Hampshire, also known as Hants, is a maritime county of southern England, divided into the mainland area of Southampton and the Isle of Wight. The county is bounded on the north by Berkshire, on the east by Surrey and Sussex, on the south by the English Channel, and on the west by Dorset and Wiltshire. It covers an area of 1649 square miles.
The coast is broken by deep inlets such as Portsmouth Harbor, Southampton Water, and Christchurch and Pool bays. Spithead and the Solent Strait separate the Isle of Wight from the mainland. Rivers of the Southampton area are the Avon, Stour, Test, Anton, Wey, Lymington, and Itchen.
Southampton, Portsmouth, Gosport, and Cowes (on the Isle of Wight) are the largest towns and ports. Winchester is the county seat. Seaside resorts are Bournemouth, Milford, and Southsea. Aldershot is a military training center. Sandhurst, a few miles north, has a famous military college.