In Southampton, Gosport and Portsmouth you'll find a wealth of literary, artistic and historical attractions and along the coastline there are nature reserves, country parks and activity centres.
It is accessible by road or via the Gosport ferry, conveniently situated at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard also has thrills of its own with the interactive museum Action Stations, The Royal Naval Museum, HMS Victory, HMS Warrior 1860 and the Mary Rose Museum.
Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson are two of fiction's most famous characters and Portsmouth's extensive collection of Arthur Conan Doyle memorabilia can now be seen at the 'A Study in Sherlock' exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum.
Kids will love the seafront and funfair, Blue Reef Aquarium and Pyramids leisure centre at Southsea while at nearby Hayling Island there are nature reserves, Blue Flag beaches, a mini railway and walking and cycling trails.
Southampton's magnificent City Art Gallery has over 3,500 works of art and an enviable reputation while the city also hosts the annual Southampton Boat Show.
Southampton's 800-year-old Bargate is now open to the public while the Museum of Archaeology, Medieval Merchant's House, Solent Sky Hall of Aviation and SeaCity Museum offer fascinating insights into Southampton's Roman, medieval, aviation and maritime history.
Further along the coast the River Hamble is ideal for sailing, water sports and wildlife-spotting while on the New Forest shoreline you'll find Lepe Country Park, Hurst Castle and Calshot Activities Centre.
Country Parks along The Solent
The coastal nature reserve at Titchfield Haven provides tranquillity for birdwatchers and walkers while Hampshire's role in the D-Day invasions can be seen in the remains of mulberry harbours at Lepe and Hayling Island.