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Things to do in Fareham, Hampshire

Titchfield Abbey
Titchfield Abbey © By Margaret Anne Clarke (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The moderately sized town of Fareham lies between Southampton and Portsmouth in south east Hampshire.

Fareham began as a settlement overlooking the River Wallington in the 10th century. By the 13th century it had a charter for a two-day cheese, horse and cattle fair which was held at the end of June. This tradition continued right up to 1871, showing how little rural life changed over that period.

By the 16th century shipbuilding was taking place on the Lower Quay. A bridge over the Gilly Creek linked the main town to the Quay.

Holy Trinity Fareham
Holy Trinity Church © The National Churches Trust via Flickr

In the 17th century a new purpose was found for some of the warehouses in the area, as they were converted to hospitals for wounded sailors. The area was known as "Hospital Yard".

A century later Fareham docks were booming with vessels discharging timber, granite, coal and grains from Europe. Chimney pots, tiles and bricks (known as Fareham Reds) were produced and exported in return.

One of the most famous examples of Fareham red bricks is the lovely Royal Albert Hall in London. Kiln Road has retained its brick-making heritage in its name.

Fareham Station
Fareham Station © By AlanFord at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

In the late 18th century Fareham had grown to 3,000 residents and had a well-established market.

Present Day Fareham

Fareham combines its historic town centre with a modern shopping area. Its traffic free shopping centre and the Henry Cort Sculpture Garden are pleasant for exploring.

Fareham Fire Station
Fire Station © Kevin Hale [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The town currently has around 56,000 residents. The historic High Street is a delightful place to stroll with its Georgian architecture. Number 15 has the oldest wooden framed roof construction in existence, dating back to around 1280.

The High Street has quaint shops, several high class restaurants and specialist retailers. It also has several pubs including the Golden Lion, the Red Lion and the historic Lysses House Hotel.

The open-air market tradition continues every Monday with a farmers' market held once a month.

Things to Do Around Fareham

Fareham is situated in a gorgeous coastal location with safe beaches and quiet woodland walks. The New Forest is within easy reach with plenty of opportunities for walking, cycling and horse riding.

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard © By Ben Salter [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Meon Valley is on National Cycle Route 2 near Titchfield and offers cycle hire, kiddie seats etc. for a relaxing ride in the countryside.

Building at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard © Photograph by Mike Peel (www.mikepeel.net). [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is the main attraction in the area.

A one-day pass includes a boat trip around the naval warships, entrance to the Mary Rose Museum and access onboard HMS Victory and HMS Warrior 1860.

The historic buildings house several other museums including the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

Portsmouth Waterfront with its shops and cafés is a pleasant place to spend a day.

The landmark Spinnaker Tower has three viewing platforms with views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight.

Back in Fareham the Westbury House Museum is a collection of exhibits showing the history of the borough. There are often free family activities at weekends and school holidays.

Portchester Castle is close by and is the best preserved Roman fort in Europe on an extensive site.

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