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The Best Places to Visit in Hampshire

Looking to discover a list of top place to visit in Hampshire? Well, would you look what we have here...

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A wide path alongside frosted grass early in the morning in The New Forest, Hampshire, UK

Hampshire is a place that can slip under the radar. One of England’s gems, its quiet, unassuming beauty means that you can be sure a trip here won’t be overrun with tourists. Instead, you can enjoy Hampshire’s beaches, woods and countryside in perfect company - your own. From gorgeous seaside to forests filled with ponies, here’s our pick of places to visit in Hampshire. And in case you didn't know, we here at Plum Guide are experts when it comes to all things travel, so if you want a trip to remember for all the right reasons, heed our advice.

Jane Austen’s house

Jane Austen House & Museum, Chawton, Hampshire, UK | Photo by iknow-uk is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Jane Austen House & Museum, Chawton, Hampshire, UK | Photo by iknow-uk is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Don your bonnets and don’t forget to pack your parasols, because this is the stuff that an Austen super fan’s dreams are made of. The Jane Austen house is where Britain’s favourite novelist wrote Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey, so don’t be surprised if you leave the grounds with the inspiration for a novel that you’ll spend the rest of your life meaning to write but never quite getting to. Museum haters rejoice, because this museum isn’t dusty and fusty at all - instead, it’s a hands-on interactive experience so well preserved that you half expect a man to drop to his knees and propose to you around every corner (dream on). The building is Grade I listed, with the 17th-century parlour an impressive highlight. You can view Austen’s actual desk and a selection of her letters. And if you’re not a Mr Darcy fan, the beautiful gardens surrounding the cottage will keep you entertained.

Little Orange Leaf, Plum Guide home in Hampshire, UK

Little Orange Leaf, Plum Guide home in Hampshire, UK

Hayling Island

Sand and the sea at the beach at Hayling Island, Hampshire, England, UK

Sand and the sea at the beach at Hayling Island, Hampshire, England, UK

One of our favourite places to visit in England, Hayling Island isn’t just a pretty and traditional British seaside spot - it’s also where windsurfing was invented. All you thrill-seekers out there, grab your wetsuits and make sure that your family waiting on the beach has a camera to catch you proudly in action. Or to photograph you falling into the sea over and over again, depending on your skill level. Whether you’re a windsurfing fan or not, there’s no better place to visit in Hampshire on a sunny day than this five miles of shoreline and candy-coloured beach huts. You can cycle or hike the Hayling Billy coastal path, play some beach cricket, go for a chilly swim and show your kids how to build the ultimate sandcastle.

The World's My Oyster, Plum Guide home in Hampshire, UK

The World's My Oyster, Plum Guide home in Hampshire, UK

The Watercress Line

Railway nerds (we know you’re out there), this one’s for you. One of the UK’s most well known heritage railways, the Watercress Line gets its charming name from its past - it was once used as a means of quickly transporting bundles of the popular salad leaf from their Hampshire beds to London plates. Wonderfully preserved, you can finally have that Railway Children handkerchief moment you’ve been wanting your whole life. Definitely one of the more nerdy unique things to do in Hampshire, this one. A family of locomotives chugs the Watercress Line for ten miles between Alton and Alresford. All the carriages have been restored to their original 1940s glory, and there’s truly no better way to see the Hampshire countryside than from the window of a steam train. All aboard one of the most fun places to visit in Hampshire.

The Good Life, Plum Guide home in Hampshire, UK

The Good Life, Plum Guide home in Hampshire, UK

The New Forest

Trees and grass in a wooded area of The New Forest, Hampshire, England

Trees and grass in a wooded area of The New Forest, Hampshire, England

This is one of Britain’s most breathtaking landscapes. An enormous 285 square miles of forest, trails and heathland, it’s a truly unspoilt part of the world. Plus, it’s home to 5,000 of the cutest, chubbiest ponies you’ve ever seen. You can ramble, hike and bike to your heart’s content through beech and oak forest. It’s so wild and untouched you almost expect to be fairies flitting through the trees - the New Forest really is that magical. For those with horse-obsessed children (we see you and we salute you), we’re sorry to tell you that the ponies aren’t tame and are to be admired from a distance only.

There are also cattle, donkeys and deer all roaming wild, so you never know which creature is around the next corner. There are also plenty of man-made attractions to enjoy. The beautiful 13th-century Beaulieu Palace House, for instance, which houses the National Motor Museum and Beaulieu Abbey, plus a number of excellent real ale breweries. So there you have it. You now know the very best places to visit in Hampshire.

Shingle Beach, Plum Guide home in Hampshire, UK

Shingle Beach, Plum Guide home in Hampshire, UK

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