Discover Beaulieu, Home of the National Motor Museum in the heart of the New Forest, Hampshire

Beaulieu, Home of the National Motor Museum, New Forest

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 shop, head to Gunwharf Quays for one of Hampshire's best days out,  its far more than shopping. With over 90 premium retail outlets and up to 60% off the RRP, plus over 30 delicious restaurants and bars. Visit today to experience the idyllic South Coast setting while you save on your favourite designer brands. But it doesn’t stop there…on top of late-night shop and restaurant opening there is a Vue Cinema, Bowlplex and Grosvenor Casino. You many come for the shopping, but you’ll stay for the views.

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: 161

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  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  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. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Andover Museum and Museum of the Iron Age

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    Museums & Galleries

    Andover

    Housed in a Georgian town house built in the 1750s, Andover Museum tells the story of the town and its surrounding area from prehistoric times to the present day.

  9. Queen Elizabeth Country Park

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    Country / Royal Park

    Horndean

    With over 2,000 acres of downland and woodland, Queen Elizabeth Country Park is the ideal place to explore, keep fit and enjoy the great outdoors.

  10. Chawton

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    Towns & Villages

    Chawton

    Home of Jane Austen for the last eight years of her life, Chawton is a delightful village near Alton in Hampshire.

    You can visit Jane Austen's House, where she wrote or revised all her novels, and see the Chawton House Library where Jane's brother,…

  11. Calshot Outdoor Activity Centre

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    Leisure & Activity Centres

    Southampton

    In a prime location on the shores of the Solent, Calshot Activities Centre is one of the largest outdoor adventure centres in Britain 

  12. Fareham

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    Town

    Fareham

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

  13. Westbury Manor Museum

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    Museum

    Fareham

    An elegant 18thC building with a Victorian-style public garden at the rear. Displays tell the story of Fareham, using models, graphics and objects with a varied temporary exhibition gallery.

  14. Basing House

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    Historic Site

    Basing, Basingstoke

    Discover the many stories of Basing House, a nationally important historical site. This magnificent attraction dates from the Norman period and was the site of the largest private house in Tudor England.

  15. Stansted Park

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    Historic House / Palace

    Stansted Park is home to stunning weddings, forest walks, afternoon teas and some of the best events in the south! Visit the Mansion for a real sense of a bygone era.

  16. Spinnaker Tower

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    Tower

    Portsmouth

    View things differently at the top of Britain’s best viewing tower – the stunning 170 metre tall icon on the South Coast.

  17. Lepe Country Park

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    Country / Royal Park

    Beaulieu

    Lepe Country Park has something for everyone. The long stretch of shingle beach is popular with kite surfers and wind surfers, families and holidaymakers. From the shoreline you can look across the Solent to the Isle of Wight. Watch yachts, ferries…

  18. Bishop's Waltham

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    Towns & Villages

    Bishop’s Waltham is a delightful small medieval town twelve miles south east of Winchester. Enjoy traditional shopping, excellent pub lunches and explore the remains of Bishop’s Waltham Palace.

  19. Sky Park Farm

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    Farm

    PETERSFIELD

    Experience life on a working deer farm, explore the farm trail, adventure playground and picnic in the grounds. The farm shop and butcher offer a wide variety of produce and The Grazing Rooms cafe delivers everything from a lite bite to a…

  20. Ringwood

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    Towns & Villages

    Ringwood

    The western gateway to the New Forest National Park, Ringwood is an ideal touring base. This unspoilt market town is situated on the River Avon and has plenty of shops, restaurants and cafes to enjoy.

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