15 Best Places Visit Hampshire
If youre into British naval history and ship-building, Portsmouth is the place to come. Not only is it home to the Royal Navy, but it has also played a crucial role in many famous sea battles. If youre a fan of historical events and want to learn about the greatest sailors in Britain, then it is very likely your visit to Portsmouth will be one youll never forget. Portsmouths place in history is without equal, its influence on the art of war and the face of the worlds oceans has been immense.
Southampton was a place with low lying coastal marshes and geology that made the soil thin and poor, Hampshire Local (hampshirelocal.co.uk). This lead to the growth of the docks when the ships were built with iron fastenings instead of oak, hence needing places to carry out repair work on them. The town's initial population growth came because people moved in as a result of small scale manufacturing process in boat building, sail making, boat repairing and rope making.
This was what brought about the town's name "South-Hampton" later shortened to Southampton. In the Victorian Era, Southampton had a huge growth spurt. The port and the local shipbuilding industry became more important than ever before. In fact, it is thanks to the shipyards in Southampton that the navy was able to build the HMS Dreadnought. That gave Southampton Naval Dockyard its name, as well as the title of second most important city in England during Victorian times – after London.
On the east coast, bustling cultural centre Southampton is a traditional hub for ferries and cruise ships. The sprawling docks, with their cranes and wooden piers, hint at the town's maritime past. Dickens'birthplace and the ruins of Netley Abbey, visited by Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, mark its more cultured side. Many of those beautiful Georgian and Victorian buildings remain. Take a stroll along The Esplanade, the Pierhead, The Town Quay and Queensway to see a pleasing variety of architecture from many eras.
3. New Forest
New Forest National Park is a national park in England which covers the bulk of the New Forest. Established as the New Forest National Park in March 2005, it became Englands thirteenth national park in October 2010. The New Forest National Park Authority is responsible for managing these areas. The New Forest or New Forrest is an area of southern England which borders Hampshire and Dorset. It covers about 55 square miles (140 km²) and consists almost entirely of trees and other woody vegetation.
The name also refers to the New Forest National Park which has similar boundaries. The New Forest National Park covers some 380 square kilometres of beech and oak forest, open pasture and heathland that is the remains of one of the largest tracts of unenclosed medieval hunting country in Southern England. The New Forest is an area of southern England which lies on the border of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. It's actually a really big area, but only parts are protected as National Parks.
The New Forest is an area of South England which covers a large part of the county of Hampshire and touches parts of Wiltshire. It could be argued that all modern navies trace their lineage to Portsmouth. With so much to discover, youll have no problem finding something for everyone to enjoy. 2. Kittery Trading Post. Located in Kittery, theres lots of Americana on display here including vintage clothing and accessories. And if youre into collecting antiques then theres a good selection of pre-war makes in all sorts of prices.
Winchester is the capital of England. It is known as the heart of England. The city was founded by the Romans as Venta Belgarum in AD 43 which translates into market town in Brythonic. More than 1,000 years later, Winchester was given the title: “Capital of the Kingdom of Wessex” during Edward the Elder’s reign. It was a royal residence for more than 700 years with Canute and Alfred the Great as its most noted residents.
Winchester is steeped in history. It’s believed that Stonehenge lies on the line of a Roman road leading to what was then Venta Belgarum: a fortress that guarded the north-western boundary of the Empire. The town, strategically placed at the junction of two historic roads, Christchurch Street and Kingsgate Street, was an important trade location before it became a major political one. The first record of the town was in the eighth century but it was not formally mentioned until AD 901.
The town became an important religious centre in the Anglo-Saxon period and Winchester became a royal borough in AD 962. Many notable people were born here, such as William of Wykeham who built both New College, Oxford and Winchester College. Winchester is steeped in history. It was a major garrison town and trading centre during the Roman occupation of Britain. The now Romanised tribe who lived there, the Belgae, were also significant people in British history—their properties near Weymouth are believed to be the earliest ever found in Britain.
5. South Downs National Park
Up until a few years ago I did not know anything about the South Downs. My first introduction to them was on Guy Fawkes Night when I was staying in Havant and went out for a walk up Portsdown Hill. I returned home with only mild interest in this green belt that marks some of the county’s southern border, and sought out photographs of it on Google to see if it was something more memorable.
While it does contain farmland, road, and other forms of development, but for me nothing seemed particularly memorable about it — aside from one or two peaks which were distant from my viewpoint. When travelling from West to East, the first place to stop and explore in Hampshire is the South Downs, with its stunning views and abundance of animal wildlife. There are several national parks in England, but only one is chalk-downland: the South Downs National Park.
This national park is a site which enthrals many visitors because of its rich history, rolling hills and iconic white horses. If you are looking for things to do in Southampton, make sure you make it a point to visit the South Downs National Park. The South Downs is of course known for the white chalk cliffs along the coast that can be seen from as far away as the Isle of Wight. Popular with walkers and cyclists, these section of south coast have a long history as popular worshiping spots, including but not limited to Saxon times and even pagan religious cults.
For sheer national park splendor and natural beauty, the South Downs National Park is well worth a visit. The landscape also saw strategic importance during the Second World War, when Romney Marsh became home to thousands of barrage balloons – a military line of defense against the German Luftwaffe. Stretching from the white cliffs of Eastbourne in the south up to Winchester at its centre, the South Downs is easy to explore by car. The range of activities on offer is pretty broad – from cycling and walking to nature watching and horse riding.
But it’s not just a place for outdoor enthusiasts. In addition to a thick and diverse cover of woodlands, the National Park is home to many classic English rural landscapes. Climb up onto the historic Beacon Hill and you’ll have wide open views across acres of rolling farmland with the magnificent South Downs rising majestically in the distance. We now move up the M3 to Winchester. It’s just under 90 miles north of London and is one of the oldest cities in Britain; being one of the four capitals in the early medieval period.
The famous White Cliffs of Dover dominate the landscape of this area and are one of the best things to see in England. The chalk cliffs were formed some 200 million years ago and stretch for eight miles along the coastline. On a clear day youll be able to make out the French coast from Dover. To get up close to these beautiful cliffs, a great place is Dover Castle, built in medieval times and standing tall and strong above the port city.
It has been standing watch over the English Channel since Roman times and is filled with exhibitions that chronicle its long history. The Village of Andover with a population of about 6600 is quaint and picturesque. Its wooden houses and white clapboard churches reflect the New England heritage. Here you will find the American Antiquarian Society, the Berkshires largest private library of over 250,000 volumes on history, literature, music and genealogy. This 5-acre complex has been called the "Cradle of American History" as it was here that in 1812, Louis Désiré Théodore Frietmann copied by hand a substantial part of The Diary of Samuel Pepys.
Andover is a picturesque medieval town, that is a must-see on any visit to the South of England. One of its points of interest is the lofty Church St. Marys with its well preserved tower that is 65 meters high. Also worth a visit is the Andover Museum which exhibits over 2000 years of history of people living in this area. Up until 1891, Andover was an important railway center. The construction of the railway between Oxford and Cambridge (the Varsity Line) made this part of the countryside less attractive for wealthy families.
That is why a lot of stately homes are rarely open to the public now which is a shame. If youre in a hurry, stick to the A303 and youll be in Exeter in an hour. But bear left at Andover and youll drive through bucolic countryside of smooth chalk hills spotted with little villages, and criss-crossed with subtly undulating roads. As you head northwest you'll drive through bucolic countryside of smooth chalk hills. These downs, or high pastures as they're called, are renowned for their rich grazing, which attracts the beautiful Southdown white sheep.
The Test Valley is renowned for its beautiful villages and the market town of Romsey is no exception. This charming little town has a rich history with various key events having taken place there over the years. It is home to regular markets, a preserved Roman bridge and castle ruins, not to mention plenty of great shops to keep you busy on a rainy day. If you need any more reasons to visit this lovely town then there are plenty of hotels in Romsey that have their own interesting tales to tell.
On the outskirts of Romsey sits the Nonconformist Chapel which was built in 1875 by a group of Primitive Methodists, who were popular at the time. While standing all on its own, away from Romsey town, The Nonconformist Chapel shares a quality that many buildings in Test Valley share – exceptional architectural beauty. The Test Valley is a beautiful place to enjoy the English countryside, with quaint villages set in rolling hills. Of all the places to live in this part of Hampshire, Romsey is one of the prettiest.
Theres a lot to see in the little town that doesnt look like much from the outside; but once you get inside the old walls and glimpse at what was once home of a palace, Winchester Castle, you will understand why it was listed among England’s most valuable. After all, when Henry VIII was a young man he wooed Anne Boleyn here – and so it was also where she fell for him. No matter how much time you have for your visit, there is someplace you definitely need to stop at before leaving town – just make sure its been open when you arrive.
It was a little difficult for me to find information about what exactly is going on in Alton these days besides the obvious big events that occur yearly like the St. Lawrence country fair and such, but I did find some info on a local blog from way back. The blog featured a rather long post about the yearly Wednesday market which had just occurred; the first sentence of this post was titled 1564 and began with “The market dates back to at least 1564 …”.
Most places are rooted to the land around them. In Alton, one of those places is the main market square. It's a space where people have come together for many hundreds of years to sell their wares, to worship or to spend time with family and friends. It’s one of the most valuable and historic market squares in England; valued enough in fact that it was entered into the Domesday book in 1086. I always enjoy a day out at Alton market.
It is really a wonderful feel good experience to walk up to the show and meet the butchers and other trade people. Its one of my favourite market experiences in Hampshire, drawing in many thousands every Tuesday of fresh fruit, vegetables, clothes and other goods from across south Hampshire. There were four great markets in England that held the right to be called fairs. They were held at St. Ives, in Huntingdonshire; St. Denis, in Bedfordshire; St.
Lymington is a picturesque coastal town with a long history of sailing, smuggling and maritime trade. It has a victorian pier with an active shipyard serving yachts to the shores of the Solent. There are many 18th–20th-century houses in the town which have been converted into shops and art galleries, as well as a harbourside museum. Many of Lymington’s attractions have grown up around its long-established maritime activities. The lighthouse on St Catherine’s Point is well known to shipping and boasts spectacular views and a small museum about the history of its keepers.
In Barton-on-Sea there is an observatory, beach, walking paths and a small arts community. Lymington is an historic market town in the south of Hampshire, England. It has a population of 11,373 according to the 2011 census. About a mile inland, close to the edge of the New Forest, Lymington was historically an important port, with links to the Atlantic trade from the 16th century until the mid-19th century. A ferry crossing between Lymington and Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight operated until 2010 when it was discontinued in the face of stiff competition from cheaper and more frequent road services operated by Southern Vectis.
Lymington is the key embarkation point for ferries to the IOW and Europe (as well as being served by its own station on the South Western mainline with a regular train service to Southampton and London), but it retains plenty for those who choose to wander unaccompanied along its spacious frontages or take an afternoon excursion in the New Forest. Lymington is replete with museums, galleries and historic buildings set in a beautiful rural landscape at the mouth of the River Lymington.
The town is also close to the seaside resorts of Bournemouth, Boscombe and the Isle of Wight. Lymington is a quaint historic town by the sea in the New Forest National Park in Hampshire, England. Albans, in Hertfordshire; and Alton, in Hampshire. Surrounded by woodland, it’s famous for its historic abbey and bustling market. A picturesque Old Town with its cobbled streets and traditional buildings makes Romsey a great place for an afternoon wander. id'7'>.
The earliest traces of a settlement at Basingstoke date to the Iron Age. A few years later, 60-70 AD, the Romans built a massive imperial fortress on the banks of the River Loddon called Clausentum. You can still see sections of their town walls today. The town remained a small settlement till 1051, when William the Conqueror gifted it to his wife for her use when she visited him in Normandy. In 1201 it became royal property and Henry III ennobled eight citizens of Basingstoke as borough gentry.
He made his money from trading wool with France, which he owned large tracts of land there. The town is connected to Londons via the train route, with London Waterloo just under an hours travel time away. This makes the location ideal for commuters working in London, although being two hours out of the capital means that Basingstoke is quiet during nights and weekends. This can make finding a property challenging if you need one for letting purposes.
In the late 1990s the council sought to counteract this and bring new jobs to the town. Early proposals included a giant supermarket and a 90,000 square metre shopping centre, but instead of building these, the council decided to create a new town in Basingstoke as part of the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) initiative. Warner Brothers founded its British studio in the town in the 1920s. Basingstoke is well placed for connections to London, with two main railway lines running out of London Waterloo, with services about every 10 minutes during rush hour.
Lyndhurst is the largest village in the New Forest. It was in olden times one of the several market towns and was known as Bishop Lyndhurst. Nowadays it is a thriving tourist destination with many cafes and shops, including its own well-known supermarket that has been frequented by the Queen on many occasions. You'll find that Lyndhurst has many lovely local businesses that you can be proud to showcase to your potential customers. I don't know if I would say that Lyndhurst is the unofficial capital of the New Forest Park, but either way its a great little village with some amazing pubs and restaurants.
It's beautiful to walk around by the canal in the spring and summer months, and you can even watch canoeists practicing as you walk. There are also some great places to visit whilst here such as Boldrewood garden and Moat House Hotel. Lyndhurst is the last settlement on the highway down to the New Forest and one of the most popular destinations in the National Park. The area is steeped with history, including Henry VIII's hunting lodge and an ancient iron age hill fort.
Today the village plays host to markets and vibrant events and attractions all year round. Now, Lyndhurst is not a capital. You won’t find any government buildings in the village and it has no formal powers. But by many accounts, it is the unofficial capital of the New Forest. That title may sound like a long-held responsibility, but I assure you that it’s a seat that has been hotly contested for decades. In the last census, the population of Basingstoke as counted at 126,409.
Austens Cottage is the most famous home in Chawton and is where she lived at the end of her life. The house hasn’t changed much, but it has been restored to a late Georgian period. Free to enter, you can view the house and see the study where she wrote (this is now a museum of books and manuscripts from her time), as well as the dining room apparently unchanged since Austen days, which was rumoured to have held over twenty people.
The simplicity of this room adds to its charm. Visitors can enjoy a stroll around this pretty village and take in the views of the Hampshire countryside. The former rectory where Jane and Cassandra lived is now owned by the National Trust as part of a small Austen themed museum run by Jane Austens house trust. History enthusiasts can also visit the nearby Alton Towers (10 minute drive) where visitors can find out what life was like for those living in Britain during the World Wars.
Dame (Jane) Austen is buried in an unmarked grave in the parochial church of St Nicholas at Chawton in Hampshire, where she spent the last eight years of her life. She died there on 18 July 1817. Austen has been widely celebrated; her novels are among the most popular and widely read in English literature. Her realism, biting irony and social commentary have gained her historical importance among scholars and critics. You could probably drive past this little village in southern England, and not even realise that Jane Austen lived here.
Yet the novelists link to Chawton is now so strong that it was deemed worthy of a whole museum dedicated to her life. This little museum just outside of Alton, Hants has become ever more popular with locals and tourists since its opening in 1994. Austen spent most of her life in the village, and completed some of her most famous novels there, including Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do, but when in Spencer County, do as the Kentuckians do. The residents of this town know how to celebrate and have plenty of festivals throughout the year to keep it fun. It is also conveniently located just up the road from Louisville so you still get to experience all the city has to offer. When you consider how much there is to do and all the beautiful properties there, there really isn’t a reason you shouldn’t consider Stockbridge for your next home purchase.
Stockbridge, Massachusetts has a population of just 650 people. That’s less than a school class. And yet it boasts the most houses listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) per capita in the entire US 51 to be precise. Twenty six of those are contributing properties – a contributing structure is one that reflects important architectural characteristics of its time period; eg it’s an historical building located within a historic district. Steeped in history, this once-rural Belmont hamlet offers an idyllic setting for homes and businesses.
Standouts include 19th-century houses in the local architectural style of the day, and the century-old River Street shops and inns. Even the preserved railroad depot is a testament to times past. Today’s Stockbridge residents are proud of their heritage—and that pride is well demonstrated in the village’s shops and restaurants. What many people don’t know about Stockbridge is that it provides a wealth of historic treasure, all within steps of one another. The historic district offers something for everyone: local artists, fun antique shops, historically unique inns and restaurants, as well as spacious historic estates perfect for weddings or other special events.
Stockbridge is a small village in the middle of Hampshire, with an excellent range of hotels and restaurants in easy reach of the M3. If you like browsing around historic buildings, this is the place to head for. It has a long list of buildings listed by English Heritage for their historic or architectural interest. There are loads of small quaint towns in the USA, but few can match Stockbridge when it comes to significance in American history.
In fact, Stockbridge is known as America's first planned village. Chawton today is a popular tourist destination for fans of Austens work. The charming village of Chawton is set in the heart of the Hampshire countryside, moments from Alton, on the south bank of the River Alton. It was here that Jane Austen spent her later years and wrote some of her most famous works. This figure is expected to rise further due to plans to expand the town’s boundaries.
Historically part of the parish of Rotherfield, it was created at a time when both parishes were split between different barons. Petersfield emerged at the crossing of important trade routes and has been a major trading centre ever since. The village still boasts an impressive manor house, with a long history of distinguished owners. These have included Henry VIII’s chancellor, Thomas More. From crooked tree-lined lanes to a stone cross in the main square, Petersfield has not changed much at all in the intervening centuries and is one of the few ‘planned’ villages in England.
This is most evident in the almost identical row of red-brick Georgian houses (dating back to 1712) that run along the length of the High Street. Petersfield has a remarkable long history which stretches back to its creation in the 12th Century as a planned settlement. The village owes much of its prosperity and indeed modern appearance largely to the Victorians who arrived here from 1838 and built many of the fine houses we see today.
A lengthy and winding High Street is the heart of the town centre. The shops here are in no rush to pounce on the passing trade that flows towards them in a steady stream of grey pea-souper fogs. The independent traders have stood firm against Tesco's repeated attempts to move into Fareham by offering more than just a range of greetings cards and a couple of trolleys here you'll find everything from newsagents to bars, delis to dry cleaners.
If Portsmouth is the UK’s only island city, then Fareham is the only town at the sea. It was first named in 1086, and had an ‘e’ stuck onto the end a millennium later to distinguish it from the village eight miles to its north (no longer extant). There is evidence of settlement in prehistory: a Mesolithic leaf-shaped arrowhead has been found in the farmyard at Alderbury, and a Bronze Age barrow stands on Fort Hill.
Fareham has a range of local businesses, but what makes it such a worthwhile place to browse the shops is its location. It's just a stone’s throw from Portsmouth and yet is quiet enough to pretend you're miles away from the big city. The sleepy backstreets of High Street are home to everything from pubs and restaurants to independent bookstores and antique shops. The town is mainly residential, but quiet at night, with some good restaurants and cafes.