Winchester Cathedral, Britain on View

Winchester Cathedral, Britain on View

Inland Hampshire is covered with some of England’s prettiest countryside. Over to the east the South Downs National Park pushes into Hampshire where rolling chalk downland contrasts with the rich hanger woodlands. The towns and villages often stem from historic market towns that are rich in listed buildings such as Winchester, Stockbridge and Petersfield. Some have modernised and are now main shopping and business centres like Basingstoke and Andover.

There is plenty to see and do with military museums at Winchester, Aldershot and near Andover. Every two years Farnborough hosts the International Air Show drawing in thousands from all over the world to see the flying and aerobatic displays. It's this part of Hampshire that Jane Austen loved so much and where she wrote her best work in Steventon and Chawton near Alton. An extensive network of footpaths and cycle ways makes it easy to explore Hampshire’s inland downland, or take a leisurely steam train ride on the Watercress Line near Winchester beginning your journey at either Alresford or Alton.

The Watercress Line at Alton

The Watercress Line at Alton

Ancient County Town Winchester

Winchester is one of Hampshire great historic county towns with many of its timber framed medieval buildings and Georgian fronted properties surviving intact. Winchester Cathedral and Winchester College are magnificent examples of medieval and Gothic architecture. The mostly pedestrianized centre contains many cafes and an excellent mix of high street and independent shops.

Andover, The Test Valley & North Wessex Downs

Andover is the main centre in the rural Test Valley in the north west of Hampshire with a wide range of shops, inns, restaurants, parks and good transport links. The town sits alongside the River Anton and pleasant riverside strolls take in heritage watermills. Town trails also guide your around central historic sites and modern open air performance spaces like The Andover Time Ring, a mosaic documenting key events in the town’s history where you’ll often see a live performance or event. The beautiful countryside and chalk downland of the North Wessex Downs AONB sits just north of Andover and the clear waters of the chalk river Test, famous for its trout fishing, is to the west. You can explore the area by picking up the Test Way walking route which passes through several villages in this part of Hampshire, all the way down to the fringes of the New Forest and Southampton Water in the south.

Festival Place Shopping Centre in Basingstoke

Festival Place Shopping Centre in Basingstoke

Basingstoke & North East Hampshire

Basingstoke is a large town and the main centre in North East Hampshire containing a wide range of leisure and entertainment amenities including shopping centres, a leisure park, Aqualand and a Living History Museum. Theatres and concerts halls include The Haymarket and The Anvil, and Basingstoke has a good choice of clubs, bars and inns. Around this large centre you’ll find some grand historic sites including National Trust properties like The Vyne, a Tudor country mansion. In the far north east sits Silchester and the remains of the Roman City featuring some of best preserved Roman defensive walls in the country.

Aldershot Military Museum

Aldershot Military Museum

Farnborough Air Show & Aldershot Military Heritage

The internationally renowned Farnborough Air Show is one of Hampshire’s biggest and most popular events taking place every two years at Farnborough Airfield. Highlights include the many aerobatic and flying displays of historic and modern aircraft as well as the breathtaking aerobatics of the famous Red Arrows. Farnborough was the location for the first British powered flight by American Samuel Franklin Cody and you can find out more on this at the Aldershot Military Museum. Aldershot has been home to army base camps since the mid nineteenth century, and the Military Museum traces the military history of the Aldershot, Farnborough and Cove areas as well as displaying a collection of field guns and military vehicles. The big event of the year is the Aldershot Army Show, a military tattoo that stems from displays of military force for Queen Victoria on her Diamond Jubilee in 1897. In fact this was the main military spectacle in Britain before the Edinburgh Tattoo was established.

Jane Austen's House in Chawton

Jane Austen's House in Chawton

Petersfield, Alton, Jane Austen & The South Downs

Petersfield in the heart of the Hampshire South Downs and Alton on the northern edge of the National Park are popular centres for walking and touring the South Downs. Petersfield hosts regular markets and festivals including a food and music festival and pretty Georgian market town Alton is an ideal base from which to visit Jane Austen’s house at nearby Chawton and to access the Watercress steam railway line. Jane Austen was most at home in her beloved Hampshire and she produced some of her best work whilst living in Steventon and Chawton near Alton. The latter period of her life was spent in her house at Chawton where she lived with her sister and mother for 18 years. Jane and Cassandra used to take a daily walk to Alton where they would shop and visit their brother who ran a bank. The villages of Alton and Chawton have their own Jane Austen trails and the house in Chawton is now the Jane Austen House Museum.

Accommodation in Inland Hampshire

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    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 190 reviews
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    Well appointed & newly refurbished Basingstoke hotel with ensuite double & family guest rooms. Free Car Parking, 30 minutes free Wi-Fi, flexible check in/ out times by arrangement.
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    Rating from 190 reviews
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    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 218 reviews
    Rating from 218 reviews
    Four Marks cheap hotel accommodation with great prices, comfortable ensuite rooms with optional Wireless broadband internet access. Rooms from £25 available.
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    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 68 reviews
    Rating from 68 reviews
    Welcoming budget Portsmouth hotel just north of the town with ensuite rooms, high speed WIFI, free parking & adjacent Harvester Restaurant. Great for family holidays. Pet friendly.
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    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 242 reviews
    Rating from 242 reviews
    Newly refurbished Southampton hotel with free car parking, 30 minutes free Wi-Fi service, flexible check in/ out times by arrangement & nearby Harvester Restaurant. Pet friendly.
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    Rating from 242 reviews
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    £355
    Per Week/short break (Seasonal)
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 148 reviews
    Rating from 148 reviews
    Award winning, 5 star, two and three bedroom self catering lodges set in the heart of South Winchester Golf Club, just three miles from the centre of Winchester
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  • Rowlands Castle
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    £129
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    With a stay at The Fountain Inn in Rowlands Castle, you'll be convenient to Staunton Country Park and Stansted Park. This bed & breakfast is within the vicinity of Farlington Ma...
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  • Shroner Wood
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    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 217 reviews
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    With a stay at Days Inn Winchester M3 in Winchester, you'll be within the vicinity of INTECH Science Centre and Planetarium and Winchester Cathedral. This hotel is within the vi...
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  • Liphook
    Sleeps 3
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    This charming detached cottage is peacefully located 100 yards down a leafy unmade lane opposite miles of NT heath and woodland, perfect for walking. An ideal base for discoveri...
     
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    Chilworth Manor is an impressive Edwardian manor house set in 12 acres of beautiful gardens. It has en suite rooms, a pool, hot tub and free Wi-Fi.
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    Sleeps 4
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    This single storey barn conversion on the owner's working cattle and equestrian farm is in the village of Durley near to Southampton and sleeps four people in two bedrooms.
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