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Located in the middle of England’s south coast, Hampshire includes some of England’s most famous ports, tranquil scenery and stunning examples of ancient and medieval architecture.
Majestic Winchester, once the capital of England, is famed for its magnificent cathedral and perfectly preserved historic buildings. This relatively isolated town is a good base for exploring the Hampshire hinterland, and a pleasant retreat from the busy coastal region. Take relaxing strolls through the warrens of cobble-stoned lanes and soak up the traditional atmosphere, or penetrate into the countryside to discover charming little-visited villages.
On the coast stand the important ports of Southampton and Portsmouth, both brimming with fascinating maritime history. Chief among Southampton’s attractions are the remnants of the city’s ancient fortifications, eerie towers, and imposing gates, along with a sprinkling of churches and, of course, an excellent Maritime Museum. Busy Portsmouth is home to England’s Royal Navy and has some interesting historic buildings hidden away in its charming old harbor district.
Quality accommodation is not difficult to find, particularly along the coast, with a myriad of small resorts lining the stretches of coves and beaches. Opportunities for recreation are plentiful, particularly around Lyndhurst and Brockenhurst, which offer cycling, hiking, bird-watching, boating, swimming and windsurfing.
Hampshire is conveniently located for exploring some of England’s most famous attractions. To the north lies Wiltshire, with its mysterious Neolithic sites of Stonehenge and Avebury, while to the west are Dorset and Devon, both featuring some of England’s most stunning scenery and untouched wilderness areas. Offshore is the charming Isle of Wight, best accessed from the quaint harbour town of Lymington.
London’s Heathrow International Airport serves direct flights from most world cities, and there is a myriad of frequent and reliable transportation options to the Hampshire region. Trains depart from London Waterloo station regularly.