History & heritage

History all around!

History all around!

Everywhere you look in this region, you get a strong sense of the past.

Beaulieu Abbey

Beaulieu Abbey

Beaulieu Abbey was once thriving Cistercian Abbey, destroyed on the orders of King Henry VIII in 1538 having been founded by King John three centuries before. The now tranquil Abbey is a conserved ruin and visitor attraction.

Bembridge Windmill

Bembridge Windmill

Bembridge Windmill is the only surviving windmill on the Isle of Wight, the Grade I listed building is one of the island’s most iconic images. Built around 1700, it last operated in 1913 but still has most of its original machinery intact.

Brading Roman Villa

Brading Roman Villa

Brading Roman Villa is one of the finest Roman sites in the UK. The award winning visitor centre and museum offers a unique insight into Roman life in Britain from beautifully preserved mosaic floors to a collection of Roman archaeology.

Butser Ancient Farm

Butser Ancient Farm

A unique experimental archaeological site and a fascinating day out. This ancient farm displays ongoing constructions of Iron Age buildings based on real sites, crops from prehistory and rare breeds of animals.

Calbourne Water Mill

Calbourne Water Mill

Set in 35 acres of stunning rural landscape, Calbourne Water Mill contains one of the oldest working water mills in the country. A fascinating day out for all the family, look around the small war museum and many rural exhibits.

Calshot Castle

Calshot Castle

Calshot Castle is a picturesque castle set in Calshot, this beautiful village provides a perfect relaxing family day out by the coast. This artillery fort, built by Henry VIII to defend the sea passage to Southampton, was recently used as a base.

Carisbrooke Castle

Carisbrooke Castle

Carisbrooke is at the very heart of the Isle of Wight’s history. An Elizabethan artillery fortress, a king’s prison and a royal summer residence, here you’ll find loveable donkeys, a fascinating museum and an Edwardian garden.

Charles Dickens’ Birthplace Museum

Charles Dickens' Birthplace Museum

The Charles Dickens’ Birthplace Museum is the perfect place to start exploring the work of one of England’s most famous writers. There are three furnished rooms: the parlour, the dining room and the bedroom where Charles was born.

Cumberland Natural History Museum

Cumberland Natural History Museum

There’s a buzz around Cumberland House Natural History Museum as visitors flock to see the observational beehive. Up to 9,000 European Honey Bees live in a colony in the hive, producing honey combs and raising their young.

D-Day Museum

D-Day Museum

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 – a historic turning point in the Second World War.

Dimbola Museum & Gallery

Dimbola Museum and Gallery

Home of the celebrated Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. It is now a Museum and Gallery dedicated to her life and work, which also showcases contemporary exhibitions from photographers around the globe.

Dinosaur Isle

Dinosaur Isle

Dinosaur Isle is Britain’s first purpose built dinosaur museum and visitor attraction; based in Sandown on the Isle of Wight. The Island’s diverse geology contains a wealth of fossils that tell us much about the past.

Gilbert White’s House

Gilbert White's House

It’s located in the picturesque Hampshire village of Selborne. The charming country house was once the home of England’s first ecologist, here you can discover three fascinating stories about explorers of the Natural World.

Hinton Ampner

Hinton Ampner

This elegant country manor and tranquil garden sit so harmoniously within the landscape that one cannot exist without the other. Enjoy the beautifully manicured lawns that lead the eye down avenues of sculptured topiary.

Hurst Castle

Hurst Castle

Hurst Castle provides a remote escape by the sea with plenty of things to do and see! Built by Henry VIII it was one of the most advanced artillery fortresses in England. The castle was then used as a prison in the 17th century.

Mottisfont

Mottisfont

Maud Russell made Mottisfont her home in the 1930s, bringing artists here to relax and create works inspired by the past. Those traditions are continued today, with a permanent 20th-century art collection and major exhibitions.

Museum of Army Flying

Museum of Army Flying

The Museum of Army Flying holds an extensive collection charting over 100 years of the British Army in the air. With over 35 fixed wing and rotary aircraft on display, it’s the perfect place to explore the history of army aviation.

National Motor Museum

National Motor Museum

From the earliest motor carriages to classic family saloons, the National Motor Museum, loacted at Beaulieu, boasts one of the finest collections of cars, motorcycles and motoring memorabilia in the world.

Newport Roman Villa

Newport Roman Villa

Discovered in 1926 , the well-preserved remains at Newport Roman Villa provides a fascinating insight into country life in third century Britain. The Villa has a superb bath suite with, under floor heating and remnants of mosaic floors.

Osborne House

Osborne House

“It is impossible to imagine a prettier spot” said Queen Victoria of Osborne House, her palatial holiday home on the Isle of Wight. Visit Victoria and Albert’s private apartments, their bathing beach and children’s play-cottage.

Palace House

Palace House

In an idyllic New Forest setting, overlooking the picturesque Beaulieu River millpond, Palace House was re-modeled and extended during the 1800s and is now a fine example of a Victorian country house.

Portchester Castle

Portchester Castle

Portchester Castle in Hampshire provides the perfect setting for a relaxed, fun, historic day out. The most impressive and best-preserved of the Roman ‘Saxon Shore’ forts, Portchester Castle was originally built in the late 3rd century.

Portsmouth Museum

Portsmouth Museum

Portsmouth Museum explores different facets of Portsmouth’s history – from the everyday to moments when the city has played its role in national and international events. The city’s art and design collections are also showcased here.

Rockbourne Roman Villa

Rockbourne Roman Villa

Rockbourne Roman Villa once stood in the centre of a large farming estate, and is the largest known villa in the area. There is a museum which displays many of the fascinating objects found during excavations.

Royal Navy Submarine Museum

Royal Navy Submarine Museum

The Royal Navy Submarine Museum attracts 50,000 visitors a year. The main attraction is HMS Alliance, the UK’s only surviving walk through WW2 era submarine. The museum tells the story of the lives of every British submariner.

Solent Sky Museum

Solent Sky Museum

Solent Sky Museum showcases the history of aviation in Southampton and Solent area. The museum has 18 aircraft of various types, including the Spitfire and S6b, the Engine Bay also has a good selection of engines.

Southampton City Art Gallery

Southampton City Art Gallery

Southampton City Art Gallery offers the opportunity to enjoy high quality exhibitions ranging from painting, sculpture and drawing, to photography and film, as well as a permanent collection and displays that change regularly.

Southsea Castle

Southsea Castle

Southsea Castle is open as a historical attraction free of charge between March and October each year. Visitors can explore the keep, enjoy amazing views across the Solent from the castle ramparts or enjoy a bite to eat in the cafe.

The Great Hall

The Great Hall

The legend of King Arthur has endured for over a thousand years and during that time it has lost none of its fascination. The Great Hall is home to ‘King Arthur’s Round Table’, possibly the greatest symbol of medieval mythology.

The Mary Rose

Mary Rose Museum

Watch the ship come to life as the crew are projected onto her decks, showing how they fought, worked and lived on board this mighty 16th century warship. Discover that Tudor England is only a heartbeat away at The Mary Rose.

Winchester’s Military Museums

Winchesters Military Museums

Winchester’s Military Museums is a grouping of five military museums situated within yards of each other. A visit to Winchester’s Military Museums provides an opportunity to visit all of them and enjoy an interesting day out.