Hampshire and West Sussex are great destinations for your coach holiday, offering seaside towns, historical houses, naval heritage and steam railways to name but a few. There really is something for everyone to enjoy, and we love putting together varied itineraries for our coach holidays staying in Bognor Regis, Hayling Island and the wider Hampshire/West Sussex area.
Here are our top days out for our coach holidays in Hampshire and West Sussex:
PORTSMOUTH HISTORIC DOCKYARD
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is one of the best known attractions in Hampshire, and is famous as the home of HMS Victory, Nelson’s famous flagship, and HMS Warrior 1860, Britain’s first iron-hulled, armoured battleship.
As well as these two famous ships, a Full Navy Ticket also includes a harbour cruise, the National Museum of the Royal Navy Portmouth, Royal Navy Submarine Museum, Explosion Museum and more. You can discover our naval history – there is plenty to fill your day and still have things left to discover on a future visit!
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard also holds a Victorian Christmas Festival each year, where classic characters welcome you to a world of festive cheer and featuring 120 festive stalls for you to discover.
Mary Rose was Henry VIII’s flagship, which sank in 1545, was rediscovered in 1971 and raised in 1982. It is located within Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, although tickets are sold separately for this museum.
I have very distinct memories of going to see the Mary Rose as a child – going into a dark, damp room where the wreck was being continually sprayed with liquid to prevent it drying out and disintegrating. It fascinated me, the steps that were being taken to preserve the remains of this ship. In fact, according to the website it was sprayed by this liquid (Polyethylene Glycol) for 18 years!
Today the museum is am amazing experience where you can not only see the remains of the ship, but you can also discover the Battle of the Solent, the ship’s crew and life on board, as well as more about life in Tudor England.
The Watercress Line runs from Alton in Hampshire to Alresford, along 17 miles of track which was originally part of London and South West Railways. It has run as a heritage railway for over 40 years and is a fantastic visit, where groups are made welcome with free talks on the history of the Watercress Line and free behind the scenes tours. It’s also possible to enjoy a group lunch or cream tea at certain times of the year.
The Watercress Line also offers many themed events during the year, including War on the Line (1940s themed event), Wizarding Weekend, Steam Gala, Santa Specials and more.
Did you know? The original King’s Cross Bridge where Harry Potter received his Hogwarts Express ticket is now in situ at Ropley station following Network Rail’s major upgrading of Kings Cross station!
It was also used in other films such as The 39 Steps and Elizabethan Express, so it’s great this bridge will be preserved for future generations of movie fans to enjoy
Petworth House is a stunning and extraordinary ancestral seat created by just one family over 900 years. The current building dates from the 17th century and was inspired by the Baroque palaces of Europe, featuring grand state rooms, while the parkland was designed by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.
Petworth has one of the finest art collections under the care of the National Trust, including works by Van Dyck, Gainsborough, Reynolds and Turner, and also houses the earliest English globe in existence, dating from 1592.
You can also discover “life under the stairs” in the Servants Quarters, keep and eye out for deer in the Deer Park, and perhaps even enjoy a cream tea to finish your visit in style!
The market town of Arundel has over 1000 years of history, centred around the stunning restored castle which lies in the centre of the town. Arundel Castle dates from 1067 with many original features surviving, yet the house was completely rebuilt in the Gothic style and is considered to be one of the great works of Victorian England.
The town itself is home to many contemporary art galleries and independent shops, the Wetland Centre Nature Reserve and stunning Arundel Cathedral, so there is plenty to enjoy and explore during your visit.
Chichester is a cathedral city in West Sussex, lying close to Chichester Harbour, which is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The cathedral itself has stood at the heart of the city for 900 years and features original Norman features as well as a magnificent Victorian spire. There is a market held each week and the city centre is worth exploring to see the market cross and a range of independent shops.
Away from the city centre, you can explore Chichester Canal, where you can also enjoy a peaceful canal trip where you discover the history of the waterways and keep a look out for local wildlife.
Can you recommend any other places to visit in Hampshire & West Sussex?
Exclusive Holidays offers Market Harborough Coach Holidays and Kettering Coach Holidays. Pick up points throughout our local area for South Leicestershire Coach Holidays & Northamptonshire Coach Holidays. Coach Holidays depart from Kettering, Northampton, Wellingborough, Rushden, Market Harborough, Desborough, Rothwell and Lutterworth.