South Downs National Park
Butser Hill, Queen Elizabeth Country Park
Escape to the South Downs and become revitalised in this peaceful and relaxing part of Hampshire.
Confirmed as a National Park in 2009, the stunning landscape of the South Downs stretches from Winchester and Petersfield in Hampshire to Eastbourne in East Sussex. Walk, cycle or ride on horseback along the 101 mile South Downs Way and enjoy the wonderful, rolling countryside, described by Bill Bryson as 'some of England's finest'.
The western tip of the South Downs Way can be found in the heart of Winchester at the magnificent 11th century cathedral. Just one mile from the city centre the South Downs comes into its own with the beautiful countryside of St Catherine's Hill.
The market towns of Petersfield and Alton are also ideal starting points to explore the South Downs, in the East of Hampshire, as they full of interest and are dotted with comfortable hotels, b&bs and self catering cottages.
The South Downs Way also passes through Queen Elizabeth Country Park near Petersfield which is home to the highest point of the national park, Butser Hill. With designated picnic and barbeque areas, walks, café and gift shop, it is a great way to spend the day.
Elevated upon the South Downs, with fine panoramic views to the sea is the historic house of Uppark. Stansted Park is also worth a visit. Other places of interest are the villages of Selborne, where you can visit Gilbert White's House and the Oates Collection, East Meon, the source of the River Meon and Buriton, home of Edward Gibbon.
A unique feature of this landscape is the hanging woods or hangers. You can walk the Hangers Way, a 21 mile path from Alton to Queen Elizabeth Country Park through Selborne, Steep and Petersfield.