Our guide to holidays in Hampshire
With the kind of scenery that reminds its visitors how much fun being outdoors can be, Hampshire makes the perfect playground for the families, the frazzled and the explorers amongst you. Much of the county inspired Jane Austen, and even if you don’t feel the need to put pen to paper and create a masterpiece you’ll feel reinvigorated yourself within hours of arriving.
The New Forest has changed little since the days when it was a royal hunting ground, and deer, ponies and cattle still wander the landscape freely making it a unique place to spend time.
Things to do in Hampshire
On summer days, head to Hayling Island Beach – a beautiful, blue flag hot spot, boasting shingle banks and sand dunes. Build sandcastles on the sand, relax with a good book or enjoy an ice cream as you watch the soaring waves. The bright beach huts add a pop of colour while the nearby cafes and coffee shops will keep you refuelled.
If you’re a keen cyclist, The New Forest offers stunning cycle trails that’ll take you through some superb scenery. With routes for beginners and advanced cyclists, all the family can enjoy a ride here. There’s over 100 miles of trails with tracks taking you between 3 miles and 21 miles. As you ride, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful woodland – you might even spot a pony or two.
Beachlands Par 3 Golf Course is bound to please several members of your holiday group. If you fancy something different than the beach, then this is the place to be. Sitting on the sea front, so you still get the opportunity to breathe in that soothing, fresh sea air, this golf course welcomes those of all ages. There are 9 holes as well as a pretty golf house and the course has welcomed many big names over the past few years. If you don’t have your own equipment, don’t worry as you can borrow clubs and balls on arrival.
Beaulieu National Motor Museum is one of the best attractions in the area. This perfect day out showcases hundreds of classic cars and motorcycles. You’ll also get to see some of the vehicles shown on Top Gear. Get to know more about motoring through the centuries as well as exhibits featuring some of the most exquisite cars in history.
Share your excitement at Funland Amusement Park. No matter what the weather is like, this is a day out you’ll adore. With rides for all ages, you’ll be spoilt for choice. We love the Beaver Creek log ride, Helter Skelter, Drop Ride and Wild Billy’s Runaway Mine Train. The little ones in your family will adore Kidz Kingdom while the older members will like the three roller coasters and other amazing rides that the park has to offer. If you fancy a break from the park, the nearby beach is the ideal place for rest and relaxation.
Restaurants in Hampshire
Foodies will enjoy The Maypole Inn. This impressive, traditional pub boasts a friendly welcome and delicious homemade food. With a loyal following, you can be sure that its incredible food will tempt your taste buds. We love the baked camembert as a starter as well as a refreshing glass of wine. In summer, enjoy your meal in the garden or if you’re visiting in cooler times, you can warm up by the roaring fire.
The Rising Sun is another stunning country pub with fantastic reviews. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a break after a trip to the New Forest. The homely interiors are highly welcoming, while the mouth-watering dishes are more than enough to quench your appetite. As well as traditional pub food, there are plenty of vegetarian options. Children will love the outdoor playground and if you have a furry friend, bring them along as dogs are more than welcome here.
If you fancy a little snack or tea break during the day, head to the Mad Hatters Tea Room. Well-known for their amazing breakfasts, this café is a great place to stop for a cup of coffee and slice of cake. The cosy welcome and friendly but professional service is an extra addition to look out for. If you want to take a little something back to your friends and family, don’t forget to visit the gift shop inside.