Hampshire is a beautiful county on the central south coast of England. Incorporating the New Forest and two of the most important national ports, Southampton and Portsmouth, it is a pleasant mix of green countryside, interesting towns and remarkable attractions. The county town is Winchester, famous for its 11th century Cathedral, the former home of Jane Austen and the Great Hall housing the mysterious Round Table, it also has a host of interesting museums and galleries.
Portsmouth is a wonderful city to visit with one foot in the past and one foot firmly in the present, as the home of the Royal Navy. The area is known for its sailing in the Solent, between the mainland and the Isle of Wight. It is the place to see the Royal Naval Museum, the 16th century warship, the Mary Rose and HMS Victory. Take a boat tour of the shipyards or relax on some of the cleanest beaches anywhere.
Hampshire has some wonderful castles and forts which were built over the centuries for defense. Portchester Castle overlooking Portsmouth Harbour, Hurst Castle and Calshot Castle are all worth a visit. Southampton is best known as a major port and shopping centre.
The former royal hunting grounds of the New Forest are now a wonderful area for walking, cycling and horse riding. Ponies, cattle, pigs and donkeys still use the area for open grazing while deer inhabit the secluded greenery. There is a Visitor Centre for the New Forest at Lyndhurst, an old town with many royal connections. Nearby Beaulieu offers a great day out for car enthusiasts with its National Motor Museum of collectible cars. Palace House was once a gatehouse to Beaulieu Abbey and it contains many treasures from the Montagu family. The gardens are also a most enjoyable experience.
Hampshire offers so much of interest from vintage cars and maritime history to gardens and parkland that visitors will not fail to enjoy this delightful green county.