The South Downs extend from Winchester in Hampshire to Beachy Head in East Sussex and take in some spectacular chalk downland scenery.
The Hampshire South Downs, stretching as far as Petersfield, skirt alongside the lovely Meon Valley and include the market town of Alton, the pretty village of Selborne and Queen Elizabeth Country Park.
From Butser Hill - at 270 metres the highest point in Hampshire - there are stunning views of the surrounding hills, valleys and farmland, while the 160km-long South Downs Way is popular with walkers, cyclists and horse-riders.
The local pubs, restaurants and tea rooms provide a warm welcome to visitors and here you’ll find locally-brewed beers, scrumptious cakes and home-cooked meals, as well as many farm shops and specialist food shops.
At Rother Valley Organics, near Petersfield, there’s a tempting choice of organic beef, duck, goose, lamb or venison while the Triple FFF traditional brewery near Alton produces award-winning ales with names such as Pressed Rat & Warthog and Alton’s Pride.
Petersfield and Alton have regular weekly markets for fresh vegetables, fruit and local produce and there are also farmers’ markets in both towns throughout the year.
At Gilbert White’s house at Selborne you’ll find an elegant, award-winning tea parlour where you can try speciality teas and home-made cakes. The café at the Queen Elizabeth Country Park also sells home-made cakes, biscuits and soups along with many local products.
For more inspiration on places to visit and food and drink in Hampshire, see our selection of walking and cycling guides in our online shop or order the 2012 Hampshire South Downs visitor guide from the tourist information centre in Petersfield.
You can also download the East Hampshire Food Trail leaflet for information on cafés, farm shops and restaurants in the Hampshire South Downs.
Bustling Petersfield market takes place every Wednesday and Saturday.
Alton has been home to country markets for over 1,000 years and the regular weekly market takes place on a Tuesday, along with farmers’ markets and continental markets at other times of the year.