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.
With 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.
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:
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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.