Hampshire is a beautiful rural country in the South East of England. It has a population of roughly one and a half million people and is home to Great Britain’s Royal Navy, with its headquarters in Portsmouth.
The major urban centers include Southampton, Portsmouth and Winchester, which is the former capital of England. It is the third largest county in South East England, sprawling over 3,700 kilometers. There is plenty to see and rural tourism is very popular as the county is home to two national parks, New Forest as well as the South Downs, which take up about half the land area.
Visitors can enjoy plenty of walks through the valleys and hills of this scenic part of the world. But it is also home to a large number of seaside towns and resorts that give a feel of ‘Olde England’.
The county also has a link to some of England’s most famous writers including Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. The area was settled in pre-historic times, as evidenced by the mythical Stonehenge stone circle temple in neighboring Wiltshire. Hampshire itself has little in the way of ancient monuments, but there are some remnants to be seen from the Bronze Age, particularly the Danebury Rings. During this period in history, the inhabitants of South East England had more in common with the Celts from the North in present day Scotland and they even spoke the same language.
The Romans took over Hampshire around 40 AD and Winchester was at the time one of the largest cities in Britannia. When the Romans left, it was incorporated into the Kingdom of Wessex and became the Capital City. In the Middle Ages, ports became more important and the coastal towns of Southampton and Portsmouth burgeoned in size. London also overtook Winchester in size and importance and eventually became the capital of England.