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. 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 . 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.