Hampshire is a haven for military enthusiasts and day trippers alike. The naval theme is celebrated at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, an outstanding collection of museums, historic ships and numerous attractions and activities. You can tour Nelson’s HMS Victory, HMS Warrior 1860 Britain’s first iron hulled armoured battleship, take in a harbour tour and explore the history of the Royal Navy. The historic Mary Rose takes you back in time as you explore the flagship of Henry VIII’s fleet. Close by you will find the Royal Navy Submarine Museum and the Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower.
Whilst in Portsmouth you can head for the Emirates Spinnaker Tower. Rising 170m from the Gunwharf Quays you can take in the breath taking South Coast views. Feeling energetic – on some days you can abseil 100m down the tower!
Heading north you will find strong Army connections at Andover, Aldershot where you can visit the Military Museum and Middle Wallop, home to the Museum of Army Flying where can explore over 40 aircraft and take in the archives, medals, uniforms and other military equipment.
Winchester on the edge of the South Downs National Park was once the capital of England and today you enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of this cosmopolitan city and its numerous attractions. Take a tour of the magnificent Winchester Cathedral one of the largest in Europe. Famous burials at the cathedral include Jane Austen, Cnut the Great and Ecgberht King of Wessex. You can explore what remains of Winchester Castle at the Great Hall, and visit the museum to learn about the history of Winchester. Close by the Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum and The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum are further testament to Hampshire military links. A relaxing walk along the River Itchen will bring you to the Winchester City Mill where you can experience the mill in action and maybe take home a bag of flour!
The New Forest is an escape to the great outdoors with its heathland, forest trails and wildlife giving you a great opportunity to either relax or blow the cobwebs away with a walk, cycle or horse ride. You may spot deer, otters, owls or the famous New Forest pony as you make your way through the greenery. The New Forest is home to a number of visitor attractions including Buckler’s Hard where Henry VIII’s warships were built, the Exbury Gardens and the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu.
Hampshire is ideal for those seeking to explore stately homes and houses with Chawton – Jane Austen’s home, The Vyne near Basingstoke, Mottisfont Abbey, Broadlands , Beaulieu Palace House and Stratfield Saye House among the attractions.
Looking for a family day out?
Marwell Zoo and Birdworld on the border with Surrey are great fun and an opportunity to meet the animals. Hampshire has a preeminent position in amateur sailing with a huge number of yachts taking to the water from the River Hamble and into the Solent. The many coastal parks provide great opportunities for just watching the boats with spinnakers flapping or windsurfers floating over the waves.
Hampshire has an array of annual events, including the Winchester Cocktail Week, the Alresford Watercress Festival, Hampshire Food Festival, the Southampton Boat Show and the Farnborough International Airshow.
Want to find out more? Click here to read our guide on things to do Hampshire.