Southern Self Drive

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Places to Visit

To compliment your visit to us, we’ve listed a number of places of interest in and around Portsmouth, Fareham, Gosport, Havant, Chichester, Winchester, Southampton, Hampshire, West Sussex and the Isle of Wight. Most have links to their websites so you can get more detail on each attraction. We wish you an enjoyable stay!

 

Around Portsmouth, Southsea, Fareham & Gosport

D-Day Museum, Southsea

Portsmouth’s D-Day Museum is Britain’s only museum dedicated solely to covering all aspects of the D-Day landings in Normandy, France, on 6 June 1944. D-Day was a turning point in the Second World War, and a moment when the course of world events depended on the Allied troops taking part.

HMS Warrior

As you arrive at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, the stunning sleek, black lines of Britain’s first iron-hulled, armoured warship, take your breath away. Warrior, launched in 1860, was the pride of Queen Victoria’s fleet.  Powered by steam and sail, she was the largest, fastest and most powerful ship of her day and had a profound effect on naval architecture. Warrior was, in her time, the ultimate deterrent. Yet within a few years she was obsolete.

The Mary Rose

The Mary Rose is based in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Built between 1509 and 1511, she was one of the first ships able to fire a broadside, and was a firm favourite of King Henry VIII. After a long and successful career, she sank accidentally during an engagement with the French fleet in 1545. Her rediscovery and raising were seminal events in the history of nautical archaeology.

HMS-Victory

Best known for her role in the Battle of Trafalgar, the Victory currently has a dual role as the flagship of the Commander-in-Chief Naval Home Command and as a living museum to the Georgian navy.

Port Solent

Port Solent is a relaxing waterside experience and is ideal for movies, bars, restaurants and shops.

Gunwharf Quays at Portsmouth Harbour, Shopping, Cinema ...

Shop at over 95 designer outlets, eat at one of 30 cosmopolitan bars & restaurants, work it off at the health & fitness centre, catch a film at the 14 screen Vue cinema, bowl at the 26 lane Bowlplex, laugh with Highlights comedy club, dance the night away at Tiger Tiger, then stay at the new Express by Holiday Inn……..

Charles Dickens Birthplace, Portsmouth Hampshire

The famous writer Charles Dickens was born in this modest house in Portsmouth, England in 1812. The house has miraculously survived and is now preserved as a museum furnished in the style of 1809 which is when John and Elizabeth Dickens set up the first home of their married life there.

Blue Reef Aquarium

Blue Reef is part of an exciting new generation of aquarium attractions designed to inspire deeper understanding and appreciation of the natural world.

Portsmouth Natural History Museum

Portsmouth is a very special place for wildlife in Britain. It has many different habitats in a very small area, and at Portsmouth Natural History Museum you can explore them all.

Royal Marines Museum

The Royal Marines Museum, situated on the seafront at Southsea, Portsmouth, celebrates the famous fighting spirit and long history of the Royal Marines. Immerse yourself in what the Museum has to offer; explore the exhibits, enjoy interactive displays and films, and see how the Royal Marines have developed into the world-renowned elite fighting force of today...

Southsea Castle

Built in 1544, the Castle was part of a series of fortifications constructed by Henry VIII around England's coasts to protect the country from invaders. Barely was the work completed when Henry VIII's flagship, the Mary Rose, tragically sank in front of the Castle. During the English Civil War, nearly a century later, the Castle was captured for the only time in its history, by Parliamentarian forces.

City Museum & Records Office

The museum's main displays feature the 'Story of Portsmouth'.  Discover how life at home has changed over the centuries in the 'Living in Portsmouth' Gallery which looks at life in the home with the reconstruction of a 17th century bedchamber, an 1871 dockyard worker's kitchen, a Victorian parlour, a 1930s kitchen and a 1950s living room. The story continues with 'Portsmouth at Play' on the beach, in the cinema, on the football field and dance floor.

Royal Navy Submarine Museum

Dive into history at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport, Hampshire and go onboard an actual WWII era submarine - HMS Alliance with a veteran ...former submariners walk you through where they would work, eat and sleep onboard H Alliance. Peer into the only surviving X-craft.....

Queen Elizabeth Country Park

Hampshire's biggest country park... 20 miles of trails for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. Butser Hill National Nature Reserve and the highest point on the south downs. 1,400 acres of open access woodland and downland within the East Hampshire Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

 

Around Havant & Chichester

Hayling Island UK

Hayling Island combines all the attractions of a traditional seaside holiday with excellent sporting and leisure facilities. The island's miles of unspoilt coastline and countryside also offer a haven of peace and tranquillity, where visitors can walk, cycle or relax.

Stansted House

Stansted Park is a friendly stately home on the South Downs overlooking the coast, within 1800 acres of ancient forest on the borders of Hampshire and Sussex. The House at the end of a two-mile beech avenue, its private chapel, splendid mansion rooms and the fully furnished servants' quarters below stairs are open to visitors from Easter to September.

Staunton Country Park

1,000 acres of landscaped parkland with ornamental lake, woodland and follies. The timeless beauty and tranquillity of the walled garden... the exotic species in the South Coast's largest glasshouses will amaze you... surround the senses with colours, textures and aromatic scents in the Sensory Garden... get lost in the Golden Jubilee maze.

Chichester Cathedral

For 900 years Chichester Cathedral has welcomed visitors through its doors – worshippers, seekers, tourists, people of all faiths and none.

Fishbourne Roman Palace

Fishbourne Roman Palace was discovered by accident during the digging of a water main trench in 1960. The discovery led to nine seasons of excavations that showed the site had developed from a military base at the time of the Roman invasion in AD43 to a sumptuous Palace by the end of the first century. Between 1995 and 2002, new excavations by the Sussex Archaeological Society revealed exciting new insights into this development of this site, and especially the area in front of the Palace.

 

Around Winchester, Southampton & The Isle of Wight

Austen, Jane

One of the world's most famous authors spent most of her life in the historic and beautiful county of Hampshire in the south of England. It was in Hampshire that Jane Austen found inspiration to write such classics as Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park and Sense and Sensibility. She wrote her famous works drawing on a large circle of friends, social gatherings and places around Hampshire that she visited to devise the characters and settings for her novels.

Beaulieu

Beaulieu, one of the South of England’s top day visitor attractions, is set in the heart of the New Forest, the UK’s newest National Park. Beaulieu is a guaranteed great family day out with lots for everyone to enjoy including the world famous National Motor Museum, Palace House, home of the Montagu family, and historic Beaulieu Abbey. It is located within easy reach of the popular tourist destinations of Bournemouth, Southampton and Winchester.

Exbury Gardens

The Gardens are a spectacular 200 acre (100 hectare) site, world-famous for the Rothschild Collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and rare trees and shrubs. This earthly paradise offers a riot of colour in spring, an oasis of tranquility in summer followed by a splendid show as the leaves change in the autumn. Discover Exbury’s hidden beauty and escape the cares of the world as you explore a myriad of pathways. Let the train take the strain on a 20 minute journey or ride a chauffeur driven buggy to tour the Gardens.

Marwell Zoological Park

A visit to Marwell Wildlife is a chance to get close to the wonders of the natural world – and play a big part in helping to save them. From ring-tailed coatis to red-eyed tree frogs, laughing kookaburra to frilled lizards, giraffe-nosed catfishes to bat-eared foxes – our 140-acre park is home to over 250 exotic and endangered species, in beautiful, landscaped surroundings.

Southampton City Art Gallery

Southampton City Art Gallery can offer something for everyone, whether you're young or old, a lifelong fan or going to a gallery for the first time. The gallery is internationally renowned for its impressive art collection, spanning six centuries of European art history. Thousands of visitors explore the exhibitions and displays every month and, through a programme of educational activities, we aim to provide opportunities for greater access, involvement and understanding of art, for people of all ages.

The New Forest Hampshire

Step back in time and discover the charm and natural beauty of this unique destination.

The New Forest is England's newest National Park and was once a royal hunting ground for William the Conqueror. Today deer, ponies and cattle continue to roam free in its ancient heaths and woodland.

Winchester Cathedral

An inspiring day out for all ages. Explore more than 1000 years of history in Europe’s longest medieval Cathedral. Discover the beautiful illuminated Winchester Bible, 12th-century wall paintings, medieval carvings, contemporary art and the awe and wonder of this magnificent building.

Winchester Great Hall and Round Table

The first and finest of all 13th century halls, with the greatest symbol of medieval mythology, 'The Round Table of King Arthur'.

National Trust Uppark

This gem on the South Downs, rescued after a major fire in 1989, houses an elegant Georgian interior with a famous Grand Tour collection, which includes paintings, furniture and ceramics. An 18th-century dolls' house with original contents, is one of the highlights. The complete servants' quarters in the basement are shown as they were in Victorian days when H. G. Wells' mother was housekeeper. The beautiful and peaceful garden is now fully restored in the early 19th-century Picturesque style, in a downland and woodland setting.

Isle of Wight Tourism - Visiting the Isle of Wight

Steeped in history with 60 miles of stunning unspoilt scenery and a wealth of attractions, the Isle of Wight has something for everyone. From historic sites to natural delights, music festivals and major national events, it is a unique holiday destination.