Hampshire is a hybrid county
Hampshire is a hybrid county. A home for holidaymakers who want it all. Spread over 1,500 square miles, Hampshire doesn't choose between offering beautiful beaches, rolling countryside or rich and vibrant cities. It does them all, with spectacular success.
Portsmouth is perfect for pictures
For those craving the bustling excitement that only a major city can bring, Hampshire is home to three top-notch choices. To start, there's Portsmouth, a city made for shutterbugs. Overflowing with photogenic attractions, Portsmouth boasts Spinnaker Tower, Gunwharf Quays and the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Here, you can step aboard legendary ships, such as Nelson's HMS Victory, and relieve the glory of Britain's greatest naval battles.
Southampton calls to shopaholics
To the west lies Southampton and our top pick for shopaholics. Home to dazzling designer outlets, quaint independent boutiques and everything in between, a day wandering the high streets of Southampton is a day well spent. Not to mention, it's also the perfect place to catch an award-winning West End show at the acclaimed Mayflower Theatre.
Winchester is the first stop for foodies
Finally, away from the coast, lies the former capital of England, the cathedral city of Winchester. Home to arguably the grandest medieval architecture in Britain, this stunning spot oozes quaint, old-world charm, while also being a city built for foodies.
Known as the gastronomic capital of Hampshire, Winchester's award-winning restaurants pluck ingredients from across the surrounding countryside, creating fresh and vibrant dishes unique to the local area. For a Snaptrip recommendation, we say head to the Michelin starred Black Rat, a fine-dining spot where the vibe is as mysterious as meals.
A glorious and historic coast
Away from the city and towards the sea, the Hampshire coast is one of the most fascinating spots in Britain. Thanks to its south-facing location, pointing down toward Europe, and close proximity to the Isle of Wight, this stunning shoreline has seen more of history than almost anywhere else.
Find the right walking route and you'll meander through some of Britain's darkest days. Here at Snaptrip, we recommend a short stroll across Lepe Beach. As well as treating yourself to some great views out toward the Isle of White, you'll meander through pine-fringed cliffs, D-day remains and meadows scattered with wildflowers.
Miles of emerald countryside
With two national parks and numerous nature reserves, few places do ‘rural' better than Hampshire. While the county also boasts coast and city, one look at its emerald fields and you'll agree, the countryside is where it really shines.
Stretching up to Winchester Cathedral, the South Downs National Park is drenched in awards for stunning scenery and immaculate fields. It's also the place to find one of our favourite spots in Britain, St Catherine's Hill, a 58-acre stretch of heaven. An area so stunning it doesn't require adjectives to make it shine, just the facts. Home to thousands of wildflowers and over 25 species of butterflies, few places have the same feeling of peace, romance and wonder as the tip of St Catherine's Hill.
Hampshire's finest attraction
You may have noticed, we haven't mentioned one of Hampshire's most famous attractions. That's because it's a spot so glorious, we thought it deserved a section all to itself. Once a royal hunting ground for William the Conqueror, the New Forest National Park is 350 square miles of unrivalled charm.
Walking through its lush fields and wild woodland is like taking a step back through time to an unspoilt age when beauty roamed free. Of course, even better than the forest's vibrant views are who you'll be sharing them with. To this day deer, ponies and cattle continue to wander freely across the heaths and woodland. Completely the immersive magic that is a trip to the New Forest National Park.
Types of holiday cottage in Hampshire
As you should know by now, Hampshire is a place for whatever you're craving. This doesn't just mean having your choice of city, coast or country, you'll be just as spoilt when it comes to choosing your holiday cottage. Whether you're after the quaint cosines of a rustic barn conversion or the stunning splendour of a market town manor house, Hampshire can make it happen. All you have to do is ask.
Don't want to leave your four-legged friend at home? Have a look at dog-friendly cottages in Hampshire. If you're after an extra slice of splendour, check out the best luxury holiday cottages, extra-large holiday homes, or perhaps peruse properties with a swimming pool or a decedent hot tub. If you're sea views and salty air, check out Hampshire holiday cottages on the coast or maybe beside the beach.