Hampshire is one of the best places to explore by going on a road trip. It offers the perfect blend of coast, country, and city, not to mention it is filled with rich culture and history. According to Brannon Honda, Regardless of what time of the year you plan to visit, you will never run out of things to do with so many sights to see and activities to experience.
To fully enjoy your Hampshire experience, it is best if you let someone else take the wheel while you sit back and relax. You can explore the place by bus, train, or even by bike. There’s no need to worry about getting lost since guides are easily available in tourist information centers, buses, train stations, and libraries.
Without further ado, here is a guide on exploring Hampshire through different modes of transport.
Stagecoach, Blue Star, and First Group are the main companies that provide bus services in Hampshire. If you want to avoid the city traffic, you can take the Park and Ride buses which operate in Portsmouth, Basingstoke, and Winchester. There are several places in Hampshire that you can visit by bus. These include:
By taking on the Summer Beach Bus, you will be able to explore New Forest. The bus runs between the months of July and August and stops at known attractions like Exbury Gardens, Lepe Country Park, and the National Motor Museum. Another way to see the place is by taking the New Forest Tour open-top bus. Its route covers villages, forest walks, and other attractions. It operates between late June and mid-September.
If you want to visit Marwell Zoo, a bus service operates from April to August from Eastleigh Station. By taking the bus, you also get a 10% discount on your ticket admission to the zoo. Another bus service also operates from Bitterne, Lordshill, Hedge End, and Southampton Central Station to Marwell Zoo. This runs from May to August.
During the summer, free bus service is available to Test Valley. Simply ride a train to Romsey and take the free bus from there. You can hop off in several attractions such as the Houghton Lodge and Gardens, Mottisfont, Romsey Abbey, Stockbridge, and many others.
The South Western Railway is the main train service in Hampshire. It runs from Bournemouth and Poole to London Waterloo. Another interesting way to explore Hampshire is by taking a steam train from Alresford to Alton. Throughout the year, several events run in the area such as the real ale train, a day out with Thomas, and steam galas.
Taking the ferry is a convenient way to avoid the lengthy travel by road. There are several ferry services available in Hampshire. The Hythe Ferry can be accessed from one of the world’s oldest public pier trains – the Hythe Pier Railway. This will take you to and from Southampton and Hythe.
The Hamble Ferry is another popular ride with a pink ferry called ‘Emily.’ It runs regularly from Hamble to Warsash during 9 am to 5 pm. If you want to visit Hurst Castle which was built by Henry VIII, then hop on the Hurst Castle Ferry.
Hampshire also has about 30 cycling routes and several trails for both beginners and enthusiasts. Many trails are flat and off-road – perfect for those who want to take a slow and light cycling trip. There are lots of places that offer bikes for rent so you don’t have to take your bike with you. If you plan on going uphill, you can rent an electric bike in South Downs National Park.
Whether you take your Hondas or any other car, you won’t have trouble driving them to Hampshire. The place has excellent road networks to make your road trip as smooth as possible. You can get a route planner so you won’t have to worry about getting lost.