Most counties will clammer for the top spot in the UK but Hampshire really does have it all. It’s not surprising it attracts 43.5 million visitors a year. With rolling, rambling hills perfect for hikers to bustling towns brimming with independent shops, delicious eateries and plenty of places for the perfect pint. Hampshire can boast beaches, rivers, chocolate box villages and an events calendar teeming with cultural treats and entertainment.
It’s almost impossible to not fall in love with this county and we’re lucky to have such a variety of artisans and activity providers who call Hampshire their home and offer unforgettable Experiences.
So let’s take a little look at some of our favourite places in Hampshire.
Sea, ships and shopping. A historic maritime city Portsmouth is home to the naval warship, The Mary Rose, reportedly Henry VII favourite ship. After exploring the rest of the Historic Dockyard visitors can enjoy Britain's best viewing tower, Spinnaker Tower which stands at 170 metres tall. But if the high seas and heights aren’t your thing then how about a spot of shopping? With over 90 brands Gunwharf Quays continues to attract savvy shoppers looking for a designer bargain.
Try Ultimate Mary Rose VIP Ship Hall Experience
This little island is just a short ferry trip from Lymington or Portsmouth and it wouldn’t be unfair to nickname it the UK’s answer to Corfu - in the summer at least. Known for their annual sailing regatta in Cowes this patch of land is ideal for those who like to brace the chilly English Channel. Visit their famous Alum Bay with its multicoloured sand and glass blowing house.
Winchester is often voted the best place to live in the UK - all this comes with a hefty price tag. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a few of the finer things in life whilst avoiding the hustle and bustle of a bigger city. Small but mighty, it seems to pack a lot into this pretty little place. If you’re visiting for the day then you will want to add one of their many independent coffee shops to your list for delicious cakes made by local bakers. If you’re heading for food then you can splurge on something fancy at The Ivy or relax and enjoy a pizza at the popular Three Joe’s pizzeria. Winchester cathedral is also a highlight and if you’re feeling brave you can even take a tour up into the rafters and onto the roof for a panoramic view of the city.
Try Wax carving workshop to make a silver coated ring or pendant
If food is your thing then a visit to Southampton should definitely be on your list. An eclectic mix of restaurants and cafes ensure all appetites are catered for - even the pickiest of eaters. Southampton not only attracts the big names of chain restaurants but also a delicious mix of smaller, family-run and independent restaurants that reflect the diversity and culture that Southampton has to offer.
if you like wildlife this is the place for you. You’ll find this town in the heart of the New Forest. There are plenty of walks to choose from and plenty of local wildlife to spot - so bring your binoculars. Once you’ve walked your socks off you can venture back in to the town centre where you can refuel at their many cafes. They also have some fantastic second hand shops too!
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