Hampshire is one of the most scenic and picturesque counties you could hope to visit, with rolling green hills, panoramic views, and seascape horizons. The beauty of Hampshire has become a feature of many of its attractions too, with days out based in scenic settings and activities that encapsulate the stunning surroundings. From the highest points to the best sunset spots, discover scenic settings in Hampshire that offer the best views and give in to those breathtaking moments.
Scenic days out
Not only is Paultons Park home to Peppa Pig World and other fantastic themed lands including Lost Kingdom and Little Africa – it also hosts 65 acres of beautifully landscaped parkland. Enjoy many themed gardens all year round including the Japanese Garden, Spring Garden, Fairy Garden and more!
Winchester Science Centre is the South of England’s interactive science and technology centre with the largest standalone planetarium in the UK. The centre is surrounded by the stunning South Downs National Park, with excellent outdoor spaces to explore and easy access to the neighbouring butterfly reserve.
Escape to Marwell Zoo for stunning views of exotic and endangered animals in beautiful, landscaped surroundings. Designed to mimic natural animal habitats, Marwell’s 140-acre park will transport you across the world. The formal gardens and self-guided tree trail will also see you admiring trees that are hundreds of years old.
Explore the beautiful surroundings at the Bombay Sapphire Distillery. As well as the gin and a range of experiences, there are the stunning glassshouses along with a wealth of architecture and wildlife to enjoy!
An unspoilt haven rich in history and wildlife… there’s nowhere quite like the historic village of Buckler’s Hard. Once a thriving shipbuilding community, now the village is home to a charming museum, historic cottages and tea rooms, all tucked away on the banks of the Beaulieu River. Regular visitors can make great savings with an annual pass.
Mottisfont’s gardens offer seasonal variety throughout the year, including spring bulbs, autumn leaves and a colourful winter garden. Thousands of roses bloom once a year in June, while the Kitchen Garden is full of seasonal produce all year round.
A place to visit all year round especially the swathes of bluebells amongst acres of atmospheric woodland fill Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway during April and May. Also not to be missed at this time of year are the vibrant rhododendrons and azaleas, which create the perfect backdrop to family photographs.
Scenic activities and views in Hampshire
Cruise on the historic Steamship Shieldhall around scenic Southampton Water and the Solent on selected dates between May and September! See the New Forest; Southampton Docks; Cowes and the Isle of Wight from a waterside perspective, and learn about the sites with historical commentary.
Where better to enjoy the scenic views of Hampshire’s beautiful Country Parks and Forests then from the treetops? Swing, zip and bounce your way to adventure at Go Ape Southampton, Alice Holt and Moors Valley while taking in all of nature’s beauty.
If you’re looking to take to the water, you couldn’t ask for a more beautiful setting to paddle in than the Beaulieu River in The New Forest. New Forest Activities offer guided canoeing and kayaking tours throughout the year, offering you the chance to paddle in a unique and stunning location. Learn about the river’s rich history, explore hidden creeks and spot the varied wildlife that calls the Beaulieu River Nature Reserve home. Great for all ages!
Take in the beautiful Hampshire countryside as you travel by steam along the heritage Watercress Line, adjacent to the South Downs National Park. Your ticket gives you all day unlimited travel allowing you to visit each of the charming stations, with plenty to explore at each stop.
Step back in time amongst the atmospheric ancient buildings of Butser Ancient Farm. See reconstructed buildings from the Stone Age, Iron Age, Roman and Anglo Saxon periods set amongst the beautiful South Downs Landscape as the seasons change.
Where are the highest points in Hampshire?
With panoramic windows offering 350 degree views up to 23 miles, Emirates Spinnaker Tower offers a stunning backdrop 365 days of the year. It’s one of the highest points in Hampshire and tallest man made structures. Whether you’re tucking into a High Tea watching a storm brew or partying in the twinkling city lights, the backdrop is equally stunning no matter the weather.
Visit Queen Elizabeth Country Park and experience spectacular views across the South Downs National Park. As the gateway to the South Downs, QECP is home to Butser Hill, the second highest point in the whole of the National Park and is the best place to watch the sunset over the rolling hills.
Climb the 109 steps to the top of The Chapel at Royal Victoria Country Park and marvel at the spectacular views. The 150ft tower of The Chapel has stood over Southampton waters for more than 150 years and offers breath-taking views across the park and the Solent.
Beautiful sunset spots in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
The Lookout restaurant at Lepe Country Park offers good mood food with a view. The restaurant frames a stunning portrait looking out on to the Solent and the Isle of Wight, alongside the mile-long beach that Lepe has to offer. Try out the signature Bowman beer-battered fish and chips whilst you’re there.
Look no further than the Calshot Café @ The Hangar for the perfect place for a summer bite to eat. Sit outside to get a superb panoramic view of the Solent, the Isle of Wight and Spinnaker Tower can both be spotted on a clear day across the water.
The Isle of Wight has incredible views – sweeping beaches to rolling hills and valleys, tall cliff tops to warm, welcoming pubs and restaurants. Book now to discover the Island on foot as part of the Isle of Wight Walking Festival.
Want more? We’ve also got details on some of the best attractions in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, as well as more tips to plan the perfect day out.