Hampshire is a fantastic choice for large group holidays in the UK, best known for the beautiful New Forest, a gorgeous landscape of densely wooded areas, open heaths and picturesque villages with red brick cottages, old churches and welcoming country inns. Brockenhurst, Burley and Lyndhurst are a delight and are all great starting points for walks and cycle routes into the forest; the sight of ponies, cattle, donkeys and pigs wandering through the villages is nothing unusual, it’s all part of the tradition of commoning that has gone on in the New Forest for centuries.
But it’s the perfect blend of coast and country that make Hampshire such a great holiday destination; there are some fabulous beaches – Highcliffe, Mudeford Sandbank, Milton-on-Sea, and some amazing coastal cities, like Portsmouth with its historic docks where you can see HMS Victory and the Mary Rose Museum, and Gunwharf Quays shopping outlet where you can go up in the Emirates Spinnaker Tower for panoramic views of the Solent. Southampton has a wonderful maritime air, being home to the biggest boat show in Europe, and to the Titanic story at SeaCity Museum.
Inland you can visit Winchester and spend a day soaking up the history of the cathedral and the Great Hall where you can see a replica of King Arthur’s Round Table, or be amazed at Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium.
There are scores of attractions for family days out – Paulton’s Park, Marwell Zoo, Longdown Activity Farm, and Beaulieu were you can go to the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu Abbey, World of Top Gear, and the nearby historic ship building village of Buckler’s Hard. You can even catch a ferry over to the Isle of Wight for a day out!
Hampshire is easily reached via the M3, M27 and A3, and though it’s only a couple of hours from London you really feel like you’re off the beaten track, which is exactly what makes the county spot on for week long holidays, short breaks and weekends away. You should go there.