Southern England has so much to offer. When the weather is good, it's one of the most beautiful places to visit in the world. With rolling hills and beautiful scenery, there's no place quite like it. Millions of people every year from all around the world visit the south of England.
Where do all these tourists visit? There are plenty of sights and attractions to choose from. In this article, you will find some of the top attractions in southern England, when to visit, and what to expect from each one.
Down on the south coast, near Poole, you will find Sandbanks. While there are plenty of things to do in Poole, this has to be one of our favourites. Sandbanks is a peninsula that crosses the mouth of Poole Harbour with its beaches and amenities. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of nearby Bournemouth beach or escape the city, Sandbanks is the place for you.
What makes it so unique? Well, for a start, the beach is of very high quality. In the summer, lovely sand and warm water make Sandbanks a luxurious feeling beach, making you feel like you are somewhere exceptionally special. Also, it's accessed directly by ferry. Drive or walk onto the regular ferry and arrive on Sandbanks beach in as little as 10 minutes. Plus, if you want to eat fish and chips, you're going to the right place!
Camping In The New Forest
Camping is a lovely experience, regardless of where you go. But camping in the beautiful New Forest is a top-notch experience. Super private, secluded, and away from any main roads, you will find Setthorns campsite. Not only is it a secret and quiet place, but it's also deep within nature. Lucky campers may get to see the New Forest ponies and deer wandering through. Plus, there is plenty of other wildlife to discover in the forest.
On top of that, there are plenty of attractions nearby. It's only a short drive to the seaside towns of Bournemouth and Poole, so you could make your way to Sandbanks for the day. Other than this, there are nature reserves, animal centres and museums all within a short distance. Take in the New Forest beauty while you explore all the local attractions.
Just a short drive from the New Forest area, you can take yourself to one of the wonders of the world, Stonehenge. Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument that holds both religious and scientific interest. The history of its construction is unknown, though there are many varying theories of how these giant 25-ton stones came to be placed on Salisbury plains. With a new visitor centre and guided video and audio tours, you can learn everything there is to know about the wonder of the world in just an afternoon!
If you're visiting Stonehenge, you might decide to drive eight miles into Salisbury. The city of Salisbury was established way back in the year 1217, though settlements in the area such as Old Sarum date back to 300 BC. The current cathedral's construction began in the year 1220 but was not finished until 1320, when the spire was completed.
The spire stands at 404 feet and is the tallest in the United Kingdom. For those brave enough, you can take a walking tour to the top, treading carefully on the cathedral's interior wooden scaffolding. The cathedral also houses a copy of the Magna Carta, said to be in the best condition of all four surviving documents. It is quite the sight to see, with so much to take in. A visit here could make any sunny afternoon perfect. Plus, visiting is by donation only, so it doesn't cost the earth.
Moving ever so slightly north now to Windsor. Another town surrounded by beautiful landscape and plenty of campsites, but there is one fantastic place to visit here: Windsor Castle. Windsor Castle is over 1,000 years old and is, by some way, the oldest currently occupied castle in the western world.
Visits here cost a fair bit more than Salisbury Cathedral, but you get quite the history tour when you do visit. A family ticket is currently around £60, though this includes a guided multimedia tour that will take you back in time to the founding of the castle by William The Conqueror. Alongside this, the grounds of the castle are simply stunning, making for an excellent visit.
Back down to the south coast and to Brighton. Brighton Palace Pier has been standing since 1899, attracting visitors from all over the world. It stands over half a kilometre long, making it quite an impressive attraction. While it used to house a theatre, it now is the home to various stalls and an amusement park.
Walking along Brighton Palace Pier, you will come across some of the best fish and chips stands, restaurants, sweet treats and drinking establishments. Meanwhile, the kids can go on the giant slides and the bumper cars. This pier has something for everyone and is a must-visit for anyone taking a trip through the south of England.
The final destination recommended in the south of England has to be Cornwall. Cornwall is a beautiful coastal county of England, surrounded by the ocean. On either side of the island, you will find beautiful towns and great beaches. But, on the northwest side, you will discover Polzeath. Set up at the campsite by Polzeath beach, unpack your surfboards, then go carve some of the best waves in the entire United Kingdom. Fantastic for families and individuals alike, Polzeath beach is one of the most serenely beautiful spots in the south of England.
You could probably tie all of these attractions together in a week or so if you were so inclined. Or, choose one and spend a few days camping, relaxing, or exploring the local attractions and cities. Whenever you plan on visiting the south of England, make sure all of these places are on your to-do list.
Editor - Alan Rogers Guides
Rob has been involved in the leisure industry since completing a BTEC in Travel & Tourism in 1993. Previous roles have included the promotion of tourism in Yorkshire and running a motorcycle touring company in the Australian Outback.
He is the General Manager at Alan Rogers Travel Group, responsible for the ongoing development of the Alan Rogers website and the publication of the Alan Rogers Guides and 'Destinations' magazine.
He regularly travels with his wife and young daughter in their Dethleffs 'Campy' caravan. A keen cycling fan, Rob can often be found in a field in Belgium during the 'Spring Classics' season or riding his Royal Enfield Himalayan motorcycle.