Jane Austen House in Chawton, East Hampshire, home of the literary great, writer of Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Mansfield Park

Jane Austen House

East Hampshire

Things To Do in Hampshire

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There are so many top things to do in Hampshire, a county famous for the home of Downton Abbey at Highclere Castle, and the iconic Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth.  A county where Bombay Gin is made and where Jane Austen lived, wrote and is now laid to rest.  Visit Hampshire and discover its rich with beautiful countryside, vibrant cities and towns and a diverse coastline providing dramatic views, great walks and places to enjoy tranquillity and nature.  

Hampshire is home to the New Forest National Park, which 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 the famous New Forest ponies, with dozens of walking and cycling trails to explore.  The South Downs National Park lies at the heart of the county, with its rolling green pastures, ancient woodlands and river valleys.  It is the newest of the National Parks, stretching from Winchester in the west to Eastbourne in the east.

Hampshire is a county full of hidden gems and new discoveries, with its clear chalk streams, thatched cottages and cosy pubs, historic buildings, fascinating interactive museums, bustling market towns and three cities.

Portsmouth, the UK's only island city with its rich maritme history, award-winning attractions, historic fortifications and busy year round events calendar.

Southampton, this South coast port city  with links to the infamous Titanic and famous Mayflower. Home to the internationally renowned Boat Show with a large shopping and cultural centre, one of contenders for City of Culture 2025.

Winchester, once the ancient capital city of the UK with its cobbled streets, historic Winchester Cathedral, links with Jane Austen and King Alfred the Great, one of England's smallest cities making it ideal to explore on foot.

East Hampshire includes the famous village of Chawton, home of Jane Austen and her brother Edward, and the ancient market town of Petersfield formally an important coaching stop between Portsmouth and London.

Find out more about the county's towns and villages including Gosport and Lee-on-the-Solent, with its 24 miles of waterfront, Basingstoke the largest town in Hampshire and many more using our interactive map of Hampshire.

Things to do in Hampshire this weekend

Many of Hampshire's tourist attractions and points of interest are open all year round making it an ideal location to visit any time of the year.  Find something to do today with activities listings each showing a map and opening times for your convenience. Or why not browse our events guide to find out what's on in Hampshire today or this week.

If you love to events, head to Farnborough International Exhibiton and Conference Centre.  Marvel at the supercars, be wowed by the stunt displays at The British Motor Show Live (15th - 18th August 24) or take in the awesome Farnborough Airshow that returns in 2024 (22nd - 26th July 24) - a definite date for the diary. 

Top 10 things to do in Hampshire

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.

For ideas and inspiration on where to stay, what's on and things to do in Hampshire visit the official website, Visit Hampshire.

List of things to do & places to visit for days out in Hampshire

For more information about Hampshire, including ideas for days out, attractions and events, view the list below for information on things to do and towns and villages in Hampshire. Use the 'map view' button to find something near you.

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Number of results: 169

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  1. Winchester Cathedral Café and Gift Shop

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    Café

    Winchester

    The Cathedral Cafe is one of Winchester’s hidden gems

    You can find the newly refurbished Cathedral Cafe sheltered behind an ancient flint wall opposite the Cathedral. Its award-winning contemporary design, large terrace with Cathedral views and…

  2. Petersfield

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    Town

    Set in the glorious countryside of the South Downs, Petersfield is an ancient market town originally built as a Norman 'new town' at the end of the 11th Century. It is now a pleasant place for shopping and eating out.

  3. Alton

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    Rural Destinations

    Alton

    Alton is a lively market town right in the heart of Jane Austen country. The surrounding landscape is picturesque and tranquil – which makes it all the more surprising that Alton was once most famous for the brutal murder of Sweet Fanny Adams in…

  4. Standing With Giants at Fort Nelson

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    Museums & Galleries

    Portsmouth

    Life-size silhouetted figures, representing the 255 people who lost their lives in the Falklands War, will be installed at Fort Nelson.

  5. Barton-on-Sea

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    Towns & Villages

    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.

  6. Selborne

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    Towns & Villages

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

  7. Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre

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    Event Venue

    Farnborough

    Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre is a must-visit attraction in Hampshire. The venue is host to some of the UK’s largest events and attractions, including the British Motor Show, Homebuilding & Renovating Show, RYA Dinghy &…

  8. Brockenhurst

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    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.

  9. Keyhaven

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    Towns & Villages

    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.

  10. Burley

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    Towns & Villages

    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.

  11. Marwell Zoo

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    Animal Collection / Zoo

    Winchester

    Embrace your wild side at Marwell Zoo! Home to hundreds of endangered and exotic species in 140 acres of beautiful parkland, there’s plenty for the whole family to enjoy and admire. From Amur tigers to brilliant birds, Marwell offers you the chance…

  12. Alver Valley Country Park

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    Country / Royal Park

    Lee-on-the-Solent

    The Alver Valley is Gosport's wildlife haven, and there's always something to see and do throughout the through the changing seasons. It’s a great place to go for a walk, with plenty of routes and different landscapes. 

  13. Sir Harold Hillier Gardens

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    Tea Room/Coffee Shop

    Romsey

    The world famous Gardens near Romsey. The Victorian manor house Tea Rooms is nestled in an idyllic setting within the 180 acre Gardens

  14. Beaulieu

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    Towns & Villages

    Beaulieu in Hampshire is one of the most beautiful villages in the New Forest, offering riverside walks, lovely gardens and the famous National Motor Museum.

  15. Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

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    Historic Site

    Portsmouth

    Trip to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard - The Full Navy Ticket. Access to amazing attractions for a year.

  16. Edward Thomas circular walk

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    Walking Tour

    Steep near Petersfield

    A 4 mile circular walk with stunning views of the South Downs

  17. Mountbatten Leisure Centre

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    Leisure / Swimming Pool

    Portsmouth

    The Mountbatten Leisure Centre is set in an attractive park adjacent to Portsmouth's northern shore. The centre is the city's premier sports facility and has a long reputation for hosting a wide variety of national and international sporting events.

  18. The Brickworks Museum

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    Industrial Archaeology

    Bursledon

    The only remaining steam driven, Victorian brickworks in the country. Now a museum of bricks and brick making.

  19. Sandham Memorial Chapel

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    Church / Chapel

    Burghclere

    This red-brick chapel was built in the 1920s for the artist, Stanley Spencer to fill with murals inspired by his experiences in the First World War. Influenced by Giotto's Arena Chapel in Padua, Spencer took five years to complete.

  20. Milestones Museum

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    Museums & Galleries

    Basingstoke

    From cobbled streets to a seaside pier, teddy bears, vintage vehicles, an operating pub, sweet shop and more, there is so much for everyone to see, do and enjoy at Milestones, Hampshire’s museum of living history!