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Towns

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

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 and Bishop's Waltham, with its ancient ruins.

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.