North Wessex Downs
The North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty includes parts of Hampshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire. It covers 668 square miles and extends from Basingstoke and Andover in the south to Reading, Devizes and Newbury in the north, west and east.
Important for the variety of its wildlife and habitats, it contains 66 Sites of Special Scientific Interest and some important archaeological sites, such as Avebury and Beacon Hill.
The North Wessex Downs forms part of the unique chalk landscape of southern England and is renowned for its sweeping hills, unspoilt villages and stunning views.
The area is popular with horse riders, walkers and cyclists and two long-distance walks, the Wayfarer’s Walk and the Test Way, meet at Inkpen Beacon and allow visitors access to some of the most beautiful scenery in Hampshire.
The famous Watership Down, the inspiration for Richard Adams’ heartwarming novel, can be explored on foot or on the off-road-cycling routes the Watership Down Trail and Whitchurch Trail.
The Blackwater Valley, a green corridor on the eastern edge of Hampshire, includes nature reserves, the Blackwater Valley Path and sporting opportunities while Highclere Castle, Whitchurch Silk Mill, Milestones living history museum and The Vyne are nearby attractions.
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