If you want to get closer to nature, it doesn’t take long to get to one of the two national parks that sit on either side of the Borough.
New Forest National Park provides beautiful scenery, free roaming animals and a scenic coastline. With plenty of walking and cycling routes, and small villages dotted throughout the area to use as a base, it’s easy to explore.
South Downs National Park spans 140km from St Catherine’s Hill (near Winchester) to Beachy Head (near Eastbourne). In between, you can find rolling hills, beautiful woodland and fantastic views to take in.
When enjoying these beautiful areas please respect the local flora and fauna and keep your dog under control at all times.
Isle of Wight
A short ferry ride away is the Isle of Wight, featuring towering chalk cliffs, golden sandy beaches, rolling rural vistas and lush marshland.
Family days out
Just outside the northern boundary of the Borough is Marwell Zoo. There you can meet giraffes, tigers, penguins and a large variety of animals for a wild family day out.
Calshot activities centre is one of the largest outdoor activity centres in the country for watersports, climbing, dry slope skiing and more.
Paulton’s family theme park is home to Pepper Pig World for younger children.
If you’ve visited all the country parks within the Borough and want to try somewhere new, Moors Valley Country Park in the New Forest might be worth a visit.
Either side of the Borough are lidos in Hilsea and Lymington offering fresh water and sea water swimming respectively.
Being located on the South Coast means there are several lovely beaches within easy reach.
Neighbouring Fareham has shingle beaches in Brownwich beach, Hill Head and Lee-on-the-Solent.
Out toward Chichester, you have the beautiful West Wittering - a sandy beach with grassy picnic areas and a cafe, plus a wind- and kitesurfing club.
Lepe, located in the New Forest has a mile of beach, pine-fringed cliffs, historic D-Day remains, and wild flower meadows. Further into the forest you have nice beaches at Milford-on-sea, Highcliff and Mudeford.
If you’re looking for a retail offering beyond Eastleigh high street or the retails parks in Hedge End, you might like to visit these alternatives:
Whiteley Shopping Centre offers a good range of shops, cafes, restaurants and a cinema in easy walking distance of eachother.
Further down the M27 is Port Solent, which similarly offers dining, shopping and a cinema at a quay side location.
Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth is the South coast’s leading designer shopping outlet and home to over 90 famous brands.
Eastleigh is lucky to be in easy travelling distance of three major cities: lively Southampton to the west, the island city of Portsmouth to the east and Winchester, the ancient capital of England, to the north. Each has something different to offer and lot’s going on throughout the year. With great rail links to each city, getting a taste of city life is as easy as hoping on the train.
Slightly further afield are beach-fronted Bournemouth and historic Salisbury, which are also great places to visit. There is also a direct train to London Waterloo, taking just under an hour and a half.