Hampshire is located in the South East of England on the South Coast and boasts a wide range of historical landmarks and areas of natural beauty. Whether you are interested in botanical gardens or city tours, Hampshire has it all, and plenty of these attractions have made efforts to be accessible to those with limited mobility. Here are just some of the best ideas for a day out in Hampshire.
Exbury Gardens in the New Forest
Image credit gardensinhampshire.co.uk
The stunning Exbury Gardens hosts a collection of landscaped woodland, a huge range of flowers and a Steam railway, all set on a beautiful riverbank. A sea of colour provided by seasonal plants and flowers makes it the perfect memorable day out.
Take the train to get a full tour of the grounds, starting and ending at a replica Victorian style station, and finish with a snack and a hot drink at their pop up restaurant.
While in the area;
The New Forest is brimming with things to do, most prominently, Beulieu Palace House and National Motor Museum, and the National Park where you can expect to find wild horses and donkeys roaming the villages that are dotted in and around the park!
Image credit lonelyplanet.com
Once the capital of England, Winchester is steeped in heritage. With the breath-taking Cathedral at its centre, Winchester has becoming a mecca for great restaurants and cafes. A pleasure just to walk through the town and find the Cathedral grounds for a spectacular view or find the landmarks and historical buildings dotted throughout the city.
While in the area;
A stone’s throw from Winchester, Marwell Zoo is loved by kids and adults alike. What’s particularly great is that the Zoo has really put some thought into considering different needs, creating viewpoints for those in a wheelchair, providing sign language video narration, plus carers go free if assisting an adult with accessibility needs.
Image credit www.visit-hampshire.co.uk
More and more people are investing in a National Trust membership, and with more than 500 properties to visit across the UK, it’s no surprise Hampshire is home to several stunning locations (check out our article on the Top 5 National Trust properties in Hampshire!). One of my personal favourites is The Vyne, located near Basingstoke, an impressive, converted Tudor Palace with a fascinating back story. Worth a visit!
While in the area:
It’s worth a short detour to the leafy village of Old Basing where you can find another great example of Tudor England, Basing House ruins, all nestled in between houses on the main street. If you visit on the right day, you might be lucky enough to see a re-enactment.
Further afield there are many buildings in Southampton reminiscent of the Tudor age, including Tudor House and Garden which is open to the public Monday-Sunday.
National Garden Scheme
Image credit www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Looking for something a bit different? The National Garden Scheme is a fantastic charitable organisation giving access to over 3,500 private gardens, raising money for nursing and health charities and providing a unique insight to a variety of gardens. With over 80 gardens open in Hampshire, and no booking necessary, it is the perfect activity for a spontaneous sunny afternoon when you’re in the area.
The website has stacks of information and gives you a list of the gardens closest to you. Go to www.ngs.org.uk to find out more.
Image credit www.bostonglobe.com
Made famous, most recently, by the television series Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle has written accounts of the estate date back to the year 749! However, the familiar building we see today was built in 1842. It has an amazing history, including its conversion to a hospital during the First World War and a refuge for evacuee children in the Second World War.