One of Hampshire’s most famous residents is undoubtedly Jane Austen. The stunning countryside provided much of the inspiration behind the world famous author’s novels. To celebrate the 200th anniversary of her death, we’ve explored city, coast and country to bring you our top 10 places to visit...
1. The New Forest
Once a royal hunting ground for William the Conqueror, anyone can now explore the unspoilt woodland, rouged heathland and river valleys. It's a car free haven for walking, cycling and horse riding. For those looking for coast as well as countryside why not enjoy a walk along the cliff tops or meander down to the beach at Barton-on-Sea and take in the views across the Solent and Isle of Wight. For water-sports head down to Calshot, or to watch the sun go down behind the sea head to Lepe Country Park. Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, Burley and Lydhurst are all quaint traditional villages worth a visit.
Where to stay: Ocknell Caravan and Camping Site - within the New Forest National Park
For more campsites and holiday parks or lodges near the New Forest click here
2. Highclere Castle
Famous as the location for 'Downton Abbey' Highclere Castle, home to Lord and Lady Carnarvon, opens to the public for around 65 days a year. There are also a number of special events and open days to explore the castle. Explore the Victorian Castle and 1,000 acres of parkland. Highclere also hosts a new Egyptian Exhibition in the cellars of the Castle to to celebrate the achievements of the 5th Earl of Carnarvon who uncovered the Tomb of the Egyptian Boy Pharaoh, Tutankhamun in 1922.
Where to stay: Postern Hill Caravan and Camping Site - 16 miles from Highclere Castle
For more campsites and holiday parks or lodges near Highclere Castle click here
3. Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
Her Majesty's Naval Base is one of three operating bases in the UK for the British Royal Naval. HMNB Portsmouth celebrates both past history and present achievements of the Royal Navy. Open all year, it's a great place to bring all ages. On site highlights include The Mary Rose, HMS Victory, HMS Warrior 1860, 36 Hours: Jutland 1916, but there's also much more to explore.
Where to stay: Kingfisher Holiday Park or Hayling Island Holiday Park - 3 miles from Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
For more campsites or holiday parks near Portsmouth Dockyard click here
4. National Motor Museum, Beaulieu
Beaulieu is home to the National Motor Museum, Palace House and Gardens, Beaulieu Abbey and World of Top Gear, set in the heart of the New Forest. There's so much to see and do all in one place. The National Motor Museum houses more than 250 vehicles from all over the word, including the record-breaking Bluebird. It also houses our own Freedom To Go life-size LEGO Brick Caravan making it (in our opinion!) a must visit!
Where to stay: Roundhill Caravan and Camping Site - 3 miles from Beaulieu
For more campsites and holiday parks near Beaulieu click here
5. Mottisfont Abbey
Straight from a Jane Austen novel, Mottisfont Abbey is a stunning 13th century house, originally founded as an Augustinian priory in 1201, set in riverside gardens. Wander through the ancient woodland and enjoy vast manicured lawns. Lose yourself in the stunning walled rose garden, let the kids run free across the lawns, or take the dogs for a walk around the estate. For those looking for a cultural fix explore the house or one of five exhibitions Mottisfont showcases each year.
Where to stay: Salisbury Hillside Club Site - 7 miles from Mottisfont Abbey
For more campsites and holiday parks or lodge near Mottisfont Abbey click here
6. Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth Harbour
For those with a head for heights the 170-metre Spinnaker Tower is a must see attraction! With a glass sky walk, views across Portsmouth Harbour, a rib boat simulator and open air Sky Deck you'll be free to experience some of the best views in Hampshire from Britain's best viewing tower.
Where to stay: Kingfisher Caravan Park - 3 miles from Portsmouth Harbour
For more campsites and holiday parks or lodges near Portsmouth Harbour click here
7. Winchester Cathedral
Winchester was the former capital city of England. Winchester Cathedral is a particular highlight with more than 1000 years of history to explore. Discover the beautiful illuminated Winchester Bible, 12th-century wall paintings, medieval carvings, contemporary art and the awe and wonder of this magnificent building. There's also a free fun trail for kids.
Where to stay: Morn Hill Club Site - 2 miles from Winchester
For more campsites and holiday parks near Winchester click here
8. Queen Elizabeth Country Park, South Downs
Nestled within South Downs Country Park, Queen Elizabeth Country Park is Hampshire's biggest Country park with fourteen hundred acres of open chalk hills and woodland. It's the perfect spot for waking, cycling or horse riding. Look out for wild flowers, butterflies, birds and deer in the beech woods.
Where to stay: Rookesbury Park Club Site - 9 miles from Queen Elizabeth Country Park
For more campsites and holiday parks or lodge near Queen Elizabeth Country Park click here
9. Hawk Conservatory Trust
This award-winning visitor attraction is set in 22 acres of woodland and wildflower meadow, providing a stunning setting for you to get up close to over 130 birds of prey. Enjoy spectacular daily world class flying displays and meet a British Bird of Prey. This is a great place for adults and children to enjoy a fun and educational day out.
Where to stay: Salisbury Hillside Club Site - 8 miles from Hawk Conservatory Trust
For more campsites and holiday parks or lodges near Hawk Conservatory Trust click here
10. Paulton's Park, Romsey
Residence of Peppa Pig, you’d be hard pressed to find a parent or child that has not heard of Paulton’s Park. Voted best theme park in the UK by TripAdvisor, it’s the perfect place to take the kids. They’ll be entertained for hours leaving you time to decide where’s next on the holiday hit list…
Where to stay: Sandy Balls Holiday Village - 12 Miles from Paulton's Park
For more campsites and holiday parks or lodges near Romsey click here
Want to escape to Hampshire? See below for links to get on your way: