101 Great Days Out in South East England this Summer

Tourism South East’s new domestic #LOVESouthEastEngland campaign shines the spotlight on the 9 key tourism pillars of the region to highlight the diversity of experiences, days out and short breaks available to visitors this summer.

300 Million Acres of Natural Beauty

NEW Take to two wheels to explore the new King Alfred’s Way cutting through the heart of Hampshire, neighbouring counties and connecting four of England’s National Trails. Starting and finishing at King Alfred’s burial point, the 350km loop weaves through historic Wessex immersing riders in 10,000 years of history and connecting iconic landmarks and world heritage sites.

NEW In Surrey, visit RHS Hilltop, a brand new attraction opening at the RHS Garden Wisley on 24th June 2021. RHS Hilltop will be the UK’s first dedicated horticultural scientific centre of excellence, showcasing the garden’s previously unseen work and inspiring the next generation of scientists to protect the future of plants, people and the planet.

185 million years of History

Picture by Jim Holden

NEW Walk in the footsteps of William the Conqueror along the 31-mile long 1066 Country Walk. 2021 will see ten specially commissioned sculptures based on the Bayeux Tapestry being added along the route.

Famed for their beaches, Bournemouth and Christchurch offer also centuries of history. Explore historic Christchurch; the 11th Century Priory which gives the town its name and the ruins of Christchurch Castle which pre-date the Norman Conquest. Formerly owned by Mr Selfridge, the Grade I listed Highcliffe Castle is today an important example of the Romantic and Picturesque style of architecture. •

NEW Experience the personal testimonies of those involved in the Normandy Landings at The D-Day Story in Portsmouth. From 17th May 2021, visitors will be able to experience a new addition to the museum; LCT 7074 – the last surviving Landing Craft Tank that took part in the D-Day Landings. Take a walk on board the restored LCT, discover the vessel’s fascinating history and experience what it would have felt like for those embarking on this epic campaign.

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Walk the Southampton Walls – considered to be the best-preserved medieval Town Walls in England – and visit the historic churches, wine vaults and ancient monuments en route.  In Spring 2021, Southampton’s two Bargate Lions, which have stood guard at the gateway to the city since 1180, were returned to their plinths following repair and restoration works. Be sure to stop at God’s House Tower; originally a medieval strategic point of defence and now a cutting edge new arts and heritage venue.

The Wine Capital of the UK

South East England is the wine capital of the UK with more than 140 vineyards scattered across the region. Stay at Oastbrook Estate Vineyard in the unique Hobbit House deep in the Rother Valley. Close to Bodiam Castle, this hideaway offers unique luxury accommodation, built by local craftsmen from local materials.

Situated at the heart of the Tinwood Estate, The Lodge been designed with luxury adult breaks in mind and includes a two-person jacuzzi bath, barrel sauna, sumptuous sleeping accommodation and of course, a fully-stocked wine fridge with Tinwood’s award-winning sparkling wine.

Made in South East England

Odiham is a historic market town in Hampshire, and has a weekly food market, and regularly hosts speciality farmer’s markets. A busy market square. Stalls and people.

NEW Stay in a brand new luxury barn conversion at Gambledown Farm, Hampshire. Purchase home-grown produce and get stuck into farm life.  Local produce is highly celebrated in Hampshire with countless food festivals including the Watercress Festival (May), Southsea Food Festival (July), Hampshire Food Festival (July), Romsey Show (September) and Trout & About (August). There’s also a multitude of breweries, vineyards, orchards and lavender fields plus cookery classes to take part in.

Taste the unique products at the Isle of Wight Garlic Farm from garlic chutneys to locally brewed, garlic-infused, amber ale and ice cream. Stop for lunch; browse the artisan products in the shop and stay for the night in one of their self-catering cottages or yurts.

The UK’s Sunniest Destination

Photo by Liz Finlayson/Vervate Visit Brighton Shoot 2020 –

With the mildest climate and most sunshine hours in the UK, South East England is an all-year round destination. Get into the cosmopolitan holiday vibe with a stroll around the famous Brighton Lanes, twisting alleyways crammed with quaint shops and funky restaurants and cafes. In summer 2021, enjoy an evening under the stars combined with fantastic live entertainment at the Brighton Open Air Theatre.  From Shakespeare to stand-up comedy and Roald Dahl to opera, BOAT guarantees to delight.

400 Miles of Stunning Coastline

NEW Explore Beachy Head – the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain – and the new Beachy Head Story, a brand new exhibition telling the tale of the Downs and stories of people who have shaped this landscape. For a different perspective of Beachy Head take to the skies with a paragliding experience over the stunning Sussex Coastline and South Downs National Park

Walk the rugged coast of the Isle of Wight to the highest point of Tennyson Down (formerly High Down), a long chalk ridge with sheer cliffs on its south side. On reaching the Tennyson monument at the top, you’re rewarded with spectacular, far reaching views across the Solent and to the mainland.

Celebrating the British Social Season

Nothing screams British Social Season louder than a day at the races and for the ultimate experience it has to be Royal Ascot.  With official dress and behaviour codes, fancy hats, flowing fizz and Royal patronage, race days at Ascot offer a unique atmosphere.

A night of live entertainment at Eastbourne Bandstand is quite simply music to the ears!  Opened in 1935, the busy bandstand hosts a packed schedule of concerts from May to October. The British spirit really comes to life every Wednesday evening with traditional proms favourites including Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture accompanied by a spectacular Firework display.

Follow in the Footsteps of Royalty

An exploration of British royalty would not be complete without a trip to the Royal Borough of Windsor  & Maidenhead.   Crowned by Windsor Castle – the largest and oldest inhabited castle in the world and the Queen’s favourite weekend home – the historic town and Royal Borough offers a mix of history, culture, heritage and fun.  Explore the Royal landscape of Windsor Great Park with Ascot Carriages.

Inspiring over 7 million Words

Take a wander through Winchester, the ancient capital of the UK. Walk the daily route of the poet John Keats from the city to St Cross, passing through the landscape, which inspired his famous ode ‘To Autumn’

Hampshire is Jane Austen country. Undisputedly one of England’s most celebrated authors, Hampshire played an important part in her life, both as her home and inspiration to many of her novels. Starting at Jane Austen’s House in Chawton, visitors can follow in her footsteps on a 4.5 mile circular walk through the East Hampshire countryside that so inspired her writing.

To see the full list of 101 Great Days Out in South East England and for further inspiration for days out and short breaks to the region please visit https://www.visitsoutheastengland.com/

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