Visit Hampshire for a fabulous family holiday or short break away
There are many great reasons why you should holiday in Hampshire and while it may lack the drama of the West Country, Hampshire’s very varied scenery is undoubtedly its key attraction. There’s just about something for everyone within its borders making it an ideal destination for family holidays, walking holidays or just a short break or weekend away – from the wooded acres of the New Forest, established by William the Conqueror as a deer park (ideal for walking, riding and cycling), to the county’s noble rivers, the Meon, Test and Itchen among them (considered by many to be the best trout fishing rivers in the country); and from its partly secluded coast, overlooking Southampton Water, the Isle of Wight and the Solent, to an extensive range of picturesque villages and historic towns.
Hampshire is also one of those counties where driving or cycling along quiet, meandering country lanes can be a pleasure rather than a curse. It is in these rural backwaters that you’ll find a vast network (over 3000 miles) of public footpaths, bridleways and long-distance trails, allowing you to explore the countryside on foot, fully appreciating its character and beauty – fabulous rambling and walking holiday country.
Winchester, once the capital of England, is steeped in history and its quaint streets are lined with fascinating museums, Winchester Cathedral, and many handsome buildings. And just a short distance from Winchester is National Trust owned Mottisfont Abbey with is famous rose gardens – absolutely not to be missed.
Mid and north Hampshire are perhaps a little underrated but here you’ll find remote swathes of downland and lush countryside. The Vyne, now managed by the National Trust, and Highclere Castle, made famous as the location for Downton Abbey, can be found in this part of the county – just two among many historic houses in Hampshire open to the public and well worth a visit.
In a Nutshell: Sleepy thatched village setting for this smartened up pub just minutes from the A303 – it’s the perfect pit stop for great pub food and summer sipping in the riverside garden. Comfortable rooms too for weary travellers
In a Nutshell: Stunning Test Valley village location for this fabulous fishing and shooting inn, just yards from the famous chalk stream and worth finding for classic British food and country smart rooms
In a Nutshell: Rambling bars (four fires), great pub food and fabulous revamped rooms await those who find this famous city centre gem tucked away in Winchester’s back streets close to the Cathedral and College
In a Nutshell: 500-year-old village inn rescued, restored and reinvented with style by Upham Pubs; country-chic feel, good modern pub food, super comfortable rooms above the bar and in converted stables
In a Nutshell: Informal inn within a grand house deep in the New Forest; haven for country lovers looking for good pub food, a relaxed vibe and stylish country-chic bedrooms. Wonderful walking from the front door.