"Hampshire" Top 5 Page for this destination Hampshire by leffe3
Hampshire Travel Guide: 898 reviews and 2,037 photos
The southern county of Hampshire has a long history of strategic importance.
Winchester was the capital of the Kingdom of Wessex and capital of England until the Norman invasion in 1066. The protected deep water of what is now The Solent lead to the building of the important docks at Southampton (commercial) and Portsmouth (naval), with the county associated with being the official birthplace of the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force.
But its also long been an important agricultural region, and away from the coast has, like much of affluent southern England, a genteel air. And with 45% of the county (the 9th largest in England) designated as national park, its something of a tourist magnet.
Winchester, with its long history and beautiful cathedral, can now only boast as being the county town as opposed to the capital city. Southampton is now the biggest city, followed closely by its 'arch-rival', Portsmouth, only a few miles to the east. The former is one of the largest commercial ports in Europe, whilst Portsmouth developed as a naval yard and ferry service to the nearby Isle of Wight and cross-Channel links to France. Both were virtually levelled during WWII.
But it's nature and the many castles/abbeys that are the main attraction of Hampshire. The New Forest in the far west alone accounts for approximately 20% of the county and attracts more than 7 million visitors per year. Dotted along the (small) Hampshire coastline are numerous castles, built to protect Southampton and Portsmouth from invasion. And where there's castle, its not unusual to find an abbey nearby.
In spite of all its history, its likely that the name Hampshire is known due to New Hampshire in the US - Hampshire (also known as Hants) being the departure point of those who followed the Pilgrims and the Mayflower in the 17th century.
Portsmouth may be today a significant port, but by modern standards the city is relatively new. Whilst there were a... more travel advice
A beautiful ruin near the town of Fareham on the Hampshire coast, Titchfield Abbey is now managed by English... more travel advice
leffe3's Related Pages
Hampshire Travel Guide
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- "Winchester and New Forest."
- "The New Forest"
- "Hampshire, a personal experience"
- "The New Forest"
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- Things to Do in Hampshire
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Badges & Stats in Hampshire
- 21 Reviews
- 96 Photos
- 0 Forum posts
- 2 Cities
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