Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

10 Reasons to Visit Hampshire

From a traditional ale to Jane Austen's home, Hampshire, England, offers the best of the English countryside.

Jun 16, 2009
Wrought iron gate—entrance to Walled Gardens
Wrought iron gate—entrance to Walled Gardens
Photography Richard Waite

As one of southern England’s loveliest counties, Hampshire is awash in sleepy hamlets, thatched cottages, sprawling woodlands, ancient castles and green valleys—all within an hour’s drive of London.

It’s Cheese Country: Tunworth, a soft, white, flavourful, unpasteurised cheese handmade by family-owned Hampshire Cheeses, is one of the best—especially when served with a fresh baguette.

Award-Winning Ale: Enjoy award-winning TEA (Traditional English Ale) from Hogs Back Brewery on a brewery tour or at The Waterwitch in Odiham, a pub popular for its cask-conditioned ale offerings.

Museum Gem: Immerse yourself in history at the 18th-century Gilbert White’s House & The Oates Museum in Selborne, which is dedicated to Gilbert White, the father of modern natural history, and to English explorers Frank and Lawrence Oates.

Shopping Stops: The Boutique at Four Seasons for its Mulberry and Lulu Guinness bags; Elphicks in Farnham, a favoured department store since 1881; the mix of medieval history and high fashion in Guildford.

Hampshire’s Finest Produce: Go local with a Hampshire Farmers’ Market, where all produce sold is required to be grown, caught or produced in the county or within 10 miles of its border.

Historic Winchester: Once the capital of Anglo-Saxon England, Winchester is full of historical sites, including its magnificent Cathedral, the longest Gothic cathedral in Europe. The cathedral also is the final resting place of author Jane Austen.

Bucolic Basingstoke Canal: The Basingstoke Canal is idyllic for walking, canoeing, angling, observing wildlife, taking photos, picnicking or painting. It’s the perfect way to take in the beauty of the countryside.

Jane Austen Lived Here: In the village of Chawton, Jane Austen fans can visit the house where she wrote  Mansfield Park, Emma and Persuasion and revised the earlier manuscripts of Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey.

Portsmouth Docks: Visit the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, home to both the HMS Victory (Vice Admiral Nelson’s flagship for the Battle of Trafalgar) and the Mary Rose, the only 16th-century warship on display in the world.

Village Life: With its lovely Georgian townhouses and 16th-century cottages, Odiham is a perfect spot for strolling and sampling the local pubs.




One Comment about 10 Reasons to Visit Hampshire

  1. harvery says:

    great read, how about 10 reasons to visit Bournemouth in dorset, there has to be loads to do!

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