Hampshire provides the perfect location for staycations, with a range of activities to enjoy year-round. With entertainment available for all ages, abilities and tastes, the county allows one to experience anything from the finest cuisine, to beautiful countryside, to Hampshire vineyards, to museums and galleries. While Hambledon vineyard celebrates a home in the cradle and cricket, and the South Downs National Park, there is so much more to showcase within the local area.
1. Hambledon Vineyard
We couldn’t write about things to do in Hampshire without mentioning a visit to Hambledon Vineyard. Enjoy a tour of our historic Hampshire vineyard, guided by one of our experts, to explore the journey to creating the Finest English Fizz, from grape to glass. Then, experience a tasting of our range in a relaxed atmosphere, or taste classical British cuisine with a European twist at our pop-up restaurant.
2. The Pig, Brockenhurst
If you’re in and around the New Forest, there’s no better place for a delicious lunch or dinner, a stroll in the gardens or an overnight stay. With a focus on provenance, their 25-mile menu highlights the best of Hampshire produce and is driven by what comes from the kitchen garden on any given day. This allows the best seasonal ingredients to truly shine. Additional to an extensive wine list and bar menu, The Pig provides the perfect complement to a weekend in the New Forest.
Alongside their beautiful restaurant, their location in the new forest means that they’re moments away from beautiful walks, stately homes and even a day at the seaside. To make for an even more relaxing break, their spa treatments mean you can really enjoy some ‘me-time’.
3. Bombay Sapphire Distillery, Laverstoke
Are you a gin lover? Or, just interested in an insight into one of England’s top distillers? Located at Laverstoke Mill, the Bombay Sapphire Distillery offers a range of tours and experiences, so there is truly something to suit all tastes. From their ‘discovery tour’, during which you can discover how their distinctive gin is made, from the botanicals to the distillation, to a ‘Creative cocktail experience’, in which you not only taste a range of gins and vermouths, but create your own cocktail to take home.
4. New Forest
There’s so much to explore in the New Forest, from ancient trees, extensive heather-dappled heathland, to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including bats, butterflies, and the famed New Forest ponies. There’s a plethora of ways to enjoy the National Park: a range of walking routes for various abilities, as well as cycling and even horse-riding routes!
With many towns and villages in which to base oneself, the National Park offers a variety of occupations for adults and children alike.
5. Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
For those with an interest in maritime history, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is the perfect attraction. With activities to suit all the family, view the remains of the Mary Rose, step aboard the HMS victory, or explore the National Museum of the Royal Navy.
With their Ultimate Explorer ticket valid for one year, it means that you can take all of the time you need to truly enjoy their attractions, or revisit your favourites.
6. Jane Austen’s House- Chawton
Discover the world of the world famous author, Jane Austen, including the cottage and garden in which she wrote and published her six widely beloved novels. See an unparalleled collection of artefacts unique to the author, enjoy the cottage and its gardens, and the many unique exhibitions that the house offers. With things to do for both avid fans, interested visitors and children alike, this attraction provides the ideal family day out.
The historic city of Winchester provides an assortment of attractions for adults and children alike. Explore the cathedral, a place of worship which has been standing for over 900 years. Or, visit Winchester City Mill, an ancient working watermill in the heart of Winchester City Centre- in which you can learn about how traditional stoneground flour is made using the water-power provided by the River Itchen, which flows through the city. Or, enjoy a luxurious lunch at one of the city’s many food outlets, and browse the shops to find a special treat.
8. Spinnaker tower
The Spinnaker Tower is one of Portsmouth’s top landmarks, and stands 170 metres above Portsmouth Harbour, offering stunning views of the Solent, the Isle of Wight, the South Downs National Park and more, ranging up to 23 miles on a clear day. Alternatively, add some sweet treats to your visit, with an afternoon tea in the clouds. For those seeking adrenaline, the tower even offers a chance to abseil 100m down the side of the building- certainly an experience to remember!
9. The South Downs National Park
The South Downs National Park is not only home to Hambledon Vineyard but provides many opportunities for a scenic walk in the beautiful countryside.
Avid hikers can enjoy the South Downs Way, a 160km trail stretching from Winchester to Eastbourne, providing a challenging but scenic multi-day route. Alternatively, enjoy the route over several separate days. For a more relaxing way to enjoy the National Park, visit one of the many picturesque villages that the area has to offer, or, on a rainy day, explore stately homes, museums and castles to learn about the history of the area.
10. Limewood Hotel
Looking for a countryside getaway? Limewood hotel is located in Lyndhurst, in the New Forest, and not only offers exceptional rooms in a beautiful location but allows you to get back to nature in their Spa, split over three floors with forest views, multiple pools and treatment rooms. Or, experience a meal at one of their on-site restaurants: the Italian-influenced Hartnett, Holder & Co, and their wellness-focused outlet, Raw & Cured. Alternatively, indulge in a sparkling afternoon tea, served with a glass of Hambledon Classic Cuvée.