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Discover a historic royal playground – the former capital of England, King Arthur’s Round Table, and acres of heathland with wildlife roaming free

The countryside of Hampshire is quintessentially English, with chocolate-box thatched cottages in Test Valley, soft sands at Lepe beach, and rolling green hills in North Wessex Downs – otherwise known as Watership Down. The friendly accent will follow you from city to coast, from The New Forest to the South Downs – the county’s two national parks. 

A Hampshire holiday is perfect for the outdoor enthusiast or those simply looking to reconnect with nature. Enjoy the wide-open spaces before retreating to a luxurious estate, such as royal Farleigh Wallop, to be spoiled like British aristocracy. 

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About Hampshire

Within Hampshire is the historic city of Winchester, the former capital of England which offers boutique shopping and a wealth of attractions. There are also the two naval cities of Portsmouth and Southampton to explore, and you can extend your journey via hovercraft or ferry to the Isle of Wight for a perfect day trip. Those who may want to keep their sea legs on land can visit the SeaCity Museum or the Historic Dockyard, home to HMS Warrior. 

South Downs National Park is most known as the home of author Jane Austen. Visitors can explore her former home or embark on a themed walking trail. Alternatively, if you prefer natural history to romantic fiction, visit Gilbert White's House & Garden. Here you can learn all about the famous naturalist, as well as delve into the life of Antarctic explorer, Captain Oates.

The New Forest National Park is a safari destination in its own right, awarded a Special Area of Conservation status due to the richness of wildlife here. As you drive across the open heathland you will be able to spot the famous New Forest ponies, donkeys, deer, cattle, snakes and more. No doubt they will cross your path quite literally, as many are comfortable with cars or can be found around the various cycling and walking routes within the forest itself. If a supercar self-drive holiday is of interest, be sure to stop off at Beaulieu National Motor Museum. 

The wildlife and rural beauty of Britain should be celebrated, and there are few better places to witness it than the county of Hampshire. 

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