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Find out about things to do in rural Hampshire 

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Hampshire Towns & Villages

Hampshire towns and villages offer hidden delights, from independent shops selling antiques, crafts and gifts to welcoming pubs and restaurants with delicious local food.

Towns in Hampshire

In Hampshire's towns you'll find interesting historic buildings and fascinating museums while in the unspoilt villages there are thatched cottages, ancient churches and lovely gardens - the English countryside at its best, providing the ultimate rural escape.

Many Hampshire towns have regular markets and the Hampshire farmers markets also tour the county, offering tempting local produce such as sausages, smoked trout, chutneys, honey and organic meats.

Some of the most interesting towns near Winchester include Alresford, home of Hampshire's watercress industry, Bishop's Waltham, with its ancient ruins, and Wickham, with its Georgian houses and medieval square.

The Georgian town of Lymington, with its yacht harbour on the Lymington River, has many tempting shops and restaurants while Lyndhurst, Fordingbridge and Ringwood are also well worth a visit.

Andover, Stockbridge and Romsey in the Test Valley benefit from river views, fine buildings and good shops while in East and North Hampshire you'll find the attractive Hampshire towns and villages of Petersfield, Alton and Odiham and novelist Jane Austen's former home at Chawton.

Shopping in PetersfieldCheritonBeaulieu

Villages in Hampshire

Some of the prettiest Hampshire villages include Chilbolton, in Test Valley, with its attractive thatched houses, and the unspoilt villages of Selborne and Buriton near Petersfield, surrounded by steep hills and lovely walks.

St Mary Bourne, on the Test Way, has beautiful old houses in brick and flint while Wherwell in the Test Valley has timber-framed cottages and is one of Hampshire's most picturesque villages.

Cheriton, near Winchester, has a village green, fine pub and stream while East Meon, in the stunning Meon Valley, has a Norman church and riverside setting. Beauworth village is known for its charming thatched cottages and friendly local pub, located 8 miles east of Winchester.

Or discover the treasures of Wickham, home to the second largest medieval square in England. 

In the New Forest, the beautiful Hampshire villages of Beaulieu and Buckler's Hard epitomise chocolate box charm and also offer fine restaurants, riverside walks and local museums.

Further Recommendations

In order to help plan your visit to Hampshire, we have provided a collection of links below to the more popular sections of our site.

As well as important travel information, you will find further information and recommendations on:


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Hamble is a picturesque destination which is ideal for anyone wanting to discover some of Hampshire's best coastline and countryside. With superb riverside views, Hamble village and its quaint cobbled streets...

Lymington Harbour


The Georgian market town of Lymington is set on the coast in the beautiful New Forest National Park, between Southampton and Bournemouth. Famous for its sailing history, there are two large marinas filled with...

Boltons Bench, Lyndhurst


Lyndhurst is the largest village in the New Forest and became the natural 'capital' of the area when William the Conqueror established his hunting grounds here. For centuries, Lyndhurst was the haunt of...

Old House Hotel


Wickham is situated in the beautiful rolling countryside of the Meon Valley. The village was a Roman military post and Saxon settlement, mentioned in the Royal Charter of 826. The village’s most famous...

The Plestor, Selborne


The attractive village of Selborne is famous for its association with the 18th Century literary naturalist Gilbert White. His book 'The Natural History of Selborne' records his observations on local animals,...

Romsey Town Centre


The picturesque town of Romsey in Hampshire sits beside the lovely River Test, one of the finest trout and salmon rivers in Europe. It is home to a multitude of small independent retailers and its winding...



The pretty Hampshire town of Stockbridge lies midway between Andover and Romsey in the stunning Test Valley. The lovely chalk streams of the upper River Test, famed for its excellent fly-fishing, flow...



Emsworth is popular with sailors, artists, naturalists and walkers. The two tidal millponds to east and west are host to a variety of wild life. Emsworth has a long history connected with oyster fishing...



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...