Guide To Holidaying In Hampshire
A guide by Emily Roberts
The county of Hampshire is hugely varied, stretching from the ancient new forest, the busy coasts of the Solent and the more industrial areas of Basingstoke & Southampton. Wherever you stay in Hampshire, there's a great deal to offer the holidaymaker. Book a holiday cottage in Hampshire and enjoy your stay whether it be messing about on boats to trekking in the new forest or enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Meon Valley.
Hampshire is in the far south of England and is one of the largest non-metropolitan counties.
Winchester used to be the capital city of England and every year the town hosts the popular 'Hat Fair' where street entertainers perform in the town centre and park. Visit the Rectory for local, seasonal food at the restaurant claimed to be the oldest house in Winchester.
The Solent is an ideal place for sailing and bird watching. Some of Hampshire's best beaches are found here including Hayling Island, awarded the Blue Flag for its cleanliness.
Marwell Zoo is home to 200 different species of animal from lovebirds to ostriches. The family attraction is set in 100 acres of landscaped woodland and is devoted to saving endangered species from around the world.
The up and coming town of Basingstoke has a newly developed shopping centre and vast range of restaurants. Eat at the popular Spanish tapas restaurant La Tasca, or the former shop premises Galletto's, skilfully converted into an Italian restaurant.
One of the world's most famous authors, [link=http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/janewrit.html]Jane Austen spent most of her life in Hampshire where she found inspiration to write Pride and Prejudice. Her 17th century house still remains in Chawton and is visited by thousands each year. In nearby Alton is author Gilbert White's House. Enjoy a bite to eat from the café while relaxing in the 18th century gardens.
During the Middle Ages Lymington was well known as a shipbuilding port. The small town is near the New Forest which was established by William the Conqueror in 1079 and is now visited by millions of walkers. But picnickers are warned to watch out for wild ponies that aren't afraid of helping themselves to food!
The seaside resort of Portsmouth is the home of the British Navy and in the dockyard is the greatest collection of navy ships in the world including the HMS Victory. The waterfront provides the perfect location for eating out and Loch Fyne specialises in seafood. If you prefer Chinese cuisine, visit celebrity chef Ken Hom's Yellow River Café.
The preserved steam railway, the Watercress line runs between the towns of Alton and Alresford. Now a heritage attraction it is run by volunteers who organise special events throughout the year. The 10-mile long line has been used in many television programmes and films including Bullseye staring Roger Moore.
Finkley Down Farm in Andover is a children's farm where visitors can feed the animals, play on the adventure playground or enjoy homemade cakes in the tea room. The mother of King Harold lived in Andover at Fifehead Manor, which is now a restaurant.
The Farmers Market is held in towns across Hampshire where local farmers sell their produce from the area. Customers can sample foods from ostrich to seasonal fruit.
The Titanic departed from Southampton in 1912 marking the beginning of a fateful voyage. The Southampton Maritime Museum features an exhibition devoted to the tragic story. View the marina while eating at the Boathouse restaurant, specialising in seafood.
Find A Holiday Cottage In Hampshire