1. Beaulieu and the National Motor Museum
When it comes to cars, motorbikes, motoring eccentricities and memorabilia, the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu is firmly in the driving seat, with 250 vehicles – from some of the earliest examples of motoring to legendary World Record Breakers. Take a ride on the monorail, try go-karting or ‘Wheels,’ a space age pod taking you through the history of motoring. Explore the Palace House, Abbey and gardens at your leisure. Visit the James Bond Experience, and the Secret Army Exhibition.
2. Marwell Zoological Park
The 140 acre Marwell Zoological Park is home to over 250 exotic and endangered species, from pink tailed sharks to red-eyed tree frogs, laughing kookabura to frilled lizards, giraffe nosed catfish to bat eared foxes! See giraffe, waterbuck and ostrich roaming wild in the African Valley and discover the secrets of the rainforest in Tropical World. Dive beneath the surface in Penguin World, and see firm favourites including tigers, leopards and rhinoceros. Try a freshly prepared meal at the impressive cafe.
3. Winchester and Winchester Cathedral
Winchester is a small but affluent cathedral city, once capital of England, with a rich medieval and Georgian history. The Cathedral isone ofthe main attractions, which despite its size has rather homely feel. Work began in 1079 and finished 300 years later, a process producing a building comprising a number of different styles. Nearby is Winchester College, the oldest public school in England. Winchester Art School is highly regarded and its worth seeing what exhibitions coincide with your visit.
4. Bucklers Hard and Maritime Museum
Buckler’s Hard is a picturesque 18th century village on the banks of the Beaulieu River in the heart of the New Forest. Historically, it is famed as the place where wooden ships of the Royal Navy were built. The houses were inhabited by carpenters and other workers, with the ships laid out and built on the land inbetween before being launched into the river. See the Buckler’s Hard Story and cottage displays, or just enjoy the natural beauty of this historic village and soak up the atmosphere.
5. Jane Austens House
Jane Austen is known worldwide for her novels describing the society of pre-industrial England, and spent the last eight years of her life at Chawton in this 17th century house. Austen wrote some of her best work here, including Mansfield Park, Emma and Persuasion. Jane Austen’s House Museum tells the story of Jane Austen and her family and provides an intimate insight into her world. The Jane Austen’s House shop is one of the best in the country for Jane Austen’s work and related titles.
6. The New Forest Wildlife Park
Set in 25 acres of scenic woodland, the New Forest Wildlife Park makes a great family day out. See one of Europes largest gatherings of otters, owls and other indigenous wildlife in their natural surroundings, including pine martens, badgers, polecats, mink, foxes, Scottish wildcats, deer, lynx and wild boar. Visit the spacious Woodland Bakehouse Tearoom where you can enjoy a range of hot and cold food – why not try one ofthe speciality cream teas?
7. The Allen Ceramics Gallery, Alton
The Allen Ceramics Gallery in Alton provides an intimate setting for one of Southern England’s most outstanding ceramics collections. There are nearly 2,000 examples of English, continental and oriental pottery, porcelain and tiles from 1250 to the present day. The museum is former home of artist, teacher and conservationist W.H. Allen, who lived here from 1898 to 1932. You can see some his paintings depicting the east Hampshire countryside at the beginning of the 20th century in the Allen Gallery.
8. Calshot Activities Centre
Calshot Activities Centre is one of the largest Outdoor Adventure Centres in Britain. Situated on the shores of the Solent, there’s direct access to the countrys most popular Watersports location. Historic hangars accommodate a state of the art climbing complex, the only indoor Velodrome in Southern England and a dry Ski Slope. Activities include sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, powerboating, rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding, archery, corporate events and management training.
9. Southampton Art Gallery
One of the UK’s best regional galleries – Southampton City Art Gallery is housed in an impressive pre-war building containing collections from the Renaissance through to 20th century modernisim and contemporary work; with Old Masters, French Impressionists, British 19th and 20th century works, and pieces by Kenneth Martin, Richard Long and Anthony Gormley. There’s also a regular program of temporary exhibitions, and facilities include a cafe and a shop.
10. Southampton Maritime Museum
Southampton Maritime Museum tells the story of the port and those who lived and worked here. ‘Titanic – Southampton remembers’ recounts the events of the ship’s maiden voyage in 1912 through the voices of some of the survivors, and the interactive display ‘All Hands on Deck’ lets children find out how things work on ship and in port. ‘Queen Mary’ conveys some of the luxury of transatlantic travel and the less glamorous reality of life for the crew who served the ship’s wealthy passengers.