Days Out In Hampshire

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Are you looking for things to do in Hampshire? Well here is a great list of places to visit in Hampshire and days out in Hampshire for all the family. 

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Days Out In Hampshire

Hampshire is nestled in the centre of England’s south coast. It has south east England and the South Downs on one side, and Dorset and the West country stretching out to the west. And there are so many Hampshire tourist attractions and fun day trips to be had beyond the obvious ones in Southampton and Portsmouth.

Here are our favourite Hampshire places to visit.


There is a host of amazing historic attractions and things to see in Portsmouth itself. You may need more than just a day trip. From old Portsmouth, the original medieval town that dates back to Norman times, to Spinnaker Tower that stands tall over the quayside.

Things to do in Hampshire - Portsmouth

From Gunwharf Quays, a designer shopping outlet where you will find a myriad of brands, to the museum and art gallery. There is so much to do in this historic naval city.

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Special mention has to go to this small part of the city of Portsmouth. The historic dockyard of Portsmouth has a wealth of famous boats and ships to visit.

If you love Tudor history, the Mary Rose is here in the dockyard. This famous Tudor battleship once waged war for Henry VIII, but sank in 1545. It was famously raised in 1982, and now you can see some of the weapons and sailing equipment alongside the remnants of the vessel in the Mary Rose museum.

Looking for a more recent battleship? Then the iron-hulled armoured HMS Warrior may be more your style. Warrior was the pride of the Victorian navy. She was the first armoured ship in the fleet, and was the largest and fastest ship at the time. She has now been lovingly restored and serves as a museum and popular private hire venue.

Marwell Zoo

The next place on my list of things to do in Hampshire is Marwell Zoo. The zoo is a 140 acre park, with 100s of animals including giraffes, leopards, tigers, meerkats and humboldt penguins.

Things to do in Hampshire - Humboldt penguins at Marwell Zoo

With 5 adventure playgrounds and plenty to see, it is definitely one of the best family days out in Hampshire.

New Forest National Park

If it is nature, animals and scenery you are after, then the New Forest National Park should definitely be on your agenda.

Even driving through the countryside here could bring you into contact with the famous New Forest ponies. These are free ponies and horses that roam the parks. But the New Forest is home to some wonderful walks, New Forest activities and wildlife spotting opportunities. 

New Forest ponies

The New Forest is also home to some incredibly picturesque villages, such as Brockenhurst and Beaulieu. 

Beaulieu National Motor Museum

And whilst you are in Beaulieu, it is definitely worth visiting the National Motor Museum. Here you will find over 280 motor cars, cycles and motoring items. Explore the history of motoring in this award winning family attraction.

Highclere Castle

You cannot mention Hampshire attractions without mentioning Highclere Castle. This Grade I listed country house and country park is the main setting for the fictional historical TV drama Downton Abbey. But it has also appeared in other films and television series such as Jeeves and Wooster and Robin Hood – Prince of Thieves.

Highclere Castle

The 5000 acre estate was designed by Capability Brown. And a tour of the home and gardens really should be on your list of places to go in Hampshire.

Paulton’s Park

Next of the attractions Hampshire has to offer is Paulton’s Park. Paulton’s Park is the home of Peppa Pig World, and is a large adventure theme parks attraction.

Found in Ower, Romsey, there is an adventure park, theme park, gardens, water splash areas and so many more things to see and do. Definitely one of the best activities for kids in Hampshire.

Jane Austen’s House

Jane Austen was one of the most treasured and famous writers in English literature today, so it is wonderful that you can go to visit the place where she actually wrote her novels.

Village of Chawton, where Jane Austen's house is situated.

In the village of Chawton you will find her cottage, an inspiring museum that celebrates the life of this influential and beloved author.

The Bombay Sapphire Distillery

One of the most unusual things to do in Hampshire is to visit the place where Bombay Sapphire gin is distilled.

Laverstoke Mill near Whitchurch was once a paper mill, but was bought by Bombay Sapphire in 2010 to turn into a visitor centre. (Bombay Sapphire gin has been distilled in Warrington, Lancashire since 1761.) Since 2014, you can see the history and visit for taster and cocktail making sessions. Definitely one of the most interesting days out in Hampshire for adults!

Winchester Cathedral

The cathedral of Winchester is one of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe. This Norman Gothic style high churches started in 1079, and is dedicated to the Holy Trinity and several saints including St Peter St Paul. But the most notable of the saints honoured is St Swithun. 

Winchester Cathedral

Winchester Science Centre

And also whilst you are in Winchester it is worth giving the Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium a visit. This is the south of England’s most exciting hands on science and discovery centre.

Through fun, interactive demos and experiments, you can go on a journey through a magical world of science, maths, technology and engineering. There are plenty of exhibitions devoted to nature and space. 

Hayling Island

Finally on our list of places to go in Hampshire today is Hayling Island. This is a true island just off the south coast to the east of Southampton. There are a host of activities and places to see just on Hayling Island alone. So it is well worth a look to see if there is anything you wish to see and do.

It is certainly one of the best places to visit near Southampton if you are into golf, sailing or windsurfing. And it is home to one of the few active Real Tennis courts in the UK.

I hope that you have enjoyed this post and that it has given you some great ideas for days out in Hampshire for your family. Which is your favourite? Have I missed one of your ideal days out?

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2 Replies to “Days Out In Hampshire”

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      There is! It is a great family holiday destination.


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