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Hampshire outline map with UK.png

Hampshire, sometimes historically Southamptonshire or Hamptonshire, (abbr. Hants) is a county on the south coast of England. The county borders (clockwise from West), Dorset, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Surrey and West Sussex. The county has an area of 1,455 square miles (3,769 km²) and at its widest points is approximately 55 miles (90 km) east-west and 40 miles (65 km) north-south. The county town is Winchester situated at 51°03′35″N 1°18′36″W / 51.05972°N 1.31000°W / 51.05972; -1.31000. The 2001 census gave the population of the administrative county as 1.24 million; the ceremonial county also includes the cities of Portsmouth and Southampton, which are administratively independent, and has a total population of 1.6 million. Christchurch and Bournemouth, within the historic borders of the county, were made part of the non-metropolitan county of Dorset in 1974.

Hampshire is a popular holiday area, with tourist attractions including its many seaside resorts, the maritime area in Portsmouth, and the motor museum at Beaulieu. The New Forest National Park lies within the borders, as does a large area of the South Downs National Park [1]. Hampshire has a long maritime history and two of England's largest ports lie on its coast. The county is famed as home of the writers Jane Austen and Charles Dickens.

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Geological map of the Hampshire Basin

The Hampshire Basin is a geological syncline in southern England underlying parts of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Dorset, and Sussex. Like the London Basin to the northeast, it consists of an area of sands and clays of Paleocene and younger age surrounded by a broken rim of chalk hills of Cretaceous age.

The basin includes areas of forest and heath including Wareham Forest, Arne and the New Forest and the large south coast settlements of Bournemouth, Southampton and Portsmouth. The Hampshire Basin has no single dominant river. In former times the Frome and Solent rivers would have drained much of the basin from east to west, fed by tributaries flowing from the north and south. Today the western part of the basin drains via the rivers Frome and Piddle into Poole Harbour, and via the Stour and Avon directly to the English Channel. The central part drains into the Solent (directly or via via Southampton Water), through the Lymington River, Test, Itchen, Meon, Hamble, Western Yar, Medina and Eastern Yar. The eastern part of the basin is a narrow coastal plain draining into the many harbours via small streams, and is crossed by larger rivers draining the Weald including the Arun and Adur.

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Credit: Alan Ford
Cobbled streets in Lymington

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Heather Anne Mills (born 12 January 1968) is an English charity campaigner and former model, and the former wife of musician Paul McCartney; during the marriage she was called Heather Mills McCartney. Mills was born in Aldershot, Hampshire, to John "Mark" Francis Mills (a British ex-paratrooper) and his wife, Beatrice Mary Finlay, the daughter of a colonel in the British Army. Mills has an older brother, Shane, a younger sister, Fiona, and a half-sister, Claire.

Mills started her own model agency in 1986, and married Alfie Karmal on 6 May 1989, but divorced in 1991. Mills was living with her ski instructor, Milos Pogacar, in Croatia in 1990, just before the Croatian War started, and later organised supplies for Croatia, accepting modelling assignments in Austria to pay for the trip. In London in 1993, Mills was hit by a police motorbike and suffered serious injuries, losing her left leg, 6 inches below her knee. She later sold her story to the News of the World, and used the proceeds to establish the Heather Mills Health Trust, which recycles discarded prosthetic limbs.

Mills met McCartney at a Pride of Britain charity event, and they were married on 11 June 2002. Mills gave birth to Beatrice Milly McCartney on 28 October 2003. She separated from McCartney in 2006, which led to a highly publicised divorce, in which she was awarded £24.3 million in a court settlement on 17 March 2008. Mills is a supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) a patron of Viva!, the Vegetarian and Vegan Foundation, vice-president of the Limbless Association, and was formerly a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Association Adopt-A-Minefield programme. She continues to work on behalf of various campaigns, including aid for amputees, animal rights, and for the banning of landmines.

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List of churches in Hampshire | List of further education colleges in Hampshire | List of Parliamentary constituencies in Hampshire | List of places in Hampshire

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