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...
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 of any trip here won’t mean being 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 Plum Guide's pick of places to visit in Hampshire.
Jane Austen’s house
Don your bonnets and don’t forget to pack your parasols, because this is the stuff that an Austen superfan’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.
For your very own Pride and Prejudice moment, this spectacular and roomy house has plenty of grounds to walk through contemplating your marriage, a roll top bath to soak in while your suitors wait for you downstairs and a pool to swim away the angst of wearing the wrong dress to the ball. If you're a true bookworm, do flick through our favourite home library ideas, inspired by real Plum Guide homes.
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.
For a luxurious property so near to the sea you can smell the salty air, discerning guests will love this adorable flat. Who’s for a dip?
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 the fact that it was 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.
If you’re after a property that will hold a full train’s-worth of lucky visitors, this gorgeous home will do the trick. Equipped with a hot tub, cinema, sauna and a very well stocked bar, though, you might struggle to find the motivation to leave it – and who could blame you?
The New Forest
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 what 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. For a place to stay with just as much incredible nature as the New Forest, this riverside cottage has stunning natural surroundings, a private deck to watch the wildlife and a wood burning stove indoors for when it gets nippy at night.
Now you know the best places to visit in Hampshire, it's time to find somewhere to stay. Why not check out our Hampshire listings? At Plum Guide, we professionally vet every home we list, so you know you're in for a great night's sleep in a Plum Guide home.