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English holiday cottages in Hampshire

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Within a couple of hours of London you could be in a stylish apartment on Portsmouth's waterfront, a cosy cottage in Winchester, a Southampton holiday home with sea views or a traditional country cottage in Hampshire's rolling green countryside. Renting self-catering accommodation for a holiday in Hampshire will ensure that there are plenty of rural and urban treats in store.

Perhaps one of the most accessible places to choose a holiday home in Hampshire is Fleet, in the north-east corner of the county near the M3 motorway. You can take a boat out on Basingstoke canal, which provides perfect spots for walking, fishing, cycling and picnicking. Yately Common Country Park was once infamous for highwayman and smugglers, but today the beautiful expanse of heathland provides a breath of fresh air for locals and holidaymakers alike. Anyone with an interest in military history should stop by nearby Aldershot, the home of the British Army. Museums include the Aldershot Military Museum, the Parachute and Airborne Forces Museum and the Army Medical Services Museum.

A cottage in or near Basingstoke will give access to Festival Place, a huge shopping centre which includes restaurants, cafes and leisure facilities. There's also the Anvil Concert Hall and Basingstoke Leisure Park. If you are bringing children on your holiday in Hampshire then the aquadrome, cinema and bowlplex may be of interest. The Vyne is a national trust owned property on the northern outskirts of Basingstoke, and has a Tudor chapel and attractively planted grounds. Forest Edge is an eco-friendly garden on the edge of the ancient oak woodlands of Hampshire's Harewood Forest. May is a good time to visit, when the spring meadow is blooming. At the Hawk Conservancy Trust near Andover visitors can watch the spectacular 'Valley of the Eagles' flying display. Holiday cottages near Andover offer a variety of self-catering accommodation in idyllic country cottages as well as large houses to rent in Hampshire.

Choosing a holiday cottage in the unspoilt cathedral city of Winchester will put you in a great position to explore the beautiful South Downs as well as the city itself. It's easy to get around the centre of Winchester on foot, and a visit to the stunning Norman cathedral is a must. The Great Hall, at the top of the High Street, and Sally Port are the only surviving parts of Winchester Castle. For a more modern attraction, check out Intech, a science centre with over a hundred hands-on exhibits for the whole family to enjoy. There are some award-winning pubs and restaurants in the area and if you are self-catering in Winchester or the surrounding Hampshire countryside then you can go along to the regular farmers' market for fresh local produce.

As a medieval city with stylish modern developments, Southampton offers an appealing mix of the contemporary and the traditional. Proud of its seafaring history, Southampton has a Maritime Museum and a Titanic Exhibition which tells the full story of the famous ship. The City Art Gallery has been described as one of the best places outside London to see British modern art, and the majestic Mayflower theatre is at the heart of Southampton's performing arts scene.

While Portsmouth's busy shipping hub may not appeal to holidaymakers, the city's many holiday homes and varied visitor attractions are definitely worth considering. You can enjoy breathtaking views from the 170 metre Spinnaker Tower, and explore the Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard which is home to the Mary Rose, HMS Victory and HMP Warrior. The miles of waterfront with views across the Solent provide the perfect settings for relaxing walks at the water's edge. There are a great selection of self-catering holiday homes near Portsmouth and this is a lovely part of Hampshire for a holiday.

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