Let’s go to Hampshire, UK
Come with us to visit the biggest county in the South of England! The county which saw the titanic set sail in 1912 and the most of the great ships that have played a part in the history of the United Kingdom. This county saw the birth of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, along with other historical figures.
Hampshire is well linked with the main Southern cities, like Londen, Oxford and Bath, which makes it an ideal palce to visit. An English county which offers a mix of city, coast and countryside…you are guaranteed to find something to do for the whole family!
Hampshire is a county rich in culture, history and beauty. It has two National Parks: The New Forest and South Downs. Whether you can only spare a day, or you are going on a little get-away, we are sure you’ll keep busy with the endless activities and experiences that this county offers, in terms of culture, music, food and lots more: From visiting the Winchester Cathedral, losing yourself in the New Forest, visitng Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey was filmed, staying in the marvelous hotel, the Pig, to cruising to the Isle of Wight!
Winchester is a stunning city located in Hampshire, close to the South Downs National Park.
This city is considered as the old capital of England. It is home to a world-famous cathedral, The Great Hall of Winchester Castle as well as a world-renowned all-boys boarding school, Winchester College. Even just walking through the beautiful, old straights will make for a lovely day.
Known worldwide, Winchester Cathedral, is a striking building from the medieval era. It is one of the biggest cathedrals in England, built in 1079, and it the Gothic European Cathedral with the longest nave. The cathedral is open to the public throughout the year for visits and tours, including up to the tour, as well as offering orchestral and choral concerts to all.
Built during the XII century, The Great Hall is one of the two parts of the castle that is still standing. It holds a strong link to mythology, as it is the home of King Arthur’s Round Table.
We encourage you to visit the museum to learn more about the history of the city – perfect for budding historians!
If you have some free time, you might want to take a look at Winchester College, the most prestigious school in the world. Founded in 1382, Winchester College’s reputation is strengthened every day due to the exceptional results achieved by the students. In fact, it is the school with the highest number of students studying at Oxford and Cambridge universities. You might even see some of the students walking through the city, recognisably dressed in their smart suits, or sometimes even a gown!
Where to at in Winchester
The Black Rat
Found in the lower part of the city centre, The Black Rat is a fantastic restaurant which used to be a pub. Awarded with a Michelin star two years after its opening, there is no doubt that you will eat well. There are scrumptious, modern British dishes, like Roast lamb and Cornish fish. What’s more, all the dishes are made with local ingredients – delicious!
Is it time to put the children to bed and enjoy some time with other adults? Incognito is one of the coolest cocktail bars in Hampshire. Here you are offered with a variety of spectacular cocktails, each with a different style. Whether your cocktail is inspired by the classic British Afternoon tea, a garden or the candyman, we are certain you will enjoy this fun and extravagant evening!
Where to stay in Winchester
5 minutes from the train station, in the city centre, The Winchester Hotel and Spa has always been a favourite hotel for tourists and visitors. With a piano bar, award winning restaurant, gym and a spa, what more could you ask for after a busy day of exploring?
You cannot visit Hampshire without exploring the unbelievable natural beauty in the New Forest. Lose yourself in the vast forests, relaxing rivrs and enjoy breathing in the fresh country air. This is what the British countryside has to offer.
The New Forest has something for everyone. Whether you prefer a walk through the park, cycling through woods and rocky paths (you can rent bikes), or even horse-riding, we strongly recommend that you take some time to visit this national park.
There are more than 225 kilometres of walking and cycling. There is a mix of long-distance routes, short walks and clearly marked tracks through the woods and picturesque villages to make sure you don’t get lost. The whole family can get involved.
You can’t leave here without seeing the New Forest Ponies! They roam freely through the park, alongside the cattle and deer.
Where to eat in the New Forest
If a picnic in the park isn’t your thing, or the British weather is fulfilling its reputation, here you have some good food options. There are plenty of cosy tearooms and traditional pubs in this area. Could it get more British?
A traditional, English country pub. The restaurant, menu and facilities are all child-friendly. Eat the modern British classics all made with local ingredients. You won’t be disappointed!
A classic pub with a beautiful sea view, serving fresh and seasonal food every day.
Rosie Lea House (Lymington)
Come and enjoy a typical afternoon tea with scones in this tea room and restaurant found in the heart of the New Forest. If a tea and scone doesn’t entice you, there is a great menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Surrounded by gardens and greenery, Rosie Lea House has lots of space for your children to run around.
Where to stay in the New Forest
Hidden in the heart of the New Forest, we don’t think there is a better place for you to stay than The Pig! With stylish and homely rooms, you will definitely have a great night of sleep. With a classically British interior design, you’ll miss out if you don’t pay them a visit…even if it’s just for a meal.
Even better is the restaurant! The Pig has its own ‘Kitchen Garden’ where they grow all their ingredients, or buy them from a 25-mile radius, which helps to support local business and ensures that all the dishes are fresh.
Have you seen the TV series Downton Abbey? Well now you have the opportunity to come and se where it was filmed! Built in 1679 and renovated in 1840, the castle if sound in the centre of its 5,000 acre estate.
Currently owned by the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, you can visit the castle, its grounds and the Egyptology museum during the Summer. Imagine that you are part of the Downton Abbey cast, walking through the stunning rose gardens on a beautiful summer’s day!
Where to eat near Highclere Castle
There are a variety of pubs and restaurants close to the castle, if you want to grab a bite to eat. The Red House, The Carpenters Arms, The Hare and Hound will all give you a good atmosphere and an abundance of food!
Just next to the south coast you will find this pretty, little island. Although it is not in Hampshire, it is definitely worth a day trip over (or 2 days if you like!). It is very easy to get here from Portsmouth, whether by boat (45 minutes) or hovercraft (10 minutes).
Sit back and relax enjoying the sea breeze, take a walk through the coastal paths to see some spectacular views (if the sky is clear!) or take a dip in the sea if you’re feeling brave!
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can rent a boat to see the sights, or practice sailing and fishing. Continuing with the adventure theme, you can also horse ride, cycle, parasail, climb trees and play golf. What’s not to love?
Where to eat in the Isle of Wight
With a huge range of gastronomical options, you will certainly find something that appeals to the whole family.
From fine-dining, pubs, afternoon tea, fish and chips by the sea, sandwiches, and farm cooking, you can get to know products typical to the Isle of Wight: gin, garlic, cheese, tomatoes and much more.
Other places to visit in Hampshire
A fantastic family day out. Marwell Zoo is a park with hundreds of animals and 5 playgrounds. There are giraffes, tigers, leopards, meerkats, penguins and so much more. They have even been awarded a sustainable development award by the Queen of England! It is a conservation charity which will teach you lots about the environment, sustainability, science etc. You can easily spend a day or an afternoon here, and feel as if you were in another country.
Come to visit the Hawk Conservancy, and bring the whole family! A bird park and conservation charity which aims to protect birds of prey, the Hawk Conservancy is the perfect place to surround yourself with nature and educate yourself about the importance of these birds. With more than 130 bird species in the park, a falconry, shows and much more, everyone will have a great time.
Portsmouth, a city rich in naval history, will definitely not be a boring day out. It is the most known Royal Marine base in England and the home of boats including The Mary Rose and HMS Victory. If you are a history fanatic, Portsmouth is the perfect city for you. The Spinnaker Tower, standing 170 metres tall, is hard to miss. Reflecting the history’s maritime history through its design, shaped like a sail. There is a café right at the top where you can have a typical English tea – relax soaking in the gorgeous sea view.