South Downs National Park in Hampshire
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.
The western tip of the South Downs 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&B’s and self catering cottages.
Skirting alongside the lovely Meon Valley, the Hampshire South Downs also include the pretty village of Selborne and Queen Elizabeth Country Park.
Queen Elizabeth Country Park near Petersfield is home to the highest point of the national park, Butser Hill.
At 270 metres high there are stunning views of the surrounding hills, valleys and farmland.
With designated picnic and barbeque areas, walks, café and gift shop, it is a great way to spend the day.
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.
Food & Drink
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 cafés, farm shops and restaurants in the Hampshire South Downs, download the East Hampshire Food Trail leaflet.
St Cath’s Hill is a 58 hectare flower-rich chalk grassland nature reserve carefully managed by Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. It’s home to some stunning wild flowers, and over 25 different species...