Located just southeast of London, there are many exciting and worthwhile activities you can experience in Hampshire. This county is famous for its Downton Abbey at Highclere Castle and boasts one of the UK’s tallest accessible buildings in Spinnaker Tower.
From vibrant coastal cities of Portsmouth and Southampton to the rolling hills of the New Forest, there’s always something to keep you busy in Hampshire. The New Forest spreads itself over 140,000 acres of unspoiled grassland, perfect for an outdoor extravaganza. Historic villages dot the landscape, and national parks give something for everyone.
Cozy cottages, quaint pubs, and clear streams make Hampshire a hidden gem for visitors and locals alike. Take a stroll in one of the small towns, explore a historic building, or hang out in the town square with a pint. The choice is yours.
Winchester also belongs to Hampshire, and its namesake cathedral is one of the country’s most famous. Previously, Winchester was the capital of England, and history is rooted in every street, lamp post, and museum.
Here are six fun activities to do in Hampshire to get you excited for your next adventure:
Exciting Escapes, Portsmouth
Imagine this: It’s 1967, and it is a summer of love around the country. But one organization is about to blur the thin lines of love and romance.
According to British intelligence, there is a plan to assassinate the visiting American ambassador. It is believed that the killer operatives are working out of an abandoned cinema.
Your one-way ticket inside the theater starts now. You have one hour to find the clues and solve the murder puzzle before time runs out.
This exciting escape room is just one of many offerings at Exciting Escapes’ Portsmouth branch. Other escape rooms include a government-run medical research facility escape room, a millennium disaster escape room, and more!
Marwell Zoo, Winchester
The Marwell Zoo in Winchester is owned by Marwell Wildlife, a charity that aims to conserve global diversity while pursuing a sustainable future, both in the UK and Africa. By purchasing a zoo ticket, you are supporting a charitable cause that helps scientists learn and protect. Archivists identify ecosystem initiatives within the zoo to make sure the animals are safe and happy.
There are hundreds of animals on-site within the 140-acre nature park. Suitable for the whole family, some of the most popular exhibits include the giraffes, penguins, snow leopards, and white rhinos.
Bring the whole family! There are four adventure playgrounds for the kids to hang out at and include slides, monkey bars, and swings.
Emirates Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth
The Spinnaker Tower dominates the coastal port city of Portsmouth’s skyline, bringing to life a fantastic viewing platform for all to enjoy.
Grab your ticket to the top of the Tower and enjoy 360-degree panoramic views and a glass floor. This feat of architecture is not to be missed. Don’t forget your camera!
Take the ride up and enjoy tea or a small bite to eat, or go crazy with an extreme sporting event.
The Spinnaker Tower offers abseiling, which allows you to scale the Spinnaker Tower’s exterior with an experienced guide, giving you a point of view reserved for few others.
Whatever adventure you choose, you’re sure to enjoy a day at the Emirates Spinnaker Tower.
Bombay Sapphire Gin Distillery, Whitchurch
This one is for the adults.
Uncover some of the secrets behind the world-famous Bombay Sapphire Gin company at a historic paper mill in the center of the Hampshire countryside.
Book your ticket and learn about what processes go into the creation of Bombay Sapphire gin, as well as the sustainable ecological principles that go into every bottle. The company is very much dedicated to Winchester’s conservation and believes it is the best place to produce its product.
Tour the facility and grab a complimentary drink at the Mill Bar afterward or enroll yourself in a Masterclass, which includes a step-by-step cocktail creation session with one of Bombay Sapphire’s cocktail experts.
Really like gin? Have Christmas at the distillery.
Jane Austen’s House Museum, Alton
The famous English novelist and author, whose work included Pride and Prejudice, interpreted and critiqued women’s dependence on marriage in pursuit of economic security and social standing.
Born in Steventon and deceased at just 41 years old, Austen’s work left a lasting mark on many.
Jane Austen’s House Museum in Alton offers those who visit it an award-winning learning program. Visitors can step through history in the places where Jane Austen conceptualized, ideated, planned, and wrote her timeless novels.
The house museum holds a substantial collection of objects, including Jane’s letters, first editions of her books, furniture, personal jewelry, and much more.
This activity is especially memorable for aspiring writers, history buffs, university students, and novel lovers worldwide.
Portchester Castle, Fareham
This castle was initially built in the late third century and remains standing today. Portchester Castle is the most preserved and imposing of the country’s Saxon shore forts and was a crucial defense point for hundreds of years.
The keep was built in the 11th century and handed over to royal control, along with the rest of Portsmouth, in 1154.
Fast forward many decades to the present day and Portchester Castle is now a lovely place to enjoy a picnic with the family in the castle courtyard and adjoining grounds. Walk along the castle by yourself or hire a guide to learn more about the place’s detailed history.