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Hampshire – Home to Charles Dickens
Settlements appeared in Hampshire during Neolithic times and the county was one of the first to be occupied by the Romans. Later came the West Saxons and then the Normans.
A number of castles were built to protect certain areas, in particular the ports of Southampton and Portsmouth.
During the Second World War Hampshire played an important role because of the large Royal Navy harbour at Portsmouth, the Army base at Aldershot and its close proximity to the army training ranges on Salisbury Plain.
Southampton was the target of heavy bombing during the war, partly because of the presence of ‘Supermarine’ who designed the famous Spitfire and other military aircraft. The Spitfire played a key role in the “Battle of Britain”.
Reasons to visit Hampshire
Hampshire has many scenic places of interest, in addition to the famous ports, such as the Aldershot Military Museum (about the British Army in Aldershot since the 1850s), Beaulieu Abbey (13th century), Beacon Hill (once the site of the most famous beacon in Hampshire), D-Day Museum (which tells the story of Operation Overlord during the Normandy D-Day landings), The Farnborough International Airshow (an excellent chance to see some fantastic planes up close), HMS Victory (Lord Nelson’s Flagship), The Mary Rose (warship of the English Tudor navy), The New Forest, medieval Portchester Castle, Romsey Abbey, Royal Victoria Country Park, Southsea Castle (built 1544), Spinnaker Tower (landmark tower in Portsmouth) and Winchester Cathedral (the longest cathedral in Europe).
Entertainment and Dining in Hampshire
Hampshire offers some excellent entertainment (especially in the main towns) and you can find theatres, cinemas, pubs and plenty of nightclubs. There is a good selection of restaurants (more than a thousand) like the Verveine Fishmarket Restaurant in Milford on Sea, Buon Gusto in Southampton and Barnabys in Portsmouth.
Accommodation in Hampshire
There are many Guest Houses, B&Bs, self-catering apartments and camping sites in the county, including hotels like The Clarence Hotel in Portsmouth, Oakley Hall Hotel in Basingstoke and Premier Inn in Southampton.