Reasons to visit Hampshire
For those who love being in the great outdoors, visiting one of our campsites in Hampshire is the perfect chance to immerse yourself in the county's rural beauty spots.
The ponies grazing wild in the New Forest are just the beginning of the wildlife you can find in Hampshire. The New Forest Wildlife Park has amazing encounters for curious animal-lovers, including bison, a huge red deer herd, giant otters and owls. If you’d like to see Hampshire’s huge range of wildlife in its natural habitat, try out Titchfield Haven Nature Reserve; it has hides where you can see deer, foxes and birds, and a host of child-friendly events and activities if keeping quiet proves too hard. Hamble Valley also has lots of birds available for walkers to spot, including rare kingfishers if you’re lucky.
The world-famous Marwell Zoo has over 170 rare species, five adventure playgrounds and the proverbial partridge in a pear tree — although in this case it’s a lemur, peering from branches in the zoo’s Lemur Loop. Bird-lovers will also adore the Hawk Conservancy Trust, with its giant flying bird displays, tame owls, and even the opportunity for children to be a “young falconer” for a day and learn to handle a bird of prey.
For swimming and seaside sports, Hayling Island can’t be beaten. It’s renowned for its child-friendly beaches and clean water, and you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped back in time to the 1950s seashore. Windsurfing in particular is the star of activities here; the Island claims to have invented it. The shores of Hampshire are rich in opportunities to get wet, with everything from yachting tours out of Portsmouth to fishing, powerboat-riding and wake boarding. Inland, the New Forest Water Park has a huge range of activities on offer, from traditional ones like canoeing to the children’s Aqua Park, a floating obstacle course including trampolines.
Queen Elizabeth Country Park has an array of opportunities to burn off some energy, from adventure playgrounds to mountain biking and even paragliding — or, if a scenic amble is more your style, there are many different tracks through the beautiful countryside of the South Downs. Biking and walking paths criss-cross the county, from the North Wessex Downs that inspired Watership Down to the Solent Way that runs the line of the coast.
Transport from times past
History takes a very particular shape in Hampshire: it’s centered on the ways people moved. And there’s something for everybody. The tragedy of the Titanic is told in one of the UK’s best museums, the SeaCity Museum in Southampton, with a huge model of the Titanic itself; many of the crew on the Titanic were born in Southampton, and the story comes alive for all ages. If that doesn’t quench your thirst for boats, try the awe-inspiring HMS Victory. Moored in Portsmouth, it’s an astonishing day out, and kids are allowed to play among the cannons and run the ship like Nelson himself.
Car-lovers will adore the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, with 250 amazing cars on display (including an orange on wheels), mini-motor play areas and ample opportunities to play dress-up and pretend to drive the amazing cars of yesteryear. Even if you’re not a train buff, you should try the Watercress Line, a famous antique steam train that was once used to transport cress to London; it still does a 10-mile track with delicious food at either end and the romance of steam travel all around.
Why choose Experience Freedom?
Your holiday in Hampshire’s inspiring surrounds is the opportunity to see some of England’s most revered landscapes and attractions. Camping and glamping in Hampshire can give you unparalleled insight into the region’s charms. If you’d like to plan your camping holiday in Hampshire, select a site for more about its facilities and location. Got a favourite site in mind? Use the Search and Book function to see its dates of availability.