Langstone Quays is in a lovely location, close to the water in lively Hayling Island. However, our local coastline is just one of the many exciting places to explore in Hampshire. Here are some of our favourite days out close to Hayling.
It’s a short, twenty-minute drive from Hayling Island to the lively port city of Portsmouth. You can easily spend a whole day exploring Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Take a tour of Nelson’s famous flagship, HMS Victory, and compare her with the Victorian HMS Warrior, Britain’s first iron-hulled battleship. There are several maritime exhibitions across the site, as well as a boat trip around the harbour, which gives you an idea of the scale of the dockyards.
Other Portsmouth must-sees include the wreck of the Tudor Mary Rose (in the same dockyard location but a separate attraction) and a trip up the Spinnaker Tower. There are stylish shops and places to eat in the waterfront Gunwharf Quays, or head off to explore the city’s narrow old streets.
Head 35 miles inland to Hampshire’s county city, Winchester. This is an elegant town with a beautiful blend of historic architecture. There are plenty of independent shops, cafés and restaurants to discover, and the awe-inspiring Winchester Cathedral rises above the town. We recommend taking one of the guided tours to pick up on some of the medieval church’s wonderful details. Winchester is also famous for its Jane Austen connection (she’s buried in the cathedral), so there’s plenty for Janeites to explore.
Southampton is Hampshire’s largest city, and is just 25 miles from Hayling Island. Like Portsmouth, it’s a busy harbour town, combining a working port with a lively city centre. It’s probably best known for being the departure point of the Titanic; and the SeaCity Museum, was opened in 2012 to mark the centenary of the disaster. You can find out more about the ill-fated liner and its Southampton connections, as well as learning more about the fascinating city itself.
Make time to also visit the Solent Sky Museum, which tells the story of the Spitfire (made in Southampton). You can also take the ferry across to the Isle of Wight (not technically part of Hampshire since 1890, but we couldn’t leave it out…!).
Hampshire’s National Parks
We’re so lucky to have two national parks in our county: the South Downs National Park, and part of the New Forest National Park. It takes around 45 minutes to reach both of them (Hayling Island’s in the middle!), and both are so worth the journey. The South Downs has that classic English “rolling” landscape, dotted with woodlands and pretty villages. If you fancy a walk, join a section of the lovely South Downs Way. The New Forest is our favourite place for nature spotting. It’s not just all trees: this beautiful area combines ancient woods with heathland, farmland and coast.
And of course, there’s a lot to see on our doorstep. Hayling Island may be small, but it has five miles of shore with Blue Flag-awarded beaches. It’s a beautiful place to take a dip in the sea, or to have a go at some of the many water sports on offer (did you know windsurfing was invented on Hayling Island?). Explore the island via the Hayling Billy Cycle Trail (also suitable for walkers) or take a trip on the Hayling coastal steam railway. It’s the perfect place for a relaxing day by (or in) the sea.
These are just a few of Hampshire’s highlights. The county is full of gorgeous old towns, clean beaches and historic sites to visit (bring your National Trust card!). Langstone Quays makes an excellent base for exploring Hampshire and Chichester, and we can give you plenty of other tips for fantastic days out.