Hampshire is a largely rural county with a strong maritime history along its coast. The cities of Portsmouth, Southampton and Winchester provide some excellent visitor attractions documenting Hampshire’s medieval, maritime and military history as well as excellent shopping. Around the towns you’ll find some of the country’s most beautiful countryside particularly in the New Forest and the South Downs in East Hampshire. Many of the towns and villages are traditional market towns where you’ll find a host of locally grown and produced goods for sale.
For seaside holidays there’s the windsurfing centre of Hayling Island with its long beaches and family fun fair attractions, Lee-on-the-Solent and of course the varied choice of beaches around the Isle of Wight coast. Historic houses like Queen Victoria’s Osborne House on the Isle of Wight and The Vyne near Basingstoke make great days out.
Jane Austen was born in Hampshire and you can visit many of the sites that she visited and the house where she lived in Chawton. If you’re planning to travel without the car you’ll find Hampshire well linked by the national rail and bus network. Southampton Airport is also on the rail network and Southampton with its five cruise terminals is Britain’s premier world cruise ship capital.