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Old Winchester Hill, South Downs National Park

Old Winchester Hill, South Downs National Park

Rural Escapes

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Explore the tranquil beauty of rural Hampshire. With its gentle walks, pretty villages and welcoming pubs, Hampshire’s countryside is a hidden gem for visitors. Here you’ll find historic houses, fascinating museums and ancient market towns, with excellent travel links to London and beyond.

Hampshire has 3,000 miles of footpaths and 750 miles of cycle paths, surrounded by beautiful and varied scenery all year round. Stretching from the South Downs National Park in the east to the New Forest National Park in the west and the North Wessex Downs in the north, the county is renowned for its ancient woodland, rolling hills and meandering chalk streams.

Charming thatched cottages nestle against traditional inns and tea rooms, many serving excellent local produce. From medieval Winchester to the foodie destination of Stockbridge or one of Hampshire’s many farmers’ markets, there’s plenty to tempt the taste buds. For foodie events, try the Watercress Festival at Alresford or Trout and About in the Test Valley.

If you love literature, follow in the footsteps of Jane Austen at her family home in Chawton or visit naturalist Gilbert White’s house at Selborne.  

For a taste of Hampshire’s heritage, visit medieval Romsey, Mottisfont Abbey, or the Hospital of St Cross in Winchester. The Vyne near Basingstoke also has a fascinating history while the Watercress Line offers nostalgic journeys by steam train.