Tag Archives: Hampshire

Hampshire County- green, cosy, picturesque and close to London.

Just one hour drive from London this beautiful county will offer the best of England! If you are looking for the typical green, rolling hills, farms and small villages, you’ve come to the right county.

Start out in Farnham, a cosy market town with a small castle and one of England’s finest streets, the Castle Street, lined with beautiful Georgian buildings. Just outside the village is  a beautiful bird park, the Birdworld, with flamingos, talking parrots and strange birds.  Also visit the ruins of Waverley Abbey, Britain’s first Cistercian Abbey, dated back to 1128.

Heading south, take the A325 passing the RAF-camp of Bordon and then the tiny roads to the pretty, old town of Selborn. This small village of stone houses has a famous church (for what I don’t remember, but there’s the base of the 1400 year old yew tree in front of the church, that might have been the reason.) The village also host a tiny museum of the 18th century Natural Historian and ecologist Gilbert White. There’s a pottery, a nice pub – the Selborn Arms and a local store. No pictures are found, this is a place not many tourists visit and that’s just why you should go there!

From Selborn follow the B3006 and it will eventually lead you to Chawton, home of famous author Jane Austin during her last years. You can visit her house and have a cup of tea at Cassandra’s Cup, the Tea Room across the road.

Further on to New Alresford, a former stop for coaches driving between London and Southampton. Check out their antique shops and great pubs and take a walk along the famous watercress fields. You can search for more information about New Alresford previously on the blog.

Spend a good time in England’s first capital, Winchester. The grand cathedral is beautiful and has a good range of quality stores. Winchester has several famous boarding schools with Winchester College as the oldest continuously running school in England. Jane Austen is buried in the impressive cathedral and the town has several award-winning tea-rooms, gastro-pubs and restaurants. Try out the local pub, The Eclipse Inn at 25 the Square! Winchester also claims to have King Arthur’s Round Table on show. Stay in the old Mill YHA or enjoy some of the nice small hotels around.

If you’re a cricket fan, don’t miss the village of Hambledon near by. It says it’s the “cradle of cricket” and that the local Hambledon Cricket club in late 18th Century “raised the sport to an art” and formed the now known rules of the game.

A 10 min. drive away you’ll find Marwell Zoo with its snow-leopards, giraffes, tigers, monkeys and rare breads not found anywhere else. For the tiny ones there’s also a small fun fair.

So, buy yourself a good map, rent a car and start exploring the Hampshire County. You will not regret it!

Find Hamphire County on our Britain map.

Cathrine

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The sky is the limit at Farnborough Airshow

Airbus A380 landing at Farnborough Airshow

Farnborough International Airshow is one of the biggest airshows in the world, situated in Hampshire on Britain’s oldest airfield, still in operation. The event is primarily for people in the aerospace trade, but two days are dedicated to the public and this year it’s on the 24th and 25th of July.

The airshow demonstrates commercial, civilian and military aircrafts to potential customers and investors and during the two days visitors can experience hundreds of both historic aircrafts and new developments. The show is only held every other year and the last one in 2008 attracted over 153,000 visitors throughout the public weekend. There are four indoor exhibition halls and every day visitors can see the impressive 4½ hour flying displays with running commentary, static displays, interactive rides, seminars and a funfair.

Tickets costs £25 in advance or £30 at the entrance. Children under 16 years go for free. To get information about Farnborough International Airshow or buy tickets online, please visit www.farnborough.com.

And if you do visit this spectacular event, please let me know how it was so that I can hit myself one more time for not planning to go this year.

– Towe

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Lost in Austen Country, part II

Jane Austen's House, Chawton, Hampshire

Here’s the last part of Charlotte’s trip to Jane Austen’s world (read part I here):

After a huge breakfast the next morning, we set out walking. Our first stop was the Jane Austen’s House Museum in the nearby village of Chawton. We spent the morning learning more about Jane Austen, who lived in the house during the last eight years of her life.

We then headed out for a long walk in her footsteps. Before leaving Sweden, we had printed a copy of a very useful “literary walk” found on the website of East Hampshire District Council (PDF).

With the map in hand, we guided ourselves through the beautiful countryside, past pretty cottages and the church where Jane Austen’s mother and sister are buried. It was thrilling to know that these were the paths she used to walk and the houses she used to visit. We climbed gates and hedges with the intro to the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice ringing in our heads. This might seem strange, and it was, but it turned out my sister was constantly humming it.

Cecilia finally met lovely Mr Darcy

Just as we were getting tired of taking pictures of sheep’s and horses, we approached the village of Upper Farringdon. Having removed our muddy boots, we had a nice lunch at the Rose and Crown.

After a visit to the museum bookstore (where some of us spent a lot of money), we enjoyed a cream tea at Cassandra’s Cup, a tea house across the road from the museum.

We caught an early evening train and returned to London in time for dinner. It would be possible to visit the Alton/Chawton area in one day but then you would miss out on the comfortable beds and the lovely breakfast.

Charlotte

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Lost in Austen Country

My friend Charlotte took her sister Cecilia and her friend Jenny for a 24 hour trip through Jane Austen’s world. This is their story.

The Jane Austen travellers

My sister and I spent a weekend visiting a friend in London. The only rent we were allowed to pay our hostess was to arrange an excursion of some sort; a day-trip or a one-night stay somewhere no further away than an hour or two by train.

Some late night surfing made me come up with a plan that would accommodate for all our needs. Once I had found the website of Jane Austen’s House Museum – which took me about 20 seconds – it seemed that the small town of Alton was the place to go. Another useful site was the Hampshire County Council.

Visit Hampshire suggested some places to stay in the area and I had e-mailed enquires to a few of them. Luckily, Joan Mossop of St Mary’s Hall gave us a swift reply. She and her husband ran what turned out to be a very nice Bed and Breakfast in what used to be a church. The rooms were pleasant, breakfast delicious and our hosts generous and welcoming.

St Mary's Hall, Alton

Upon our arrival, we relaxed in the guest lounge at St Mary’s Hall before heading to a nearby pub, The French Horn for dinner and a taste of some local ale.

The next day we set out to discover Jane Austen Country.

Charlotte

Find out what the girls did the next day in our next episode of Lost in Austen Country tomorrow.

– Towe

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Best Streets Awards

The Shambles, York

The Results are in! To celebrate Google’s Street View, they have found and awarded the best streets in Britain. The awards were divided into three categories; Best Foodie Street, Best Fashion Street and Most Picturesque Street. The jury was compiled of journalists, designers, authors, chefs, celebrities and other prominent people – and VisitBritain was part of the panel as well. The verdict of the jury:

Best Foodie Street
“The winning street should offer a unique mix of mouth-watering options which could include fine dining, cafés, market stalls and delicatessens, all covering a diverse mix of food types and price points.”
Winner: Stockbridge High Street, Hampshire

See the street in our Britain Map

Best Fashion Street
“The winning street should offer an eclectic mix of boutique and high street, designer and high street for all clothing tastes and ages. The winning street should satisfy both bargain-hunters and label-lovers.”
Winner: Milsom Street, Bath

See the street in our Britain Map

Most Picturesque Street

The Shambles, York

Britain's most picturesque street

“The winning street should be uniquely British and visually charming. It could be vibrant, full of character, diverse, walker-friendly or architecturally interesting.”
Winner: The Shambles, York

See the street in our Britain Map

The choices of the jury surprised me I must say. London with all its gourmet restaurants and exotic blends is beaten by Hampshire, Bath beats Manchester at shopping..? I suppose this is evidence that there is more to see than the “usual” famous attractions and destinations. All the more reason to explore Britain this Summer with a couple of stops in Bath and Hampshire then. Congratulations to the winners, good job!!

Read more about the awards here
See The Guardian’s pictures from the streets here

/Carl

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Idyllic England – New Alresford

New Alresford

New Alresford

When living with my family in Hampshire we often visited this idyllic little village of New Alresford. The village has several nice pubs with The Globe on the Lake as a favourite for a light lunch. Take the train from London, Waterloo Station to Alton (1 1/2 h.) and board on the cosy steam train, The Watercress Line, to Alresford. 

The Watercress line

The Watercress line

This old steam train is by the way “dressed up” like Thomas the Tank during special weekends. The village has several tiny antique shops and some really nice clothes shops. Of course you should not miss the walk along the river. Start out from the old fire station at the bottom of the square. The area is known to grow the best watercress around and the pubs normally serve a tasteful watercress-soup. A really good day out when visiting London!

Cathrine

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