Hampshire's beautiful countryside, running from England's southern coast up through to Berkshire and Surrey, makes up an attractive tapestry of enchanting postcard scenery. Pretty towns nestled in green valleys and ancient seaside cliffs rise above pristine beaches; this is the land of thatched roofs, iconic stately homes and cheery village greens. Amongst it all, there's an enticing collection of days out to be had, perfect for history lovers, culture hounds and families.
Visit the real-life Downton Abbey
Few historical dramas have captured the public imagination in recent years quite like the travails of the Crawley Family in Downton Abbey. While the fictional Downton Abbey is set in Yorkshire, the iconic titular abbey is, in fact, one of Hampshire's most famous stately homes, the elegant Highclere Castle. Around 5 miles from Newbury, Highclere Castle is built in the timeless Jacobethan style and is the country seat of the Earl of Carnarvon. As a day out, for fans of Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle offers up a delectable opportunity to delve behind-the-scenes with tailor made tours of the residence. For others, the Capability Brown designed gardens are a delight to explore with their striped lawns and classically inspired fountains.
Discover the world's wildlife at Marwell Zoo
Marwell Zoo, just outside Winchester, is one of the best zoos in the UK. It was the first European zoo to place a concrete focus on conservation, and as a result, its wildlife population is incredibly diverse with some of its inhabitants being among the last of their kind. Giraffes, snow leopards, gila monsters, otters, white rhinos and tigers are just some examples of Marwell Zoo's denizens, each part of the park providing a fun, informative and eye-opening day for adults and children alike. Five adventure playgrounds provide a break for kids who are looking for a more hands-on experience and an engaging calendar of interactive events give a reason to visit this marvellous 140-acre wildlife park all year around.
Head for the beach
Hampshire isn't all green valleys and God's own country. The southern regions and shorelines are made up of attractive beaches which curl around the headlands and coves of England's coastline. Milford on Sea's beach houses with their brightly coloured doors overlook golden sands and a gentle waterline while Lepe's shingle beach in the New Forest National Park is perfect for the thrill-seekers looking for kitesurfing and windsurfing opportunities. Across the sea, the various islands which speckle the waters are also an option; Hayling Island is the best bet for family orientated beach days - the island can be easily accessed by the Royal Bridge at Langstone.
Wander the historic streets of Winchester
Winchester, to put it mildly, is packed full of history and intrigue. Originally a Roman settlement, Winchester has seen and played a part in almost every chapter in England's past. Its magnificent cathedral is one of the largest in Europe, a towering Norman and Gothic monument which is the final resting place for renowned author Jane Austen. Meanwhile, a walk along the River Itchen through the city is a nostalgic journey through an England of days gone by, with stone bridges crossing over to the cheerful inns which straddle the banks. A pedestrianised centre make shopping a breeze and a host of independent eateries have their doors open to entertain and satisfy.
With so much to see and do, Hampshire has a lot to offer anyone who wants to escape the endless buzz of city life or who wants to raise a family. Our excellent selection of property in Hampshire is available now, with diverse options sure to satisfy all needs. For more information, see our range of homes here.