Britons are keen to find alternatives to holidays abroad. Walks, drives and staycations have all become popular choices with Britons who don’t want to go abroad this year. Southampton is a port city on the south coast, home to a Russell Group University, great shops and the SeaCity Museum. But for those looking to explore some of the city’s close routes, here are five of the best drives near Southampton from the coastline, to the countryside and some of Hampshire’s most stunning cities.
1. Southampton to Christchurch
Christchurch is a town in Dorset on the south coast close to Bournemouth in the west and the New Forest in the east.
The town is home to some wonderful views, restaurants and cafes, and is the perfect spot for a day trip.
But the journey there from Southampton is probably just as good as the destination.
It will take you roughly 40 minutes and 24 miles to drive to Christchurch but the route takes you through the incredible New Forest.
The New Forest has a national park that is full of heathland, forest trails and native horses.
Along your way, you are likely to encounter all manner of animals grazing by the side of the road and even on the road.
2. Brockenhurst to Lymington
Brockenhurst is an adorable village in the New Forest that is just around 13 miles away from Southampton.
Lymington is just ten minutes away from Brockenhurst but is worth the short but sweet trip.
Lymington is a port town that faces the Isle of Wight and has a car ferry service for those who want a real adventure.
The journey will take you through the New Forest through some adorable idyllic villages.
Lymington in particular is perfect for a day trip with beautiful coastal views, two large marinas filled with yachts and plenty of local pubs, restaurants and shops.
The town has cobbled streets and some incredible ice cream shops that offer some very unusual flavours.
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3. Winchester to West Meon (via A272)
Winchester is the former capital of England that is just 13 miles outside of Southampton.
The city itself is home to a stunning cathedral that is definitely worth a visit before you leave.
West Meon is a village in Hampshire that is home to around 700 people.
In 2019, the A272 between Winchester and West Meon was named 33rd on a list of some of the UK’s best roads for driving.
The route is nine miles and passes through some of Hampshire county’s beautiful countryside.
4. Lymington to Ringwood via the New Forest
Lymington to Ringwood is just a 30-minute drive that is around 15 miles long.
There are multiple routes but one of them explores the landscapes and settlements of the New Forest.
The route will take you across the lesser known parts of the forest which are also the most beautiful.
Hinton Ampner and New Cheriton are just some of the exciting villages to visit.
5. Portsmouth to Isle of Wight
Portsmouth is another port city in Hampshire that is home to a shopping outlet and a naval base.
The dockyard is home to the interactive National Museum of the Royal Navy.
The Isle of Wight is an island off the south coast of England that is known for its seafront promenades.
Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight is just 15 miles but could take you around an hour to get there.
The route includes a ferry crossing but that means the views are truly something to behold.
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