Why go abroad? Britain is a wonderful place!
This year, thousands of Brits are rejecting foreign travel for a holiday in the UK. In fact, according to a recent study, 70% of Britons are planning a staycation break in 2015.
And with stunning scenery, gorgeous beaches and fascinating history all to be discovered in the South of England, who needs to go abroad? Take some inspiration from our highlights of the beautiful South.
The South Downs
Officially named as a National Park in 2009, the stunning landscape of the South Downs stretches across the South of the country, from Winchester and Petersfield in Hampshire to Eastbourne in East Sussex. The western tip of the South Downs can be found in the heart of Winchester, while just one mile from the city center you'll find the beautiful countryside of St Catherine's Hill. The area is also dotted with comfortable hotels, B&B's and self catering cottages, perfect for your staycation.
The New Forest
The history of the rural New Forest stretches back nearly 1,000 years to the era of William the Conqueror, when the area was a royal hunting ground. Covering 566 square kilometres, the Forest today is a haven of pristine woodland, heaths and river valleys. There are wild ponies, deer and cattle roaming freely, while clear rivers and shady groves provide the perfect environment for horse-riding, walking and cycling around this peaceful paradise.
Nestled just outside the town of Southampton, Itchen Valley Country Park is a large area of unspoiled countryside beside the River Itchen. The park is dedicated now to wildlife and public enjoyment, offering an array of gorgeous scenes and activities each season of the year. From picnic areas and barbecue sites to forest trails and orienteering, there's something for everyone in the family to enjoy.
The city of Winchester
Situated just one hour from London, Winchester truly captures the romance and mythical history of England. This is a beautiful cathedral city, nestled just at the edge of the rolling South Downs – but as England's ancient capital and the former seat of King Alfred the Great, the city offers so much more than stunning scenery and beautiful views. There is a perfect combination of culture, history and city life, blended here with the raw natural beauty of the surrounding countryside. Winchester is also the birthplace of modern cricket, the final resting place of Jane Austen, and home to the country's largest farmers' market. There's truly something here for everyone to enjoy.
Lepe Country Park
For those who love nothing more than to relax, rejuvenate or perhaps get active on the water, the South of England does not disappoint. Lepe Country Park offers visitors more than a mile of stunning coastline, with tranquil walks and breathtaking views over the Solent to the Isle of Wight. From watching boats sailing out of the Beaulieu River or shops coming into Southampton, to spying windsurfers on the water or taking in the old watch houses, this is a park with a view.
Inspired? This summer is the perfect time to take a trip down south – and the great news is, it's easier than ever to get there. Choose from these Flybe flights into Southampton to experience England's very own beautiful south.