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Outdoor Adventure Activities in Hampshire

Budget flights to Southampton have recently opened up the vibrant county of Hampshire as a fabulous short break or weekend destination for active adventurers. Centrally located on the south coast, this is a beautiful part of the country with a varied landscape that lends itself to every conceivable outdoor activity. You`ll find Hampshire`s tumbling hills, heath and woodland, rivers, wetlands and forests within easy reach wherever you choose to stay. The New Forest, once the Royal Hunting ground of William the Conqueror, is now a huge national park spanning 150 square miles where deer, wild ponies, cattle and even pigs roam free. From the city of Southampton, the waterways and estuaries of the Solent wind their way down to Spithead through tidal marshlands and coastal nature reserves such as Titchfield Haven and Pennington Marshes, forming an important habitat for rare birds and wildlife.

Whether you`re here to relax in the fresh air or you`re looking for some good wholesome exercise, Hampshire is one of the best counties in England when it comes to variety of outdoor opportunities. Southampton itself is England`s sailing capital, the River Hamble being an important centre for yachting and motorboating. Kayaking and canoeing are available along the Solent at several activity and watersports centres, while those wishing to try their hand at windsurfing need only head to some of the fabulous beaches around Lee-on-the-Solent to ride the perfect waves. If fishing appeals, you`ll find some of the clearest streams in England for trout and salmon and Broadlands Lake, once owned by Lord Mountbatten, is renowned as one of the country`s top fisheries.

If you prefer to stay on dry land, there`s no limit to the number of ways in which you can enjoy the Hampshire countryside throughout the year. Many people looking for relaxation come to tee off at some of the county`s 80 excellent golf courses. Hampshire`s many horse-riding trails transport nature lovers through woodland and meadows and are the perfect way to explore the peaceful thatched villages that dot the countryside. Walking in Hampshire can be as gentle or as challenging as you wish, with relaxing strolls along the Basingstoke canal paths, coastal walks along the Solent and across the Hamble valley and more energetic treks in the hills and valleys of the South Downs. Bring a bike and you`ll discover hundreds of miles of leisurely cycle routes as well as challenging trails for the more adventurous, with quad-biking venues also available in Marwell and Winchester. For adrenaline thrills that include power-boating and rock-climbing, head to the region`s outstanding activity centres at Calshot and Brockenhurst, or check out the Alpine Snowsports centre at Aldershot for skiing and snowboarding.

However you decide to make the most of the great outdoors, there`s more call these days to look the part with young, unconventional outdoor fashion brands such as Volcom, the exciting American export that`s taking Britain by storm with its eye-catching designs and inspiring its followers with its environmental ethics and anti-establishment messages. Whether you`re choosing polo shirts, surfing shorts or flip-flops, you`ll make so much more of your experiences if you`ve sourced the right gear for the occasion.
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