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The New Forest, Hampshire

The New Forest, Hampshire

Things to do in Hampshire

There are so many top things to do in Hampshire, a county famous for the home of Downton Abbey at Highclere Castle to the UK's tallest publicly accessible building outside of London at Portsmouth's Spinnaker Tower.

From the picturesque rolling countryside of the New Forest to the lively coastal cities of Portsmouth and Southampton, a world of excitement awaits.

Visit HampshireWith its clear chalk streams, thatched cottages and cosy pubs, Hampshire’s countryside is a hidden gem for visitors. Here you’ll find historic buildings, fascinating interactive museums and bustling market towns, together with delicious local produce and gentle scenic walks.

The New Forest stretches across 140,000 acres of ancient woodland and unspoilt grassland. It's one of the most beautiful national parks in the UK and home to dozens of fascinating historic villages. Here you'll find family adventures at Paulton's Park and attractions such as the National Motor Museum Beaulieu. The maritime museum at nearby Buckler's Hard has to be one of the most interesting days out in Hampshire, exploring the south coast’s history-changing maritime tradition.

A visit to Southampton is not to be missed, with medieval city walls to explore, some fantastic shopping at West Quay Shopping Centre and great entertainment on offer at the Mayflower Theatre. Further down the Solent coast is the port city of Portsmouth, a must see for anyone interested in the Royal Navy, with Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and the historic ship HMS Victory both located here.

Hampshire is also home to Winchester. Most famous for one of the country’s oldest cathedrals, Winchester Cathedral, this ancient city was once the capital of England. Just outside of Winchester, Marwell Wildlife is home to over 180 exotic and endangered species of wildlife, across a 140-acre park. Marwell Zoo not only helps visitors get closer to the wonders of the natural world, but it also plays an important part in helping to save them.

From period dramas such as the hit ITV show Downton Abbey to action movies including James Bond, Hampshire has set the scene for a wide variety of productions. Take a tour and find out more about some of the county's best known film locations.

Accommodation

With such rich history, exciting events, alluring attractions and stunning scenery, you'd be hard-pressed to see everything you want to see in one day, so why not stay for two or three? There is no shortage of charming and affordable accommodation on offer in Hampshire: 

For further inspiration for short breaks and days out in Hampshire, you can also visit our Apps & Guides page and plan your day out in Hampshire on the go on your mobile, ensuring you never miss a second in South East England.

Stay up-to-date with iPhone and Android Apps for top destinations in Hampshire:

                 

In this section

Areas to Visit

Gosport

Gosport

Discover Gosport! Whether it’s a day trip, short break, week-end stopover or to enjoy a longer stay, there’s so much to enjoy and keep you busy...

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  1. Add Burley to your Itinerary

    Burley

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Location

    Burley

    The picturesque village of Burley lies in the heart of the New Forest. With its pretty thatched cottages, old fashioned shops and cosy tea rooms, the village is a must-see for anyone visiting the area.

  2. Add Keyhaven to your Itinerary

    Keyhaven

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Location

    Keyhaven

    This small, quiet village overlooks the Solent and has lovely views of Hurst Castle and the Isle of Wight. Although there are no shops, there are two sailing clubs and a small pub.

  3. Add Barton-on-Sea to your Itinerary

    Barton-on-Sea

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Location

    Barton-on-Sea

    Barton-on-Sea boasts superb coastal walks, including the start of the Solent Way which spans the length of Keyhaven Nature Reserve.

  4. Add Milford-on-Sea to your Itinerary

    Milford-on-Sea

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Location

    Milford-on-Sea

    Milford-on-Sea is a traditional village with spectacular views, great beaches and thriving wildlife. Part of the New Forest National Park, this area is perfect for exploring cliff top walks and wildlife.

  5. Add Brockenhurst to your Itinerary

    Brockenhurst

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Located in the heart of the New Forest National Park situated between Lyndhurst and Lymington, Brockenhurst is a bustling village, one of the largest in the area.

  6. Add Gosport to your Itinerary

    Gosport

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Location

    South Street, Gosport

    Whether it’s a day trip, short break, week-end stopover or to enjoy a longer stay, there’s so much to enjoy and keep you busy in Gosport. Explore the fascinating history and heritage of our museums or our extensive Waterfront.

  7. Add Winchester to your Itinerary

    Winchester

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Location

    High Street, Winchester

    From the 13th Century version of King Arthur's Round Table, to the tigers, penguins and lemurs at Marwell Wildlife, there's plenty to discover in the stunning historic city of Winchester.

  8. Add Lymington to your Itinerary

    Lymington

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Location

    New Street, Lymington

    The Georgian market town of Lymington is famous for its sailing history and has two large marinas. The town's narrow streets are filled with pretty period cottages, and many locals pubs, restaurants and independent shops.

  9. Add Steventon to your Itinerary

    Steventon

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    The village of Steventon is best known as the birth-place of the author Jane Austen, who lived in the village from 1775 to 1801, after which she moved to Bath.

  10. Add Emsworth to your Itinerary

    Emsworth

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Location

    Emsworth

    Emsworth is popular with sailors, artists, naturalists and walkers and boasts independent shops, food markets and wonderful harbour views.