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Things to do in

Hampshire

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.

Portsmouth: Spinnaker Tower Ticket

2. Portsmouth: Spinnaker Tower Ticket

Experience the south coast’s most spectacular view. Spinnaker Tower stands at 170 meters tall, offering breath-taking 23-mile views over Portsmouth Harbour, the city, the Solent, the South Downs and the Isle of Wight. The iconic landmark boasts a high-speed lift and three sky-high viewing decks. Venture across the thrilling glass ‘Sky Walk’ at 100 meters above sea level; discover stories behind the surrounding sites with informative touchscreen displays; try vertigo-inducing virtual reality, breath in the view from the open air ‘Sky Garden’; relax in The Clouds with a coffee, a glass of bubbly or a decadent High Tea; and enjoy delicious meals made with locally sourced ingredients in the Waterfront Cafe.

The Mary Rose: Day Admission Ticket

3. 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.

HMS Victory: Day Admission Ticket

4. 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. HMS Victory is currently undergoing conservation work but is still open, and visitors can experience Victory Live! to find out more about this conservation project.

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.

Downton Abbey and Village Small Group Tour from London

6. 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.

From London: Downton Abbey and Village Coach Tour

7. From London: Downton Abbey and Village Coach Tour

Step into the hit TV series Downton Abbey on this full-day bus tour from London. Visit filming locations from the show like the village of Bampton which was used for the village of Downton and Highclere Castle which was used as Downton Abbey.  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. Arrive in Bampton and 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 for 3 hours of free time to explore the house and grounds of the setting for Downton Abbey at your own pace. Find your way around with ease using a helpful leaflet. Have plenty of time to purchase a delicious lunch at the castle or shop for some souvenirs at the gift shop.

London: Downton Abbey, Cotswolds, and Highclere Castle Tour

8. 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.

Alton Towers Resort: Entrance Ticket

9. Alton Towers Resort: Entrance Ticket

Discover the excitement of Alton Towers Resort with its variety of rides, attractions and entertainment for thrill-seekers, families and kids of all ages! See the Alton Towers Dungeon which was launched in 2019 and is a hilariously hideous journey through Staffordshire’s darkest history. Experience 7 world-class rollercoasters throughout the resort. Ride on the latest addition, "Wicker Man", that brings together wood and fire, as well as "Nemesis" with its iconic twists and turns, "Oblivion" with its sheer vertical drop, and "The Smiler" with its world-record 14 inversions. For those with little ones in tow, explore "CBeebies Land", which is the perfect place to meet some of your favourite CBeebies friends including the Teletubbies, Peter Rabbit, and Postman Pat. Families can also discover Sharkbait Reef by SEA LIFE, learn to drive at Cuckoo Cars Driving School, catch the Runaway Mine Train, or enjoy the spins and thrills on Spinball Whizzer!

Full-Day Downton Abbey, Oxford and Bampton Tour from London

10. Full-Day Downton Abbey, Oxford and Bampton Tour from London

Explore Oxford, the City of Dreaming Spires, home to one of the world’s oldest universities. Admire the architectural highlights of the many colleges. Next on this 10-hour tour is a visit to Bampton, the setting for the exterior village scenes in Downton Abbey. See the church, the house of Matthew Crawley's mother, homes transformed into the post office and various pubs. Head to Highclere Castle, the country seat of the Earls of Carnarvon. The tour of the Castle’s public rooms includes the magnificent main hall, the library, sitting rooms and other rooms featured in Downton Abbey. Take home a copy of Lady Carnarvon's book as a souvenir of your visit.

Other Sightseeing Options in Hampshire

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What people are saying about Hampshire

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 1,790 reviews

This was a well organized and lovely excursion. Logistically: instructions for meeting location spot on, departed and returned on schedule, stopped mid-way through bathe drive for a “bio break”, comfortable & clean coach, and very informative. Both the tour guide and driver were friendly and helpful people. The village tour was a lot of fun and we had plenty of time. Our guide, Emma, provided a lot of information about the locations used for filming and a bit of history. We also had plenty of time allotted to tour inside and wander the grounds (which I was expecting and they were spectacular). I would recommend this excursion and your company. I had a really nice day.

This was the absolute best tour we did on our trip to London. Amber was a wonderful guide and kept the group informed and on time throughout the day. We saw many locations used in the filming of Downton Abbey; in addition to Highclere Castle which was the highlight of the day. There was some downtime at the castle where we enjoyed a snack and the gin cocktail bar. The bus ride was fun as well, with Amber involving the group in trivia challenges, etc. We highly recommend this tour.

We went to Portsmouth for a 3 day break and spent 2 of them at the Historic Dockyard , we got the best tickets as you can go back time and time again which you probably will as there is a lot to do and time seems to go so quickly worth every penny , the best bit for me was HMS Warrior where the people giving the information were in character .

Excellent guide-Michael was engaging and informative! Visiting the town of Brampton and hearing of its important role in filming just added to the very lovely day. Plenty of time in the schedule to walk the Highclere estate as well as enjoy the house and have a delicious lunch.

Driver was friendly, helpful and got us to the port on time. He was a little late picking us up but traffic around Buckingham Palace was crazy because of the Queen’s passing.