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Summer

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Unlock Summer with a visit to Hampshire and fall back in love with the great British holiday. We are spoilt with beautiful open spaces, amazing attractions, an abundance of accommodation not to mention fabulous food and drink.

Throughout this summer we’re going to inspire and share the best things you can do in Hampshire, whether you’re here for a short break or day trip.
 

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“We’re Good to Go” - Looking after you

Many of our tourism businesses are now open and are excited to welcome you. Visitors are at the heart of everything they do and they have been putting all the necessary steps in place to ensure your visit is safe and as much fun as possible. Businesses are adopting Visit England’s industry standard “We’re Good to Go”. The accreditation is given to businesses that are able to demonstrate adhering to Government and public health guidelines, have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and have the necessary processes in place. If you are a regular visitor to Hampshire’s attractions or accommodation providers, there may be some different processes in place compared to previous visits.
 

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“Know Before You Go” – Check details and restrictions before travelling

You may be eager to visit the county and we want to help you responsibly enjoy your time here. We encourage all visitors to check ahead of travelling to see if there are any restrictions or special procedures in place. It could be that an attraction is only offering pre-booked tickets, a hotel may have a new check-in process or a restaurant is only taking card payments. Processes may differ between businesses.

We also urge visitors to “Respect, Protect and Enjoy” when visiting Hampshire. This can be done by treating your destination, like how you would like to find it. Therefore, maintaining social distancing guidelines, regular hand washing and leaving no trace by taking your litter home with you.


Unlock Hampshire’s Open Spaces

Sunset over the New Forest National Park

Sunset over the New Forest National Park


We are lucky to have the best of both coast and countryside, enabling you to explore our many open spaces.

The New Forest National Park has stunning heathlands and of course the iconic New Forest Ponies. There is plenty of self-catering and camping options available, giving you more time to explore some of the New Forest’s fantastic beauty spots and attractions. 

South Downs National Park

Old Winchester Hill in the South Downs National Park
 

The South Downs National Park is located in east Hampshire and is more undulating than its sister National Park the New Forest in the west. The chalk hills provide an excellent opportunity to venture on great walks rewarding you with panoramic views.

Discover things to do in the New Forest

Discover things to do in the South Downs


Beaches in Hampshire

Milford on Sea Beach

Milford on Sea Beach


Hampshire’s beaches are one of the county’s best kept secrets, they are not so well known as other traditional beach resorts, so benefit from being a little quieter but just as attractive. There are four main stretches of the coastline, with a selection of beaches to ensure you get your vitamin sea; the New Forest, Lee on Solent, Southsea and Hayling Island. 

Discover all of Hampshire’s Beaches


Short Breaks and Accommodation

Glamping in Hampshire

Cedar Valley Glamping near East Meon in the South Downs National Park


If you are looking for a short break, we’ve got all accommodation options covered, from camping in the New Forest at picturesque sites such as Green Hill Farm, that has its own lakes and woodland. Or glamp it up at Cedar Valley in East Meon, South Downs where you can choose to stay in Safari tent, Mongolian Yurt or Betty the Bedford horse lorry.

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Southampton Harbour Hotel

Southampton Harbour Hotel
 

Hampshire has some of the most luxurious hotels in the country, including Lime Wood Hotel where Resident Head Chefs Angela Hartnett and Luke Holder create delicious locally sourced Italian dishes.

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If you are looking for a bolt hole, there are plenty of self-catering options from cute cottages to larger properties for the whole family to stay such as Walnut Tree Cottage in Tiptoe, New Forest.

Top tip: Hampshire's three cities offer a huge choice of accommodation and all are in a great location to access our open spaces. Southampton is a great location to access the New Forest National Park, Portsmouth offers direct routes into the South Downs National Park and Winchester is in close promixety to the Test Valley and South Downs National Park. 

Discover Idyllic Accommodation


Instagramable Towns and Villages

The Town of Stockbridge in the Test Valley

The market town of Stockbridge in the Test Valley


Scattered throughout the county are beautiful towns and villages worthy of making your Instagram feed. Some of our favourites include Stockbridge in the Test Valley where you will find great pubs, independent boutique shops nestled alongside the River Test. Just off the high street (south side) is Stockbridge Common Marsh a great location for a walk and to take in the stunning stretch of the river and its wildlife.  

Lymington is famous for sailing due to being located on the Lymington River and New Forest coastline. Start on the High Street taking in Georgian architecture and then follow the road down to the picturesque Quay Hill where Victorian buildings line the cobbled streets. Don’t forget to pick up an ice cream along the way and eat it down by the quay. 

Alresford is a quaint town just east of Winchester, made up of Georgian buildings in an array of colours. Alresford has been named as one of the UK’s favourite market towns by Country Life. Watercress has been farmed in the town for over a hundred years and there is even a heritage steam railway named after the superfood, the Watercress Line. The Watercress Line service runs between Alresford and Alton; pre-booking is required.

Jane Austen's House in Chawton

Jane Austen's House in the village of Chawton


Chawton in east Hampshire is where Jane Austen famously lived and wrote six of her most well-known novels. When you enter village, you cannot miss Jane Austen’s House with beautiful gardens which can be seen from the path (Jane Austen’s House is a visitor attraction, please check restrictions prior to visiting). There is a great selfie spot outside the house with the heritage road sign highlighting the Jane Austen connections in the village including her house and brother’s home, Chawton House, only a few minutes’ walk away. Jane referred to Chawton House as the Great House due to the size of the Edwardian property along with its expansive gardens. Within the Chawton House estate you will find the quaint St Nicholas Church and a statue of Jane Austen. Chawton House’s cafe offers a great selection of cakes perfect for a pitstop. Take a stroll along Winchester Road and Gosport Road where many of the residents live in attractive thatched cottages with immaculately kept front gardens full of flowers in the summer months.


Photography Competition


Photography Competition Winner 2019 - Calshot Beach

2019 Photography Competition Winner - Sunrise at Calshot Beach


Attention Instagrammers and Photographers! The 2020 Summer Photography competition is now open. Think you have captured a great moment or summer scene enter our competition and be in with a chance to win a £100 John Lewis Voucher. Learn more

See the winners and runners up from previous years competitions. View past photography competitions

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Unlock Activities

Canoeing on in the New Forest

Canoeing on the Beaulieu River with New Forest Activities


If you want to get active this summer, head to the New Forest where you can walk or cycle along the hundreds of miles of tracks. If you fancy taking to the water, why not canoe down the Beaulieu River with New Forest Activities or Stand Up Paddle Board to Hurst Castle with New Forest Paddle Sport Company.

Discover Activities and Sports 


Walking and Hiking


Walking in Hampshire

Walking in the South Downs National Park
 

Whether you are looking for a hike or a short walk in the countryside, we have a huge collection of walks that explore the whole of the county. There are family favourites such as the Bolderwood Deer Spotting Walk or The Meon Valley Trail, or long-distance walks such as the Test Way running from Eling in Southampton to Inkpen Beacon in the north of the county. Or perhaps pick a section of the iconic Solent Way which skirts the Hampshire coastline from Milford on Sea to Emsworth.

Discover great walks in Hampshire

Discover family walks


Unlock Amazing Attractions

Supersized Lego Model at Marwell Zoo

Supersized LEGO exhibtion at Marwell Zoo


Hampshire has hundreds of great attractions, many of which have now re-opened with additional safety precautions to ensure your visit is as safe and seamless as possible. Some attractions are only permitting visitors with pre-booked tickets so please check ahead of your visit.
 

Peppa Pig World at Paultons Park

Peppa Pig World at Paultons Park
 

Paultons Park have all their amazing rides and the acclaimed Peppa Pig World. Now, to save you time, limit physical queues around the park and to help maintain social distancing, Paultons Park have launched a virtual queueing app.  You can also use the app to order food! 

There are some exciting new exhibitions which have recently launched such as Marwell Zoo’s Supersized, which includes 40 brick models of giant animals throughout the zoo. The exhibition comprises of a three-metre high tarantula and a towering red spitting cobra.

Discover Family Attractions
 

Vintage bus at Beaulieu National Motor Museum

Beaulieu National Motor Museum in the New Forest
 

Beaulieu, home to the National Motor Museum have a nostalgic exhibition, Motoring in Miniature – The Toys of Your Childhood. There are over 800 toy cars and pedal cars as well as some from Lord Montague’s own collection.  Beaulieu isn’t just a motor museum; it also has beautiful gardens to explore.

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Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in the Test Valley

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in the Test Valley
 

Make the most of the outdoors this summer at one of Hampshire’s many stately homes and gardens. Unearth Exbury Gardens in the New Forest, Sir Harold Hillier Gardens and Mottisfont in the Test Valley. In the north of the county there’s the Vyne and West Green House Garden and in east Hampshire there is Hinton Ampner.

Discover Gardens

Discover More Things to Do in Hampshire


Food and Drink


Pete Spade Pub in the Test Valley

Pete Spade Pub in the Test Valley
 

Hampshire is a county well known for its great selection of local produce, fine dining restaurants, friendly cafes and cosy pubs. You can support many of Hampshire's eateries throughout August by taking part in the governments 'Eat Out to Help Out' scheme. 

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Harbar on 6th at Southampton Harbour Hotel

Harbar on 6th at Southampton Harbour Hotel
 

Why not enjoy Hampshire's delicious food and drink in some of the best places to eat outdoors, whilst soaking up the sunshine. We have put together a guide to some of the top places in Hampshire you can sit outdoors, relax, and enjoy a bite to eat or a cooling drink. From great pub gardens, fine dining at country house hotels, gin and tonics by the sea to vibrant city centre outdoor café culture, Hampshire is a foodies dream. 

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Getting to Hampshire

Hampshire is very accessible, below are a sample average journey times by car:

Travel times by car to Hampshire