Things to do in
Hampshire

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Our most recommended things to do in Hampshire

Portsmouth: Historic Dockyard Ultimate Explorer Ticket

1. Portsmouth: Historic Dockyard Ultimate Explorer Ticket

Visit the exhibitions at the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth in any order you want, and at any time you want within a year. Family and individual entries are available. Explore historic ships, including Lord Nelson’s world-famous flagship HMS Victory, Queen Victoria’s HMS Warrior, the First World War’s HMS M.33 and the new Horrible Histories Pirates exhibition. Marvel at Henry VIII's Tudor warship the Mary Rose, which is now included in the all-in-one ticket for 2021. Take the complimentary waterbus to Gosport and explore the Cold War submarine, HMS Alliance. Take a Harbour Tour to cruise around Portsmouth Harbour and see the ships of the modern Royal Navy.

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The Mary Rose: Day Admission Ticket

2. The Mary Rose: Day Admission Ticket

Visit the new state-of-the-art museum built around King Henry VIII's flagship which sunk during battle off the coast Portsmouth in 1545. The ship was raised from the seabed in 1982 and the award-winning museum was built in 2013. Walk through a range of interactive displays in which 9,000 Tudor artifacts also rescued from the seabed have been reunited from the ship. See how these artefacts tell the story of life on board for the crew and officers in Tudor times. The Mary Rose is the only 16th century warship on display anywhere in the world, and houses the largest and most unique Tudor collection of objects. New for summer 2021: Experience "1545 - When their world ended", a brand new immersive experience that will take you back to July 19, 1545. Re-live the final moments on board the Mary Rose as it sinks during the Battle of the Solent. Step back in time to hear from King Henry VIII and the crew of Britains' most famous shipwreck. Experience the immersive Tudor warship sinking.

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From London: Downton Abbey and Village Coach Tour

3. From London: Downton Abbey and Village Coach Tour

Journey by comfortable air-conditioned coach towards the village of Bampton in Oxfordshire. Listen to an informative commentary about Downton Abbey and the locations you will visit along the way. Upon arrival in Bampton, take a guided walking tour of the village to see locations from the TV series, such as the post office and the house where Matthew Crawley lived before he moved to the abbey. Continue to Highclere Castle to enjoy approximately 3 hours to explore the house and grounds of the setting for Downton Abbey with the aid of a self-guided leaflet. Use the time to enjoy lunch at the castle (own expense) or purchase some souvenirs at the gift shop.

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Downton Abbey Filming Locations & Highclere Castle Tour

4. Downton Abbey Filming Locations & Highclere Castle Tour

Depart London in the morning, making your first stop at Yew Tree Farm (Cogges Manor Farm), the home of the Downton Abbey tenant farmers. This beautiful, well-preserved 13th century manor house is situated on the banks of the River Windrush, and was featured in the fourth Downton Abbey series. Beginning with the fifth series, the farm became home to the secret love child of Lady Edith. In the sixth series, Mr. Mason moved in with aid of Daisy. Enjoy a tea/coffee break on your arrival at the farm’s refurbished rustic Cow Shed Café and then take a tour and learn of the encounters between the tenant farmers and the landowners, featured in the TV series. Your private tour of Yew Tree Farm is scheduled before it opens to the public! Once you’ve visited the farm, you’ll continue on to Downton village, which is actually called Bampton, a lovely, well-preserved village in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds. This village has been featured extensively throughout the popular TV series as its Downton village. The local library served as the Downton Cottage Hospital and Doctors’ surgery, and St. Mary’s Church became Downton Church. Churchgate House also featured in exterior shots as the Crawley family home. Now, you will have the chance to walk along these village streets! In the early afternoon, you’ll head to Highclere Castle, the Grantham family home. You’ll have time to explore the Monk’s Garden, the White Border, the Secret Garden, and the Wood of Goodwill, and have time for a light lunch at the café/tearooms in the Castle kitchens. The Carnarvon family have lived at Highclere Castle since 1679. In 1838, the Third Earl of Carnarvon commissioned Sir Charles Barry to transform the castle into an outstanding mansion. It served as a hospital during the Great War and was returned to private residential use in 1922. The current Earl and his wife, the Countess of Carnarvon, live part of the time in the castle and part of the time nearby in their country home. They remain closely involved in the everyday life of the castle and the plans for its future. Once you have entered the castle, you’ll follow a set route with guides in each state room, including the saloon, library, dining room, music room, drawing room, and smoking room. You can also go up the red stairs to see some of the bedrooms and the gallery, before making your way down the oak staircase back to the saloon in the center of the castle.

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Portsmouth: Hovercraft Flight to the Isle of Wight

5. Portsmouth: Hovercraft Flight to the Isle of Wight

Board your hovercraft for an adrenaline-filled day on the Isle of Wight. When the hovercraft reaches the island, you'll land in a prime sea front position along Ryde's beautiful and inviting beaches. Hop off and enjoy what Ryde and the Isle of Wight have to offer, including the beaches, boutique shops, bars and restaurants, and travel links to elsewhere across the island. After a day of fun on the island, enjoy a same-day return journey back to the Southsea terminal. The journey across the Solent is approximately 10 minutes. So sit back, relax, and enjoy your flight on the World's only commercial passenger hovercraft service.

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London: Downton Abbey, Cotswolds, and Highclere Castle Tour

6. London: Downton Abbey, Cotswolds, and Highclere Castle Tour

Depart London by luxury mini-coach on an 11-hour Downton Abbey tour. Stop at Yew Tree Farm (Cogges Manor Farm) to see filming sites used throughout the TV series. Continue to the Swan Inn at Swinbrook, location of one of the series' most controversial story lines. Next stop is in Shilton, a Cotswolds village inaccessible to larger coaches. See the old stone footbridge, duck pond and the old pump and well, before the short journey to Bampton (Downton village). Head to Highclere Castle, home to the Grantham family in the series. Enjoy the gardens before entering the castle. Take a guided tour of the castle’s opulent rooms. There will also be time to take in the Egyptian exhibition.

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HMS Victory: Day Admission Ticket

7. HMS Victory: Day Admission Ticket

Visit HMS Victory, the Royal Navy’s most famous battleship. Best known for her role in the battle of Trafalgar, the Victory is now the flagship of the first sea lord and a living museum to the Georgian Navy. New for 2021, HMS Victory Under Hull Walkway. Visitors can descend into the base of the dry dock and view the ship from below. The ship stands as a memorial to Vice-Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson, Britain’s greatest naval hero, and his victory at the battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Climb aboard HMS Victory and step back in time to the Georgian period. See the cabin where the Battle of Trafalgar was planned. Walk the once crowded decks where over 800 men lived, worked and fought. You can even stand in the spot where Nelson died.

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Downton Abbey and Village Small Group Tour from London

8. Downton Abbey and Village Small Group Tour from London

Become Lord or Lady Grantham for the day, as you visit the film locations used in the BAFTA award-winning Downton Abbey period drama. Hear how the global hit TV series was made and about the actors involved and the wonderful history of the places you visit on this full-day tour. You’ll depart central London in the morning on a drive to the charming Oxfordshire village that has been featured in the series as Downton village. Enjoy a guided tour of locations such as Downton Hospital, the village pub, the former home of Matthew Crawley, and the local church.  Take a short comfort break before continuing on to Highclere Castle, which is the main setting used in Downton Abbey. En route you’ll learn about the thousand-year history of Highclere Castle and life above and below the stairs. Lunch can be purchased at Highclere Castle or you can bring your own lunch and enjoy it on the beautiful grounds. Although guided tours are not allowed inside the castle, you’ll be able to explore the above-stairs area of Downton Abbey independently with the aid of a self-guided information sheet. Imagine life as it was over 100 years ago and enter the world of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants as you wander around the estate. The tour ends in central London.

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Portsmouth: The D-Day Story Entry Ticket

9. Portsmouth: The D-Day Story Entry Ticket

Enjoy a visit to Portsmouth’s fascinating D-Day Story and learn about this pivotal event that changed the course of World War Two. The D-Day Story is told in four parts, The Landing Craft Tank 7074, Preparation, D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, and the Overlord Embroidery. Discover the story of this fateful day through a series of exhibitions, workshops, and other activities, as well as over 10,000 fascinating items and artifacts. The D-Day Story is told through the personal accounts and possessions of the people who were there, and brought to life through stunning audio-visual presentations. By the end of your visit, you’ll have a better understanding of D-Day, and a renewed sense of respect for those who were part of it.

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Portsmouth: Old Portsmouth Pub and History Treasure Hunt

10. Portsmouth: Old Portsmouth Pub and History Treasure Hunt

On Horatio Nelson's last day on dry land before joining his ship to fight in the Battle of Trafalgar, he stored a valuable diamond necklace in a chest in one of Portsmouth’s many taverns for safekeeping. That night, the tavern was broken into and the necklace was stolen. You must solve the clues, eliminate suspects, and return to the scene of the crime to get to the bottom of this historic mystery. With 18 clues to solve and five pubs to discover, head off in search of the elusive diamond thief. Your adventure begins at the Grand Parade in Old Portsmouth before winding through the old streets and alleys of the old town, passing key historical sights including Portsmouth Cathedral, the Square and Round towers, the Hotwalls Studios, and Spice Island. This treasure hunt is the best way to see the key historical sights in the city, visit the most atmospheric taverns, and soak up true local stories of its most notorious characters and places. The mystery is complete when you return to the scene of the crime and catch the diamond thief who can still be found lurking somewhere in the city.

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What people are saying about Hampshire

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 922 reviews

The set out of the Mary Rose exhibition was really well done from the initial entrance and then through to the Galleries . Loved all the virtual displays . The whole time the experience made you felt you were actually there seeing all the things. The fact that all the exhibits had been excavated after being buried for over 300 years was mind blowing.

Mary Rosè museum even better than 5 years ago ! Victory as ever astonishingly evocative . Warrior an unexpected delight. My 8 year old grandson enchanted with it all .

Excellant experience.Clear day so good views.I was slightly annoyed as if I had booked at Spinnaker tower I could have had 25% NHS discount!

Listening to the information and experiencing the HMS Victory really gave you an insight on how the men worked and lived.

As a museum and an experience, this cannot be beaten in my opinion.