Hampshire Tourist Guide
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A road trip to discover Hampshire

Hampshire is one of England`s home counties, located in the heart of the south and famous for a wealth of different national treasures. As the home of the New Forest, green English countryside, the beachside resorts and naval bases of Portsmouth and Southampton and a series of historical cities and picturesque villages, Hampshire is one of the countries most popular tourist destinations as its contrasting bustling cities and stunning natural landscape attract people of all different ages and walks of life. Hampshire is a county that has something for everyone.

Hampshire has been settled in since the Neolithic ages and so has a wealth of ancient monuments and sites, including the famous Stonehenge in Salisbury Plain. In the surrounding areas there are also a lot of specialized museums focusing on the role of the area in the Norman Conquest and the formation of early British tribes. Over several centuries AD the area became more important as the naval world expanded and so many castles and forts were built along the coast in order to defend the trade and military ports that were being constructed. This means that Hampshire has many stunning old houses and castles to explore as well as many military museums. Southampton in particular was home to famous ships like the Titanic and The Mayflower and in Portsmouth you can explore a replica of H.M.S. Victory which was one of Nelson`s flagships. The historical elements of Hampshire also continue into the past century, as the area was important during the Second World War. Unfortunately due to its involvement in the creation of Spitfires, it was heavily bombed, leaving areas destroyed. Luckily though, the castles, Stonehenge and many of the century-old villages and forts have remained intact and as modern popular tourist destinations they also have facilities for children, gardens to enjoy and numerous shops and craft stalls to take a look at.

As aforementioned, Hampshire is popular amongst nature-lovers too as it is renowned across the country for its areas of natural beauty. The New Forest is a stunning area with lush greenery and orchards of apple and pear trees. It is also remarkably home to large amounts of wild Red Deer, with over 6000 stags. The South Downs are also in Hampshire and are beautiful hills with steep slopes, bordering clays to the south. They are popular with hikers, ramblers and photography alike. The county as a whole is popular with artists and photographers and has inspired the likes of J.M.W. Turner and John Millais over the years.

Within this beautiful landscape there are many typical English villages, offering picturesque architecture, cosy old pubs with roaring fires and views of the surrounding rolling fields and green pastures. Winchester is the county`s capital with over 40,000 inhabitants and although under half the size of Southampton or Portsmouth, Winchester is a cultural hub. It is a historic city with numerous buildings from throughout the ages and many typically English buildings. In contrast, Basingstoke is a modern, more industrialized city and is an ever-developing hub of business and residential areas in Hampshire. It has a large shopping centre, many entertainment facilities and attractions.

With such diverse places and entertainment dotted all over the Hampshire countryside, it can sometimes it can be difficult for prospective tourists to get to see all that the county has to offer. Public transport is available in the county, but in order to explore the winding country lanes and roadside nature, renting a car is often the most sensible option. With a car you can explore all of the landmarks in Hampshire, all of its various landscapes and stop off at countryside pubs for hearty English dinners. Check out the car rental comparison prices before your trip to make the most out of Hampshire.
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