Whether you are from the UK or a little further afield, the best way to see some parts of Britain is from the road, Hampshire is one such county! Sitting on the southern coast and home to the former capital city of England, Winchester, Hampshire offers a bevy of things to do and hiring a car to see the sights for yourself is a must for tourists and Brits alike.
Named a ‘Great British Drive’ by The Telegraph, alongside routes in Sussex and Wiltshire, a driving tour of Hampshire and the many sights along the way are not to be missed. Here we take a closer look at just some of the sites that can be visited and experienced by those touring the county in a rented vehicle.
Set in 1,000 acres of parkland in North Hampshire, fans of a certain award-winning period drama may know Highclere Castle by a different name. As well as being the filming location for ITV’s Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle is steeped in history and with strong links to Egyptian history – the fifth Earl of Carnarvon actually discovered Tutankhamun with Howard Carter – the castle and its grounds boast more than just beauty.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, Winchester is the former capital city of England, and so offers a hive of activity for visitors travelling to the area via car. Winchester Cathedral, St Cross Hospital, Winchester College and The Great Hall are all must sees, whilst the area’s affiliation with fabulous food and drink – Winchester is associated with a number of celebrity chefs including Raymond Blanc, Rick Stein and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall – means you can sample some of the freshest produce around.
We couldn’t mention tours of Hampshire without recommending a drive along its stunning coastline. A city surrounded by sea, Portsmouth not only boasts beautiful views but also a fascinating military and maritime history. From the Victorian seafront of Southsea to the cobbled streets of Old Portsmouth, the city provides a vibrant mixture of old and new.
The New Forest
From the coast to the countryside, a visit to the New Forest on your Hampshire driving tour truly showcases the region’s versatility and variety. After becoming a national park in 2005, the New Forest is now known and loved for its beauty and charm. As well as taking a stroll through its ancient heaths and woodlands, visitors can also enjoy its protected coastline and a range of local attractions.