With almost 200 species of animals, Marwell Zoo was one of the first zoos in Europe to promote animal conservation. Today, it is run by a charity that takes on conservation activities in Africa, and there are daily talks and activities that you can get involved in to learn more about wildlife. There is a huge variety of animal exhibits on offer, including the World of Lemurs, the Penguin Cove and the Australian Bush Walk. Hop on the Marwell Wildlife Railway to venture past the flamingos, hippos, rhinos and zebras. The zoo also has adventure playgrounds, picnic lodges and food kiosks.
Jane Austen’s House Museum
Any literary lovers out there might already know that Hampshire was once home to Jane Austen. The house where she lived and wrote her books is open to the public, and you can freely explore the house and gardens. You’ll find a collection of items that once belonged to Jane Austen herself, including letters that she wrote, her jewellery, furniture and first editions of her books. If you’re visiting with children, there are plenty of activities to keep them entertained, from traditional garden games to dressing up in period costumes. There is also a museum shop where you can buy souvenirs.
Explore National Parks
If you’re looking for active things to do in Hampshire this Easter, you’re in luck, as the county is home to two National Parks – the New Forest National Park and the South Downs National Park. There are over 2,000 miles of tracks and footpaths to explore across the two, and an abundance of wildlife to be spotted, including free roaming deer, donkeys and ponies. Many of the tracks wind through picturesque little villages, where there are plenty of country pubs and cafes. The top two walks include the Tall Tree Tail Walk in the New Forest, and the Meon Valley Trail in the South Downs.
Get on the water
It would be a shame to visit Hampshire and not head to its renowned waterfront. Watersports are a popular activity here, and there are plenty of harbours, marinas and estuaries to serve as a base. For sailing, head to the River Hamble which is one of the UK’s leading yachting centres. For windsurfing, make your way to Hayling Island. If you prefer to explore your surroundings by kayaking or stand up paddle boarding, then head to Calshot Beach or Beaulieu River. The Calshot Activity Centre near the New Forest offers lessons in sailing, windsurfing, canoeing and powerboating.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is the number one destination for anything related to naval history. You can climb aboard warships such as the HMS Victory, or take a Harbour Tour to see how a naval base operates. To learn about what it was like fighting at sea, head to the National Museum of the Royal Navy to hear stories from the people who worked on the ships. There are also interactive experiences where you can meet Nelson and Napoleon at the Trafalgar Experience.