Hampshire Attractions

Hampshire offers visitors a choice of local attractions in the county, visitors can choose from a range of interesting and charming places to discover. The county includes a number of historic houses, museums, parks, gardens, historic buildings, a scenic coastline and beaches, theatre, concerts and events. Hampshire’s location in the south of England means the tranquil English countryside and the great outdoors are all within reach located close to local towns and villages with a range of things to see and do in the county.

We have outlined a number of interesting attractions and places to visit for visitors to Hampshire, these include:

Winchester Cathedral is located in Winchester city centre, the historic cathedral is one of the best known attractions in Hampshire. The cathedral is known for its outstanding blend of Norman and Perpendicular styles, inside the cathedral has marble columns and vaulted ceiling to admire. The cathedral is a spectacular sight that illuminates the city and gives the city a great sense of history.

Winchester's centrepiece was built by the Normans; it has left a lasting legacy of their stay here. The 11th century Winchester Cathedral is in active use with a daily programme of worship, choral music and a number of seasonal festivities. Visitors can take a guided tour and learn more about the fascinating history of the cathedral outlining its great history, treasures and characters and events that have shaped its past and present. Visitors can climb the 213 steps to the top of the tower and be rewarded with some splendid views over Winchester and the county of Hampshire.

Bishop's Waltham Palace is located in the town of Bishops Waltham in Hampshire. The medieval palace is now in ruins, it was once used by the senior clergy of Winchester as they travelled through their diocese. Historically Winchester was among the richest dioceses in England and its properties reflected this in their grandeur. There is an exhibition on the Winchester bishops in the farmhouse. This is one of the palaces of the Bishops of Winchester others include Farnham Castle Keep and Wolvesey Castle among them.

Hurst Castle is built by Henry VIII as a coastal fortress and completed back in 1544. Hurst Castle is located 1.5 miles from Milford-on-Sea and was deemed a good location to defend the western approach to the Solent. The castle was modernised during the Napoleonic wars, two of the huge guns installed in the 1870’s can be viewed in their casemates. The castle played a part in World War II when manned with coastal gun batteries and searchlights. The castle now has more public exhibitions and exhibits as well as a cafe for refreshments.

Braxton Gardens are located in Milford-on-Sea on the south coast in Hampshire. The gardens are surrounded by 200 acres of farmland, the walled garden was originally planted as a herb garden, the planting has increased through the years to include some unusual cottage garden perennials. The Walled Cottage Garden features a Knot Garden of Germander and Cotton Lavender. The Rose garden boasts nearly 100 different varieties including many old roses such as the Eglantine Rose. There is also a lily pool, visitors can enjoy a relaxing stroll through the gardens and enjoy some tea on the lawns, and this quintessentially English experience is a delight especially in the summer months. There are other refreshments and snacks available here and a gift shop features work by talented local artists.

Jane Austen's House Museum is located in the village of Chawton close to Alton in Hampshire. Visitors can find a number of mementoes recording her life and writings, this is where the famed author wrote some of her most famous novels such as Pride & Prejudice. The house has been preserved and retains its charm and character of a village home. The museum collection includes Austen family items and furniture along with manuscript letters and music books. She spent most of her life in Hampshire finding inspiration in the county, when writing her works she drew inspiration from friends, social occasions and places all over Hampshire, making Hampshire Jane Austin's Country.

The New Forest was established back in 1079 by William the Conqueror and has survived as a unique example of medieval landscape. There are now agencies entrusted with safeguarding the Forest for the future. It provides a haven for walkers and picnickers, it draws millions of visitors each year. Cycling is a great way to see the forest and popular among visitors, walking is the other preferred way of experiences the forest and what it offers. The New Forest is a known centre for horses and horse riding. All over the forest you can ponies roaming. The open heaths of the Forest are ideal grounds for lizards, grass snakes and frogs among others, there are a number of species to see here. These can be seen at The New Forest Reptile Centre, which also offers woodland trails.

The New Forest Museum & Visitor Centre is located in Lyndhurst, in the heart of the New Forest. The museum includes a number of activities and displays on the New Forest National Park that bring many aspects of the forest to life. Visitors can learn more about the forest history and ecology in addition to forest wildlife and conservation. The museum runs a programme of themed exhibitions and events where visitors can learn more about all aspects of the forest. A visit to the museum and visitor centre offers visitors the perfect place from which they can start exploring the area, there are a number of charming villages and wonderful places to eat in the area.

Royal Naval Museum is located in Portsmouth’s historic dockyard. One of the oldest maritime museums in the UK, the museum preserves and showcases the fleet; visitors can see a number of historic vassals on display along with a number of galleries including the Victory, Nelson and Saving Navy galleries. The museum hosts a number of changing special exhibitions, there are also heritage open days, special events and talks and lectures covering 400 years of naval history. The museum offers an interesting and educational attractions and is a must for any maritime enthusiast.

For those that like to take part in activities there is the Calshot Activities Centre located in Southampton, it is one of the largest Outdoor Adventure Centres in the UK. Both residential and non-residential courses are offered here a wide range of water and land based activities. Located on the shores of the Solent, the prime location means you will be at one of the top water-sports locations in the UK. There are some great facilities here including climbing complex, the indoor Velodrome and a dry Ski Slope. There are water-sports, sailing, power boating, canoeing, skiing, tract cycling and many more activities on offer, those that like to be active are likely to love it here.

It is recommended that prior to visiting Hampshire; visitors do their research and ensure any sights and attractions they plan on visiting are actually open on the days you intend on coming. The transport is also worth checking as maintenance and engineering works can mean a restricted service on public transport and the road network.

Hampshire is a county that has plenty to offer visitors with a mix of charming towns and market villages including a number of picturesque locations in the Hampshire countryside to enjoy in addition to the attractions in the urban centres. The cities of Southampton, Portsmouth and Winchester offer an ideal place from which to explore the county and range of attractions, charming market towns and villages ensuring visitors can enjoy both the urban and rural when visiting the county.

The county includes a number of historic attractions, museums, historic houses, parks, gardens and churches with some well known attractions including Winchester Cathedral, Jane Austen's House Museum and the New Forest. Hampshire’s attractions ensure visitors can enjoy a short break, weekend away or a longer stay here.

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