White Hart - Alton, Hampshire

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
welcome to the white hart
 
 
Welcome to the White Hart, Holybourne.  We hope that you have an enjoyable stay; if there is anything that you require or we can help with please do not hesitate to ask.
Within this page you will find useful information with regards to the pub and local area alike.  Please take a little time to familiarise yourself with the essential information.
Thank you for choosing to stay with us.
Kind regards
 
 
 
 
Lorne and Carey
 
 
 
 
 
essential information
breakfast
Breakfast is served from 7am – 9am Monday to Friday and 8 – 9:30am on Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays.  If you have specific dietary requirements please do let us know.
restaurant & bar
The restaurant is open Thursday and Friday for lunch from 12noon – 2:30pm and for dinner from 6 – 9pm; we serve food from 12noon – 9pm on a Saturday and from 12noon – 5pm on a Sunday. Please feel free to reserve a table upon arrival. 
Our bar is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 3pm to 10 pm.  Friday & Saturday  12pm – 10pm and Sunday 12pm – 7pm. 
If you are going out for the day and require a packed lunch please order the evening before so that we can have it ready for you to collect in the morning.
check out & access
Check out time is 11am.  Please return your key to the bar.  Please be aware that past 11pm the rooms are only accessible via the back door using the smaller key.
Wi-Fi
We have free Wi-Fi throughout the building.            “White Hart Guest  WiFi”
No password is required
bedroom
If you require any assistance with operating the television please ask a member of staff.  We also have an iron that is available for the use of our guests.
bathroom
To operate the shower:  As you stand in the shower, to the right of the T-bar is the temperature control and to the left is the water control.  Turn down for the rainfall shower, turn up for the shower attachment.
We have a good supply of toiletries, so if you have forgotten any items please do not hesitate to ask.
If you require fresh towels or linen during your stay please ask a member of the team.
in the event of a fire
In the event of a fire please evacuate the building by the nearest exit and assemble with a member of our staff at the muster point outside by the green car park sign at the entrance to our car park. 
 
local amenities
holybourne village shop & post office
We are very lucky to have a fantastic local shop just across the road from the pub.  The shop also has a fully functioning post office facility where you are able to send letters, withdraw cash and other usual post office functions. 
The shop has a great range of local Hampshire produce, a wide selection of magazines and newspapers and all that you would expect from a friendly village shop.
Shop opening times:               Monday – Friday         6am – 5pm                                                                                          Sunday                        7.30am – 1pm
Post office counter:                Monday – Friday         8:30am – 4.30pm                                                                               Saturday                      8:30am – 12:30pm
medical assistance
Our closest Pharmacy and Doctor’s Surgery are both based in the Alton Health Centre, just a 5 minute drive away.
Anstey Road Pharmacy, Alton Health Centre. GU34 2QX.  01420 88327

            Opening times:            Monday – Friday         7am – 10:30pm                                                                                   Saturday                      8am – 9:30pm                                                                                             Sunday                        10am – 7pm                           
The Wilson Practise, Alton Health Centre. GU34 2QX.  01420 84676
             Opening times:            Monday – Friday         8am – 6:30pm
taxi companies
Chapel Cars                  07887 693223             (Our local village taxi company)
Wilson Taxis                01420 87777
Alton 8’s                     01420 88888
Alton taxis                   01420 210 004
car hire
Alton Vehicle Hire, 01420 588125
 
 
 
our rooms
 
The six large and comfortable bedrooms have been lovingly created in keeping with the tranquil country location that surrounds it.  All rooms benefit from free Wi-Fi, flat screen TV, tea/coffee making facilities and en-suite bathrooms with gorgeous rainfall showers, complimentary toiletries and fluffy white towels.
Three of our rooms overlook the village centre with the stunning Holybourne Downs behind:


NEATHAM ROOM
A beautiful, super-king size room with an original fireplace.  This room can be either a double or a twin room and has room for an infant’s cot too.
The room has been named after the hidden hamlet of Neatham just a 5/10 minute walk from the pub.  Neatham has two beautiful mill houses.  There is a footpath that runs from Lower Neatham Mill to Upper Neatham Mill through fields that are grazed by the animals of the Mill Cottage Farm Experience (including sheep, goats, pigs and llamas!).  The river at Lower Neatham is also known for its Kingfisher sightings and occasionally, a White Egret.

THE ROOD ROOM
Whilst still a comfortable king-size, this is a cosy room with lots of natural light and original fireplace.
The room is named after the Church of the Holy Rood, Holybourne.  Holybourne takes its name from the Old English Haligburna, meaning 'sacred stream'.  The stream rises by the church creating a delightful pond, from which it flows as a tributary to the River Wey.

AUSTEN ROOM
A comfortably proportioned, king-size room with an original fireplace – this gently feminine room entices those looking to relax in gentle floral furnishing.  
No local B&B could ignore the fact that Hampshire is Jane Austen country.  The White Hart is located just three miles from the delightful village of Chawton where you can visit Miss Austen's home.  She lived in Hampshire during the most prolific period of her writing and it is believed she was happiest and most settled whilst in Chawton.
 
 
 
The remaining three rooms overlook our award-winning garden and surrounding countryside:


MONTGOMERY ROOM
A generously proportioned king-size room.  This room is named after Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein (nicknamed "Monty") who lived locally at Isington and is buried in Binsted churchyard.
Also named after "Monty" is the Montgomery cocktail.  A martini mixed at a ratio of 15:1, facetiously named that because Montgomery supposedly refused to go into battle unless his numerical advantage was at least that high.  Ironically, following severe internal injuries received in the First World War, Montgomery himself could neither smoke nor drink.

GASKELL ROOM
A beautiful king-size en-suite room with a feminine twist and lots of natural light.  This room also has sufficient room for an infant’s cot.
The novelist Elizabeth Gaskell is best-known as the author of Cranford and North and South, and the biographer of her friend Charlotte Bronte.  Mrs Gaskell was still working on Wives and Daughters, a humorous coming-of-age tale, when she died suddenly of a heart attack on 12 November 1865 at her Holybourne home.  The Lawn is just a couple of steps away from the pub and is now a residential home for the elderly.

WATERCRESS ROOM
A beautiful, king-size room, furnished to a high standard and offering a central London twist.  This room can be a double or a twin room and also has room for an infant’s cot.
Named after the train line used to transport locally grown watercress from Alresford to markets in central London.  You can now catch the mainline train from Alton Station and be in central London within an hour, or alternatively you can join The Watercress Line from the same station and travel through the rolling Hampshire countryside by stream train for a day out in Alresford.
 
 
 
 
enjoy a local walk
around the church
Just under 1 mile.  Approx. 20 – 30 minutes. On tarmacked surfaces throughout. A beautiful stroll, visit the Church and village pond and see the beautiful cottages of Holybourne.
Leave the pub by the front door and turn left along the village street.
Continue past Friends of the Elderly – The Lawn (former home of Victorian novelist, Elizabeth Gaskell) on your left.
At the top of the hill turn right up Howards Lane, follow the lane to the top, round a sharp corner to the right until you reach the Church.
Turn right through the wooden church gate; follow the path with the church to your left and the pond to your right.
When you reach the second church gate turn right onto Church Lane, past the pond and continue until you reach the T-junction with the main village street.
Turn left at the T-junction and you will see the White Hart on your right.
 
neatham
Just over 1 mile.  Approx. 30 minutes.  Includes footpaths through fields, comfortable walking shoes recommended.  Great to see local farm animals over the fence and the opportunity to play Poohsticks too!
Leave the pub by the front door and turn right along the village street. Take the 2nd right turn – Lower Neatham Mill Lane.
Follow Lower Neatham Mill Lane under the railway bridge and continue to the end of the lane.  You will see the footpath gate to your right at the entrance to the field. However, we do recommend that you first go through the underpass and see the beautiful river and Lower Neatham Mill – a perfect spot to play pooh sticks and   sometimes if you are lucky will see the resident kingfishers!  There is a second bridge a little further past the barn on your left.  Then return back to the footpath previously mentioned.
Follow the track through the field, you will come to a second footpath gate and go over a small bridge too.  Enter into the second field and follow the footpath through the field of the Mill Cottage Farm Experience where you will see their animals – please keep you dogs on a lead.
When the footpath meets the lane, turn right and continue to the top of the lane.
Turn right along the main village street and continue until you reach the White Hart on your right.

the fields of holybourne
2 miles.  Approx. 40 – 50 minutes.  Wellies/walking boots recommended.
Absorb the beautiful views of the arable fields around the village, with views of the downs too.  If you are lucky you may see deer and more than likely will see the buzzards, red kites and herons of which there are many.
Leave the pub by the front door and turn left along the village street. 
Turn right into Church Lane; follow the lane past the pond and church.
At the junction to Howards Lane (just past the Church) turn right onto the footpath that runs alongside the perimeter wall of Manor Farmhouse.
Follow the footpath along the fence line to your left until you enter the first field. 
Just before you reach the second field turn left and follow the footpath up the hill.
Continue around the perimeter of the field, through the hedge into the third field and continue down the hill with the hedge to your left. 
At the bottom of the hill turn right onto the bridle-path.  At the T-junction turn right.
After approximately 5/10 minutes St Swithun’s Way footpath will cross the bridle-path that you are currently walking on.  Turn left onto St Swithun’s Way.
Once you have crossed the field continue up the steep path through the hedge and immediately turn right.
Continue until the gap in the hedge (large enough for a tractor) and follow the path down the hill and to the left over a small footbridge. 
When you enter the meadow turn left and follow the footpath around the perimeter of the meadow, with the village cricket pitch on your left.
At the end of the meadow turn left onto the bridle-path.  At the village street turn right, past the village play park and continue until you see the village shop on your right and the White Hart on your left.
holybourne down
3 miles.  Approx. 1 – 1 ¼ hrs.  Walking boots/comfortable wellies essential.  This walk does include walking up a gentle but long hill and coming down the steep incline of Holybourne Down that requires a reasonable fitness level.  The views however are amazing from the top of the down and it is definitely worth the effort.  In late spring part of this walk is through delightful bluebell wood.
Leave the pub by the front door and turn right.  Cross over the road and continue past the village shop, the village play park and turn left onto the bridle path. 
Turn right into the meadow and follow the perimeter along two sides.  Follow the path into the second corner, over the footbridge and up the track into the field above.
Turn left and follow the hedgerow along the field.  At the end of the field turn right and continue until you meet a gravel track.
Turn left onto the gravel track and follow the track all the way up and along the top of the hill.
The track will take you through the hedge at the top of the hill; continue until you come to a T-junction – turn left towards the woods.
As you enter the wooded area there is a path to your left through the woods (take care of roots on the path).  If you reach the double 5-bar gates on your right you have gone too far.
Follow the track through the woods, onto the top of the down.  This track will now continue to the bottom of Holybourne Down.  On a clear day you have spectacular views over Holybourne, Alton and the surrounding area.
Once you have reached the very bottom of the Down turn left onto the bridle-path and continue straight on until you reach the village street.
Turn right onto the village street, back past the Play Park and shop.  You will see the White Hart on your left.
 
up holybourne down to upper froyle
5 miles.  Approx. 2 hrs.  Walking footwear essential.  Recommended for walkers with a good level of fitness.
Climb Holybourne Down and discover the beautiful views the other side!  Continue into the neighbouring village of Upper Froyle with its chocolate box cottages.  At the turn of the last century, Upper Froyle was home to Sir Hubert Miller, who spent much time in Italy.  He brought back many beautiful church vestments, as well as a number of statues of saints. The statues, which are a key feature of Upper Froyle, were positioned on the outer walls   (cont.) of many of the houses, giving rise to its other name, ‘The Village of the Saints’. (A leaflet showing the positioning and names of the statues can be found in the church).
Leave the pub by the front door and turn left onto the village street.  Immediately turn right onto Church Lane.
Go past the church and continue on the lane past Manor Farm and the national speed limit signs until you reach the bridleway with double gates across.  Turn right onto this track.
Continue along the bridleway and at the T-junction turn left.  Round a small corner you will see the permissive bridleway that is fenced off on your right (do not go over the style into the field – although this is a footpath there are often livestock in this field – best avoided). 
Follow the path up and over the downs.  At the very top the path will take you through the woods (take care of roots in the path) and when you join another tractor size track turn right. 
Follow this track for approximately 1 mile.  As you enter Upper Froyle the track becomes a surfaced road.  Go past the white cottages and turn left onto the track at the end of the hedge.
Continue along this track until it banks round to the left (with no entry sign) at this point turn right (almost straight on) past the cemetery on you left. 
Turn right onto the lane, at the triangle in the road the church is to your left if you wish to visit.  To continue your walk turn right at the triangle along the main village street. 
The main street takes a sharp corner to the left – take a right turn (again almost straight on) off the main street.  Where the lane splits stick to the left hand lane, past Rawles Motor Sports and continue along the marked footpath.
This footpath will take you across fields back towards Holybourne, through a small wood.  When you reach a gravel track with paddocks and Bonhams Farmhouse to your left, continue straight over the track and continue along the edge of the field with the hedge to your right.
Follow the footpath down a steep bank in the hedgerows, across a large arable field and then turn left onto the bridle path and continue straight until you reach the village street.
Turn right onto the village street, past the play park and shop and you will see the White Hart on your left.
The Village of Holybourne
Our beautiful village, with its Saxon Church, lies to the North East of Alton; near the possible site of the Roman posting station (Mansio) of Vindomi, believed to be at the crossing of two Roman roads - Winchester to London and Silchester to Chichester.
(see http://www.roman-britain.org/places/neatham.htm for more details).
Some say that the name Holybourne was derived from the fact that a fresh water spring is situated in the churchyard almost opposite the west door of the church. The spring and stream are now culverted for 30 to 40 yards to the village pond and is a tributary to the River Wey, just to the south of the village. Wild watercress can be found growing in the lower part of the stream.
In medieval times the area of Holybourne lay in three manors, Holybourne Eastbrook, Alton Westbrook and 'Neatham'. Manor farm was the demesne farm of the manor of Holybourne Eastbrook which also had holdings east and west of the brook. The large manor of Alton Westbrook included the tithing of Holybourne Westbrook as well as the tithing of Alton Westbrook and sub-manors of Kingsley, South Hey, Mill Court and Rotherfield. Neatham was a separate manor which had holdings in Holybourne and Binsted. It was not until 1579 under Robert White of Aldershot that Holybourne Eastbrook and Holybourne Westbrook came into the same hands. Neatham manor still held property in the area of Holybourne until the end of the manorial system in the early 1900s.
The village also stands on the old coaching road from London to Southampton, now mercifully by-passed, and is served well by the nearby market town of Alton which boasts three supermarkets, a range of shops and restaurants as well as a weekly market in the High Street.
While Holybourne still nestles quietly in the valley it continues to progress into the 21st century. Over the last 30 years the population has steadily expanded from 500 to 1500 and Holybourne has moved from its position as a temporary ‘stopping place’ to that of an ideal commuter village while retaining its village identity and its sense of history.
Village life for many years has, and still is, centred on the church, the village shop with its Post Office, the White Hart public house and the village hall. Recreation for the younger generation may be found in the large playground, for others the village boasts a successful village cricket team, which plays near the old Roman settlement, and the amateur Holybourne Theatre. The Theatre originally started in a Nissen hut in the old German Prisoner of War camp during WWII.
For the more active, there is an extensive network of old footpaths that linked the local villages and farms running amongst the beautiful rolling fields and woodlands, which more often than not, still lead to another village and its local hostelry or hostelries!
Travel an hour away brings cities such as London, Winchester, Portsmouth and Southampton within reach. Portsmouth, with major attractions such as Admiral Nelson’s flagship, HMS Victory, Henry VIII’s flagship, the Mary Rose, and the Naval and Submarine museums. Winchester with its Cathedral and King Arthur’s ‘Round Table’ (Henry VIII had it made!) and London, which needs no introduction! In the immediate vicinity we find Jane Austen’s house, the Watercress Line which took its name from supplying London Hotels with fresh Watercress, Selborne Hangar and Gilbert White’s House & the Oates museum.
local attractions
allen gallery – alton
An intimate setting for one of the South's most outstanding ceramics collection of English, continental and oriental pottery, porcelain and tiles from 1250 to the present day. Regular special exhibitions of art, crafts, photography, local and natural history, local artists and the delightful watercolours and oil paintings of W H Allen. There is the comfortable coffee lounge, and charming walled garden provides a peaceful retreat in the middle of Alton.
 
curtis museum – alton
One of the finest local history collections in Hampshire, exploring 100 million years of history Displays include prehistoric tools, Roman pottery reconstruction, Saxon burials, the Battle of Alton 1643, the notorious tale of Sweet Fanny Adams and hop picking and brewing.


the watercress line – alton

Let the train take the strain as you sit back, relax and travel through the heart of the English countryside. Whether you are taking a trip down memory lane or creating new ones, it’s the perfect way to unwind and experience the nostalgic sights, sounds and smells of steam travel from a bygone age. Our fares give you all day unlimited travel, so you can enjoy the slower pace of life as you explore each of our four period stations along the ten mile route, the engineering workshops and the nearby towns all on one ticket. Running along the edge of the South Downs National Park in Hampshire, you can join us at the Alton end of the line (which also gives access to the mainline train, just an hour from London Waterloo).
 
 
chawton house library – chawton, alton 
Chawton House Library is an internationally respected research and learning centre for the study of early women's writing from 1600 to 1830. Access to the library's unique collection is for the benefit of scholars and the general public alike. Set in the quintessentially English manor house that once belonged to Jane Austen's brother, Edward; the library, house and gardens - plus an always fascinating calendar of events - make Chawton House Library a very special and memorable place to visit and enjoy.

jane austen's house museum – chawton, alton

On your visit to Jane Austen's House Museum, you will be able to explore the house where Jane Austen lived and wrote. The cottage itself houses our collection of Jane Austen artefacts whilst retaining the charms of the early 19th century home that Jane would have known. Visit the bakehouse and kitchen where the domestic side of life was managed by the ladies of the house. Enjoy the peaceful English cottage garden and imagine Mrs. Austen in her smock digging up the potatoes (much to her daughters' embarrassment).
 
 
 
gilbert white's house & the oates collections 
Come and enjoy a special day out at this fascinating and most original museum which celebrates important individuals in the exploration of the natural world, set in a village surrounded by countryside designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Having paid full admission, guests can enjoy free visits to the museum, except for special events days, for a whole year. View the House and Museum, go for a walk around the delightful gardens and through the Park to see the follies, take tea in the Parlour and shop in the old billiard room. Time and energy permitting, walk up the famous Gilbert White’s Zig Zag path through the hanging beech woods, return and tour the grounds. Or just sit and look at one of the most delightful views in the South of England.
 
 
nearby towns & cities
alton

Hampshire’s friendliest market town, Alton is a delightful and welcoming place and the ideal base for exploring. The surrounding area is renowned for its tranquil and unspoilt beauty. 
A thriving country market town, with a fascinating history, Alton was built around a wealthy Saxon settlement and had the most valuable recorded market in the Doomsday Book. Discover some of the history on a guided walk of the town starting from the Market Square or the rail station.
Saxon discoveries, including the famous Alton Buckle, are among the artefacts displayed in the Curtis Museum. The 11th-Century St Lawrence Church was the scene of the civil war ‘Battle of Alton’ and still bears the scars. At one time the town was notorious for the brutal murder of ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’.  Today a delightful mix of historic buildings jostle with modern shops and arcades. Tuesday is market day, and the town hosts many markets and fairs throughout the year. 
At Lasham Airfield, nearby, gliding competitions take place and gliding lessons are possible, or experience a peaceful flight above breathtakingly beautiful countryside. Further afield, Milestones, Hampshire's Living History Museum (in Basingstoke) brings the past to life.
Long distance footpaths and other rights of way offer many opportunities for walking and cycling.




 
farnham

A unique Georgian town offering a perfect balance of old meets new. The historic market town of Farnham sits on the Surrey/Hampshire border and is a bustling town with an intriguing history. This special Georgian town is the perfect combination of old meeting new, and has something unique to offer everyone


alresford

A vision of pastel perfection, Alresford (pronounced Allsford) is a handsome Georgian town of colour-washed houses, riverside walks, specialist shops and the UK's capital of watercress farming.
The town’s history is punctuated with fires, despite the abundance of water in the area. The buildings that you see today rose from the ashes of the great fires of the 17th century. If you want to find out more about Alresford’s history and inhabitants, pick up a copy of the ‘Millennium Trail’, a self-guided walk that links together footpaths with illustrated boards around the town.


winchester

Winchester, Hampshire's historic cathedral city, is one of the oldest settlements in Britain and the ancient capital of the Kingdom of England. Today, Winchester is a fascinating mix of legend, myth, history, and heritage.
As for ancient constructions, the city is dominated by the imposing spire of Winchester Cathedral. Dating back to 1070, it's one of the largest cathedrals in Europe, with a stunning nave that seems to stretch on forever. In the north aisle of the nave you'll find the grave of Jane Austen, one of the most enduringly popular literary figures in British history.
King Arthur (whose statue stands in central Winchester) is another of the city's most iconic figures. A 13th Century version of the King's legendary Round Table can be found in Winchester Castle. The castle, built by William the Conqueror in 1067, was all but destroyed through the centuries. However, Henry VIII's impressive Great Hall addition still stands today.
While there's plenty to do in Winchester aside from heritage attractions, the city's careful preservation policy means that even shopping in Winchester means popping in to historic buildings. It makes it a wonderful place to go bargain hunting – whether you're thinking antique or boutique!
Nearby attractions include the wonderful Marwell Wildlife or the futuristic and hands-on science exploration centre at the Winchester Science Centre.


portsmouth

With a rich maritime and naval history, Portsmouth's fortunes have long been intimately tied to the sea. Even today, many of Portsmouth's most stunning features and most popular attractions are found near the harbour.
From the imposing Spinnaker Tower, to the Mary Rose Museum and historic ship HMS Victory, you'll find a huge range of things to see and do. Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is home to some of the most impressive historic ships in the world – with the remains of Henry VIII's Mary Rose and HMS Warrior 1860 both here.
The bustling Gunwharf Quays is one of the best shopping locations in the south, with dozens of big brands and stores to choose from (not to mention bowling alleys, cinemas and nightclubs) while Portsmouth Guildhall provides one of the south's premier entertainment venues.
Kids will love the Blue Reef Aquarium. On sunny days the whole family can follow the Old City Walls and enjoy an ice-cream on the seafront.


basingstoke

Basingstoke is not, as is commonly thought, a “new town” - in fact it's an expanded market town with origins that can be traced right back to the Iron Age.
Today, Basingstoke is one of Hampshire's most prosperous and vibrant locations and is home to the UK headquarters for many global brands from Motorola to Sun Life.
Yet, despite its commercial success, Basingstoke has a rich variety of cultural and heritage attractions. The Borough of Basingstoke and Deane features over 1800 listed buildings, and Jane Austen was born in nearby Steventon - where she wrote several early novels.
As for more modern attractions, Basingstoke is well-stocked with shops, restaurants and bars. The Festival Place Shopping Centre is the focal point for most shopaholics, with over 200 stores and 31 different restaurants.


guildford

Picturesque Guildford is only short trip from London, yet it's surrounded by tranquil unspoilt countryside. It's got bright new modern facilities but it's also filled with beautiful traditional architecture.  Set around the River Wey, Guildford was historically an important trade point between Portsmouth and London. Today you can amble along the riverside or take a gentle cruise in a riverboat.
Guildford is also a hugely popular shopping destination. The cobbled streets and historic alleys are home to hundreds of shops – from high-street favourites to independent craft, book and clothing stores. In the evenings you can choose from dozens of restaurants and bars before heading out to the cinema or to the excellent Yvonne Arnaud Theatre for a family performance.
 
surrounding areas
hampshire’s south downs

Hampshire’s South Downs - around Chawton where Jane Austen lived – has quite a different feel from the rest of the new National Park.
With its steep wooded hills and hidden valleys of watercress farms, lavender fields, vineyards, hop gardens and trout-filled streams … its picture-perfect villages and peaceful market towns …this is one of the loveliest parts of rural England.
Hidden away between the cathedral cities of Winchester and Chichester, this is great walking, cycling and riding country. Invigorating long-distance trails and circular routes dip and rise through ancient woodlands, and out onto the tops of the Downs.
The poet Edward Thomas loved these wooded chalk hills. So did Britain’s first naturalist - the great Gilbert White. When, in the 18th century, he described his lovely Selborne as a ‘rural, sheltered, unobserved retreat’, he could have been writing about the area today.
There’s a rich cultural life here, with contemporary arts and crafts thriving in small studios and galleries, live performances at Bedales, festivals and events in the market towns and villages.
And – only 40 miles from London – it’s got a cosmopolitan feel when it comes to places to eat and stay. So there are chic green B&Bs, wonderful foodie pubs with   open fires, classy restaurants with rooms - all serving delicious food, beers and wine from this fertile, fruitful land.


the test valley

Test Valley is one of the loveliest areas of Hampshire. Nestled between Winchester, Salisbury and the New Forest, Test Valley boasts beautiful countryside, chocolate box villages, the famous River Test and the market towns of Andover, Stockbridge and Romsey.
Test Valley runs from the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty right down to the New Forest National Park in the south.  Walkers, cyclists and horse lovers can enjoy parts of the 44-mile Test Way, which follows the course of the tranquil River Test, while the annual Test Valley Tour is a challenge for mountain bikers.
The River Test itself, famous for its chalk streams, trout and salmon, is a lure for fishermen and nature lovers alike.  
Discover the beauty and inspiration at the gardens, woodlands and walks of the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, established in 1953 by distinguished plantsman Sir Harold Hillier or Mottisfont Abbey, with its stunning rose collection and riverside walks.   While Longstock Park Water Garden, Romsey Heritage and Visitor Centre, Highclere Castle, Whitchurch Silk Mill, the Museum of Army Flying and the Hawk Conservancy Trust also provide an enjoyable day out in memorable Test Valley. 
 
 
hayling island

It’s not surprising that windsurfing was invented on Hayling Island in Hampshire. The island is bordered by both Chichester and Langstone harbours and also has three miles of beaches along its seafront on the Solent.
Situated south of Havant in Hampshire between Portsmouth and Emsworth, Hayling Island has always appealed to holiday makers and families and retains all the attractions of a traditional seaside resort.
Hayling Island’s three main beaches have won both the European Blue Flag and the Keep Britain Tidy Group Seaside Award Flag and are greatly enjoyed by the bucket and spade brigade as well as walkers and nature lovers.
Children and young people love the roller coaster rides at the Funland amusement park while the East Hayling Light Railway offers a ten-minute train ride along the seafront.


the new forest

Recently designated National Park status, The New Forest is home to some of South East England’s most picturesque countryside and is filled with a great variety of things to do and places to stay.
With shaded paths meandering through ancient woodland, picturesque villages dotted amongst the landscape, stunning coastal routes and dozens of unique attractions, The New Forest is one of the UK's best loved outdoor treasures. Explore the numerous New Forest Towns & Villages, each with its own charm and unique attractions.
Take the whole family to the excellent Paultons Park – an adventure theme park with rides and attractions for all ages, as well as beautiful gardens and exotic birds and animals. Visit the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu to see a huge array of vintage and rare vehicles dating back to the earliest days of motoring.
Cycle the miles of trails with bike hire available at Forest Leisure Cycling.  Enjoy a great range of outdoor activities, both on and off the water. New Forest Activities help you to have lots of fun, whether you’re an individual, family or group.
See where some of the wooden ships of Admiral Lord Nelson’s navy were once built at Bucklers Hard on the banks of the River Beaulieu. Head to Exbury Gardens where the flowerbeds burst with colour, particularly in spring when the rhododendrons explode in a riot of purple.
 
 
 
 
 
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