Discover Hampshire and Beyond: Top 10 Best Things to Do Outside of London

As the summer approaches and the hope of sunnier days beckon, our minds naturally drift towards weekend getaways, summer holidays and outdoor adventures. While there are countless charming destinations outside of the bustling streets of London, few rival the allure of picturesque Hampshire and it’s surrounding counties (of course, we are a little biased!). That’s why, we couldn’t help but share some of our favourite spots and top picks for exploring the English countryside this summer. 

Why Visit Hampshire?

Nestled beside the rolling hills of Surrey and the enchanting landscapes of Sussex, Hampshire is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. With market towns steeped in history, breathtaking scenery and access to the South Downs National Park and the New Forest, it beckons adventurers and wanderers alike. A true representation of the charming English countryside, Hampshire and its surrounding Southern counties, are ideal for escaping the city for a weekend or more!

Everyone has a soft spot for their home county (and sometimes it's neighbours!), so, let us recommend ours without further ado.

Our Top 10 Recommended Must Visit Locations

1. Winchester

Winchester Cathedral, things to do outside of Hampshire, historic city of Winchester

With its grand cathedral, quant shops, delicious eateries and delightful chalk stream strolls, Winchester is certainly a weekend visit well spent. Why not take a sunny afternoon stroll around the historic city, shop then have a rest on the Cathedral green? Or, for the more adventurous, a climb up St Catherine’s Hill, for a truly enchanting view of the city. Check out our Plan Your Trip page for our local recommended pubs and restaurants.

London Waterloo to Winchester, London to Winchester


2. Bombay Sapphire Distillery 

Bombay Sapphire Gin Distillery things to do in Hampshire, Hampshire attractions, visit the Hattingley Valley Winery on your way

Venture into the world of Gin as you immerse your senses in the hundreds of aromatic botanicals, as you discover the history and distillation process at Bombay Sapphire. With a range of experiences from Gin and Painting to Cinema nights and Cocktail masterclasses, there is certainly enough to keep you busy!

London to Bombay Sapphire Distillery, London to Hampshire


3. Highclere Castle 

Highclere Castle Hampshire, local things to see and do

Explore an English Castle steeped in history, where the aristocrat George Herbert who funded the excavation of Tutankhamun's Tomb once lived and where the well-loved series Downtown Abbey was filmed. With a range of events throughout the year and plenty to see and do, from wandering the extensive grounds and gardens, to exploring the Castle and visiting the Egyptian Exhibition, Highclere Castle is perfect place to while away a summers day.

London to Highclere Castle, visit Hampshire, things to do outside of London

4. The Watercress Line

Hampshire Steam Train, the watercress line, visit Hampshire

The Mid Hants Heritage Steam Railway is the perfect day out for family and friends. Running from Alton to Alresford through scenic countryside, The Watercress Line truly is, a trip back in time. With year-round events such as Steam Gala’s, Dining and Driver Experiences there’s plenty to keep you occupied!

London to Alresford, London to Alton by train, Train trips outside of London, Train friendly weekend trip outside of London

5. Dummer Down Brewery

Dummer Down Brewery Hampshire Attractions, visit on your trip to Hattingley Valley Wines English Wineries, things to do outside of London

This new family-run microbrewery and taproom is certainly worth a visit. Based in the Hampshire village of Dummer, with all their beer brewed on-site, it’s the perfect place to sit back and taste some fabulous brews. Also serving local wines (only the best of course!), ciders and soft drinks.

Dummer down brewery Hampshire to London, Basingstoke to London

6. Jane Austen’s House

Jane Austens house things to do in Hampshire, plan your visit

A Hampshire must-visit, Jane Austen’s House and Museum is a fabulous day out. Explore where Jane Austen lived and wrote, enjoy a traditional cream tea at the tearooms and wander around the beautifully picturesque village of Chawton, as well as the historic Chawton House and Gardens

London to Alton, things to do outside of London, Hampshire attractions


7. Petworth House

Petworth House National Trust Property West Sussex Visit Sussex

This National Trust property in West Sussex is truly striking. With its extensive deer park, 18th-century gardens and stunning 17th-century house, with its historic kitchens and art gallery. It’s the perfect place for a day spent wandering the halls and enjoying the expansive outdoors.

London Victoria to Sussex, Visit Sussex, London to Brighton

8. Seven Sisters 

Seven Sisters Cliffs, visit England, attractions near Hattingley Valley Winery

An iconic vista, the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs are a popular spot for outdoor excursions, with good reason. With Cycling, Walking, kayaking and Paddle-boarding alongside vast and stunning views. As Hattingley Valley edges the beginning of the South Downs to the North-West, so, the Seven Sisters marks the end of it, to the South-East. Perhaps span the distance one weekend, on a tour of the South Downs, by starting at our English Winery and ending at this historic site.

London to East Sussex, London to Brighton, South Downs National Park Attractions

9. Goodwood

Goodwood Motor Circuit, Goodwood Racing, Goodwoof, Visit Goodwood, Plan your trip

From the Festival of Speed to Horse racing and Goodwoof, the seasonal events at Goodwood are guaranteed to put on a good show! With a packed events calendar, there’s something to suit everyone and every season. And with historic Chichester not far away, there’s plenty to see and do in the surrounding areas as well! 

London to Chichester, things to do in Sussex, Weekend away

10. Hattingley Valley Winery

Hattingley Valley Vineyards, Hampshire Vineyards, wineries near me, top English Wines

Of course, we could not exclude ourselves from such a fabulous list of attractions. Located just half an hour from picturesque Winchester on the edge of the South Downs, the Hattingley Valley Winery and Vineyards quietly thrive. 

Join us for a Tour and Tasting Experience where you are invited behind the scenes of one of the UK’s largest working wineries, taste our range of the finest English Sparkling and Still Wines and learn about how it all began. Or, check out our Events Calendar for local shows and events we will be attending this year, we'd love to see you there!

An image of icons depicting the distance to Hattingley Valley and travel times

Escape the hustle and bustle this summer and unveil the history, natural beauty and quintessential English charm of Hampshire and the South. Destinations and unforgettable experiences await…

Looking to stay a little longer? Visit our Plan Your Trip page for our top recommended Places to eat and stay during your visit. And don't forget to share your Hampshire adventures with us on Instagram.

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