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Hampshire Attractions - Featuring Attractions in Hampshire.

Head for Hampshire if you’re looking for an entertaining great British break or perhaps an action-packed extended stay! Hampshire attractions are many and varied with plenty to see and do and something to suit all ages and interests.

For a start, Hampshire is a wonderfully scenic county with swathes of unspoilt landscapes (approximately one third of the county is covered by Areas of Outstanding Beauty including the New Forest); fascinating flora and fauna, magnificent parks and gardens and a stunning coastline.

But there’s much more to Hampshire than beautiful landscapes, so why not visit its famous castles, historic buildings and stately homes and, of course, the historic cities of Winchester, Southampton and Portsmouth?

Popular Hampshire Attractions

 Beaulieu, Brockenhurst: In the south-eastern corner of the New Forest, Beaulieu estate (pronounced ‘Bewley’) comprises the remains of a Cistercian Abbey and the Palace House. The popular National Motor Museum is also housed at Beaulieu, with around 250 classic cars and world record breakers on display including Bluebird and Golden Arrow.

 Broadlands, Romsey: Once home to the late Lord Mountbatten, great grandson of Queen Victoria, Broadlands is currently owned by his grandson, Lord Romsey. Set amidst idyllic scenery on the banks of the River Test, this Palladian mansion houses a fabulous collection of 18th century sculpture, priceless artwork, paintings and period furniture.

 Winchester Cathedral: Dates back to 1079; the original building was constructed of Isle of Wight stone and Hampshire oak, but has undergone major restoration, over the centuries. The coronation of Richard I in 1194, the marriage of Henry IV in 1401 and the marriage of Queen Mary in 1554 were all held at Winchester Cathedral; famous people buried there include Jane Austen and Izaak Walton.

 Winchester Castle: Construction work started on Winchester Castle during the time of William the Conqueror. Today, little of the original castle remains apart from the Great Hall which houses the famous Round Table, supposedly that of King Arthur.

 Eastleigh Countryside Activities, Itchen Valley Country Park, Allington, Southampton: Fun for all the family with countryside events and activities; booking for events advisable; Tel. +44 (0)23 8046 6091, email: countryside@eastleigh.gov.uk

 Southampton Maritime Museum, Wool House, Town Quay Road, Southampton: Promoted as ‘the gateway to the world’, Southampton Maritime Museum houses one of the finest collections of maritime memorabilia in the world. Exhibitions include ‘Titanic Voices’; ‘Docks Remembered’, ‘Cunard And Other Liners’ and ‘All Hands on Deck’, an interactive area for maritime enthusiasts!

 Southampton Museum of Archaeology, Winkle Street, Southampton: An award-winning archaeology collection; explores the three towns, Roman Clausentum, Saxon Hamwic and Mediaeval Southampton; looks at the lives of local people throughout the ages; great hands-on section for budding archaeologists!

 HMS Victory, Portsmouth: Located in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard, HMS Victory was first launched in 1765 at Chatham. HMS Victory was in continuous naval service for almost 220 years. Today, naval officers guide visitors round Nelson’s painstakingly restored flagship, recording graphically the atrocious conditions on board; inspect the exact spot where Nelson died in The Battle of Trafalgar, 1805.

 Jane Austen's House and Museum, Chawton, Alton: Enter the subtle, social world of the novelist, Jane Austen (1775 – 1817) who drew inspiration from her local Hampshire environment. Jane Austen's House and Museum contains memorabilia including her writing table and a Hepplewhite bureau-bookcase displaying a number of the author’s first editions.

Natural Hampshire Attractions & Outdoor Pursuits

Lovers of the great outdoors will be in their element in Hampshire. Outdoor attractions include sailing, yachting (The Solent is renowned worldwide for its yachting and sailing facilities and Cowes is England’s top yachting centre), and fabulous fishing rivers (notably, the Rivers Test and Itchen). This, too, is walking, cycling and riding countryside (Hampshire has around 500 miles of footpaths and bridleways):

 The New Forest: William the Conqueror made the area his personal hunting ground in 1079. Since that date, the New Forest has remained a protected area. The New Forest was recently designated a National Park (March 2005). It can get very crowded during summertime; escape the crowds by wandering off the beaten track into the woods. Also, be sure to visit The New Forest Museum and Visitor Centre, Lyndhurst.

 The Solent: The Solent encompasses the waters around Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight; a great area to visit for a spot of sailing, fishing or even bird-watching.

 Hampshire South Downs: A section of the ridge of chalk hills known as the South Downs falls within Hampshire’s boundaries; wonderful walking territory with numerous clearly-marked pathways, especially around Winchester. Picturesque villages and peaceful panoramas characterise the area.

 Hayling Island: beautiful ‘Blue Flag’ beaches; safe waters; superb sailing and other water sports, especially windsurfing.

 Hamble Valley: Over 800 acres of unspoilt countryside, picturesque villages and a glorious coastline; Hamble Valley makes an ideal base for exploring Hampshire. The New Forest, Winchester, Southampton and Portsmouth are all within easy reach.

 Basingstoke Canal: the restored canal offers a range of leisure facilities and outdoor pursuits; boat hire available at various locations along the canal including Winchfield. Check out: http://www.basingstoke-canal.org.uk/front.htm.

 Manor Farm Country Park, Pylands Lane, Bursledon: A combination of farmland and woodland, the working farm depicts Victorian Hampshire, complete with blacksmith’s forge and period farm machinery. Manor Farm Country Park holds seasonal events, e.g. traditional haymaking in June.

 Calshot Activities Centre, Fawley, Southampton: One of Britain’s largest outdoor adventure centres and a prime water-sport location, Calshot also offers non-water based activities including a dry ski slope, a state-of-the-art climbing complex and the only indoor Velodrome in Southern England, as well as innovative residential and non-residential courses.

Did you know that …

 The City of Winchester was the ancient capital of England; it also inspired the poet Keats’s Ode to Autumn.

 William the Conqueror’s unpopular son, William II (William Rufus) was killed by an arrow in a dubious hunting ‘accident’ near Stoney Cross, in the New Forest. Today, ‘Rufus Stone’ marks the spot where he fell.

 Titanic sailed from Southampton, in 1912.

 The restored HMS Victory in Portsmouth is the world's oldest, commissioned warship still in existence.

Hampshire Attractions
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