Tudor warship that sank in the Solent in 1545. Visitors can see artefacts recovered from the ship, as well as interactive exhibits that bring Tudor England to life.
  • Buckler’s Hard: this picturesque village was once a thriving shipbuilding centre and played an important role in England’s naval history. Visitors can tour the shipbuilding museum and take a walk along the Beaulieu River.
  • The Round Table: located in Winchester, the Round Table is a medieval relic that is believed to date back to the time of King Arthur. It is one of only a few surviving round tables in the world.
  • Basing House: This ruined Tudor palace was once one of the largest houses in England and played an important role in the English Civil War. Visitors can explore the ruins and learn about the house’s fascinating history.
  • The Watercress Line: This historic railway line runs between Alton and Alresford and offers visitors the chance to travel on a vintage steam train through Hampshire’s beautiful countryside.

If you’re looking for something exciting to do with friends, Southampton is full of fun activities. Why not test your ninja abilities in the ninja warrior course or compete with your friends in an escape room?

Explore Hampshire: find fun things to do and see

There are plenty of fun things to do in Hampshire, from exploring historical landmarks to enjoying the great outdoors. Here are some ideas for a fun-filled trip to Hampshire:

  • Visit the New Forest: the New Forest is a beautiful national park with plenty of hiking and cycling trails, as well as opportunities for horseback riding and wildlife spotting.
  • Explore Winchester: Winchester is a historic city with a beautiful cathedral, the birthplace of Jane Austen, and plenty of quaint shops and restaurants to explore.
  • Go to the beach: Hampshire has plenty of beautiful beaches to choose from, including Hayling Island, West Wittering, and Calshot Beach.
  • Take a trip to Portsmouth: Portsmouth is a vibrant city with plenty to see and do, including the historic dockyard, the Spinnaker Tower, and plenty of shops and restaurants.
  • Visit the Isle of Wight: The Isle of Wight is a beautiful island off the coast of Hampshire, with plenty of picturesque towns and villages, stunning beaches, and opportunities for outdoor activities.
  • Enjoy a pint at a local pub: Hampshire is home to many traditional pubs, where you can sample local ales and enjoy a classic pub meal.
  • Go to a farmers’ market: Hampshire is known for its delicious local produce, and there are plenty of farmers’ markets where you can sample and purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and more.
  • Visit a stately home: Hampshire is home to several stately homes, including Highclere Castle (the setting of Downton Abbey) and Beaulieu Palace House.
  • Take a boat trip: there are plenty of opportunities for boat trips in Hampshire, whether you want to explore the coast or enjoy a leisurely ride along one of Hampshire’s beautiful rivers.
  • Go to a festival: Hampshire has a vibrant events calendar, with plenty of festivals and events taking place throughout the year, including the Hampshire Food Festival, the Winchester Festival, and the Portsmouth Festivities.

Overall, Hampshire is a fantastic destination for anyone looking for a fun and varied trip, with plenty of opportunities to explore the outdoors, indulge in delicious food and drink, and immerse yourself in history and culture.

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