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The New Forest, Hampshire

The New Forest, Hampshire

Things to do in Hampshire

From the picturesque rolling countryside of the New Forest to the lively coastal cities of Portsmouth and Southampton, there’s no shortage of exciting things to do in Hampshire.

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.

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 more information visit the official tourism website for Hampshire or find out about these and many other classic Hampshire destinations (or hidden gems) by viewing our location guides below. 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:

                 

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Areas to Visit

Selborne

Selborne

The attractive village of Selborne is famous for its association with the 18th Century literary naturalist Gilbert White. His book 'The Natural...

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Add Selborne to your Itinerary

    Selborne

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    The attractive village of Selborne is famous for its association with the 18th Century literary naturalist Gilbert White.

  7. Add Hythe to your Itinerary

    Hythe

    Location

    Southampton

    Visit the pleasant village of Hythe for its historic Pier with electric train, fantastic views of the cruise liners in Southampton Water, and interesting shops.

  8. Add Fareham to your Itinerary

    Fareham

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Location

    Fareham

    The market town of Fareham lies halfway between the larger cities of Southampton and Portsmouth.

  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 Lee-on-the-Solent to your Itinerary

    Lee-on-the-Solent

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Lee-on-the-Solent, often referred to as Lee-on-Solent, is a small seaside town in Hampshire, England about five miles (8 km) west of Portsmouth.