As you can imagine there are many must-sees when you visit the city, starting with Portsmouth Naval Memorial. Not only is it the largest naval memorial in the world, but it houses an impressive collection of plaques and memorials. Another equally impressive and historically significant building is historic Southsea Castle. This structure was one of Englands most important fortresses which protected the kingdom from foreign threats for centuries. Portsmouth is an extraordinary city. Its enviably picturesque setting on the Solent with sweeping panoramic views of the Isle of Wight is just one of its many charms.
You cant help feel a sense of pride when you stand there and gaze out across the town to see some of Englands most coveted landmarks like Nelson's flagship, HMS Victory, This Is Hampshire (thisishampshire.co.uk). Portsmouth has a history stretching back into the mists of time. It is one of Englands oldest cities and a complex history that has left behind an incredible array of attractions. Its also home to some great Museums, which I will discuss in more detail shortly.
Old Portsmouth is the only Georgian-era waterfront survival in the country and is one of the best examples of Town Planning. The Royal Navy Historic Dockyard provides a unique experience for locals and tourists alike, with much to see and do. The maritime city of Portsmouth is Englands historic seat of military and naval power. It was here that the Royal Navy first set sail, back when Britannia ruled the waves. Start in Portsmouths Historic Dockyard where the Mary Rose Museum resides and learn about the complex and fascinating story behind this shipwreck.
I thought I'd start off my first blog post with a little bit of nostalgia about the place I've lived in for most of my life. If you're not from Basingstoke, it's pretty easy to get confused between Reading and Basingstoke because they have very similar names. However, unlike Basingstoke, Reading doesn't have a famous landmark – unless you count the Aztec West shopping center. Post-war Basingstoke became progressively more and more built up, with the building of many council estates and the growth of the town into a major commercial hub.
It developed into an overspill town for London during the 1960s, drawing people out of bomb-damaged London and its environs. Basingstoke’s population and economy are still expanding – it is the 6th largest town in Hampshire and the 19th largest urban area in the UK. I grew up in Hampshire a few miles outside Basingstoke, and it was quite a cathedral town back then. The M69 forms part of this route and provides a direct link into Warwickshire.
Lyndhurst is the official largest village in the New Forest National Park but as you can see from the picture it is not a particularly big place. In fact it is so small that on some maps it doesn't even appear! The village centre is also home to the national park information centre and has accommodation, restaurants and pubs. While in Lyndhurst there are various walks you can do which take in some of the most beautiful parts of the forest including Crabwood tower, Hangerford Brook, and Trescombe House gardens.
There are also plenty of smaller country lanes which are fine for cycling along if you prefer to get around that way. If you're coming from the east, Lyndhurst is the first village in the New Forest National Park you'll encounter. It's an excellent place from which to base yourself if you're visiting for a couple of days, as there's lots to see and do within a short drive and superb places to stay. I particularly like staying at The King's Arms book a room here if you can, it's excellent (I've tried many places on this route, and this is my favourite).
On a still day, you have to strain against the resolute silence to believe the New Forest possesses a large human population which it does. Lyndhurst is the main village in the New Forest; it has all the facilities needed for a normal sized village. It is the best place to stay and explore the central part of the forest. Lyndhurst is a regency town unlike any other. Built on the foundations of commerce and culture, this historic town has flourished into a backdrop to visitors from all over the globe.
If you are interested in the history of Chawton House, then you can read all about it here. For those of you who are merely interested in taking a self-guided walking trail around the village, here is a map to get you started. Chawton is located approximately 11 miles away from Alton. It's easier to get to by car as there aren't any train services that stop here. However, South West Trains does have a bus service that makes three stops in the area three if you count Alton itself.
Check out the bus timetables and route maps on South West Trains website. C hawton Square, Chawton House and the Jane Austen Memorial Chapel are all within walking distance of each other in the village centre. The six pretty cottages that were Austens home are still there; no. 5 is a museum open to visitors. Austen moved to Chawton from Steventon in 1809, when she was 28. She lived there with her mother, Cassandra, sister and brother-in-law.
The connection began when Jane and her sister Cassandra moved into a cottage in Chawton in 1809, which is now run as a literary centre. In Austen's time the village boasted an impressive six manor houses, but is still home to a small number of well-preserved historical buildings, including The Vine Inn public house. Chawton is the resting place of Jane Austen, who is buried alongside her brother Henry in the grounds of St. Michael and All Angels Church.
The church has a memorial window dedicated to Jane Austen, as well as a clock tower paid for by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Frederick John Robinson. If you are on your way to explore the South Coast, take a moment and visit Chawton. Austen lived there from 1809 until she left for Winchester in 1811 at the age of 25. Her brothers lived in Chawton until their deaths. To get to Chawton from Alton, take the A31 and then head west on the B3070.
Stockbridge is a small village in the county of Berkshire which are part of the West Midlands region of England. It has a population of 7097 (2011) and an area of 2. 60 square miles. The center of Stockbridge is listed as a conservation area with many buildings being thatched roofed and having structures dating back to medieval times. There are 56 listed buildings in the area and some of these include The Old Hall Hotel, Dinton Pastures, and Stockbridge House among others.
For a community of nearly 4,000 people, Stockbridge has a bevy of cultural and historic sites that keep the hamlet on the map of not only Massachusetts but throughout the United States. Each year, the National Register of Historic Places recognizes and adds new buildings to their registry, some of which are located right here in Stockbridge. If you like having a selection of restaurants to choose from, and do not care about the location, then you will enjoy living in Stockbridge.
It has a fantastic food scene. You will have some time with everything within reach, and for a longer trip the train system is well set up throughout the city. Stockbridge, located in Berkshire County northwest of Boston, is home to a number of listed historic places. The village center here is filled with lovely streetscapes as well as structures that were erected beginning in the 18th century. Turn left onto the quieter B2090 which steadily climbs for 3.
Huddled next to the River Meon, with the Hampshire Downs just beyond, Petersfield is a charming market town that combines old and new in perfect harmony. It's all very traditional, with a maze of narrow streets leading you past independent shops and boutique hotels, plus historic-listed cottages from the 17th century. And yet those modern touches are hard to miss, with designer furniture stores and chic cocktail bars pumped into the mix. With a population of less than five thousand, this one has maintained its rural character and charm.
From being the site of Roman encampments to being used as a location in the TV drama ‘Lovejoy’, Petersfield is rich in history. And the best thing about it is all of this can be explored within half an hour of Winchester. Petersfield was designed in 1167 by one of England’s most powerful and successful Kings, Henry II. It had been established as a temporary town to support the building of Arundel Castle in Sussex.
The project, which was completed just 50 years later, enclosed a large area running across the valley of the River Rother. Petersfield is a beautiful English village which sits in the centre of the South Downs National Park. The architecture and design of the town today are influenced by its interesting history. This post will explore this history, in addition to some interesting facts about Petersfield. The idyllic town of Petersfield is located in Hampshire, England and is part of the Borough of Hart District.
The town serves as the administrative region for the surrounding villages and was built from scratch by Norman invaders in 1067 AD. But it’s more than just a pretty new town, Petersfield was the seat of power for William Rufus, the younger son of William the Conqueror. 8 miles until you get to the village. The A38 road runs East-West to the south of Rotherham, passing through Kirk Sandall and Rawmarsh. This will be upgraded to motorway standard in 2019 as part of the Sheffield City Region Deal.
Tucked into the western nook of Portsmouth harbor is the market town of Fareham. The origins of this historic town trace back to the 13th century when it was raided by the French in 1216 and 1257. The French would again enter Fareham’s history in 1545, due to its strategic military importance. The town has a rich history which is evident today with the well kept buildings such as Stone House and an abundance of piers.
Tucked into the western nook of Portsmouth harbour is the market town of Fareham. Sitting just inland, you'll find hills, open woodland and some of Hampshire's most beautiful countryside. It's here that you'll discover a thriving small town that's home to a strong community spirit, but has all the modern facilities you'd expect from a larger town. Tucked into the western nook of Portsmouth harbour is the market town of Fareham, and it has an interesting history.
Founded in Saxon times as 'Ferhan', the first mention of the town's name was in the Domesday Book of 1086. Its name is derived from 'Ferhha's Ham', and thought to have been named after a Saxon chief. Fareham is a town full of rich history, beautiful architecture and stunning countryside. Its location just a 15 minute drive from the bustling city of Portsmouth, makes it a desirable place to go. Fareham is an unassuming town with it's small high streets and tranquil river banks offering some idyllic picnic spots outside of the main centre and many of the surrounding areas.
From being an elegant spa town (Bath is only a few miles down the road) to becoming one of the cradles of the Industrial Revolution, it’s a fascinating town to take in. Of course, there’s plenty that’s new too. The balloon hovercraft is definitely one to check out; it really is pretty mind-blowing. Also, the Time & Tide Museum reminds you that here on the southern coast, the last land invaders met their bitter end at the hands of the brave men who heroically stood against them (it’s a lot more nuanced than that and has been portrayed in various movies and TV shows but you get my point).
To the south of Hampshire and a few miles from the sea, Southampton is an old town in a new county, sitting on the coast of the Solent. It has done its fair share to earn itself a part in maritime history: John Harrison, whose sea clocks revolutionised navigation, was born and brought up here; James Cook trained on board HMS Eagle which was built at nearby Bucklers Hard; Captains Webb and Bligh both made their way in the Royal Navy from the docks.
A shipbuilding and seafaring community, Southampton has a large fishing port as well as a container export facility. It hosts one of the world's largest annual boat shows. Dominated by red-brick residential terraces and grand civic buildings, the city is also known for its parks and green spaces. Today, Southampton is a busy historic center with a city center of historic buildings along the riverfront. The Civic Center features the town hall and old movie theater, and next door is Tudor House.
The New Forest is a royal hunting ground, which was established in the 12th century and extends to about 6% of the county’s total area. It is also the largest continuous area of unenclosed chalkland in Northern Europe. The New Forest National Park Authority makes efforts to maintain as much as possible of the New Forests famous undisturbed landscape to keep its towns like Burley, Lyndhurst and West Moors cohesive with villages and hamlets uninterrupted by roads.
The new forest national park is located in Hampshire and has an area of 380 square kilometres of heathland and forest. It spreads across the border of Hampshire and Wiltshire at its largest extent. The typical habitat of this area is open space, which fosters many rare plants, birds and insects. There has been much controversy over the "new forest" as it was a royal hunting ground and offered bountiful rich wood for timber harvesting.
New Forest is a forest in Hampshire and one of the largest remaining tracts of unenclosed pasture in lowland Great Britain. It is managed by the Forestry Commission. It is the only national park in Hampshire, covering an area of 181,000 hectares (464,000 acres) or about 4% of the county. The Ocean Dock Pier is the second-oldest commercial pier in the United Kingdom, and today it houses a multi-million-pound development of apartments, shops and restaurants.
The Romans built Venta Belgarum in the early 2nd century. It was an impressive city for its time. Today, you'll see remnants of this great civilization as you walk through the streets. For example, there's even a Roman Amphitheatre! While venturing through the city, you may catch sight of the Cathedral which is said to be the largest medieval cathedral in Europe. This beautiful building hearkens back to the days of yore when King Alfred ruled England from Winchester; it's where his tomb is located as well.
Winchester is not only the ancient capital of England, it is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the country. Here you will find places of immense historical importance, built at a time when those in positions of power saw that they needed to leave a mark on history. There are many landmarks worth visiting in Winchester, including the famous castle and cathedral. The capital of Hampshire is famous for its history, and not only Roman.
It’s one of the oldest towns in Britain that has survived from pre-Roman times. Yet Winchester was an important urban centre already by 460 AD, when it was occupied by the British Gewisse tribe. Winchester has been in existence since the Roman times, named Venta Belgarum and founded by the Romans. It was a famous city hosting many historical events including being one of the royal cities of England. Despite a lack of a mainline railway into it, the Twin towns of Fareham and Gosport have a lot to offer.
South Downs National Park
The national park is the only UK protected area to cover a chalk downland and one of the most attractive rural regions in England. Since the Second World War, sections of dense woodland have been added to its landscape, including the ancient woodlands at Ashdown Forest, and more modern woods such as Chanctonbury Ring and St Catherine's Hill. From its highest point on South Downs Mountain near Winchester, it stretches westwards along farm pastures as far as Hampshire's border with West Sussex.
While not as big as the North Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the other side of the county, the South Downs is still a beloved tourist hotspot. That’s mainly thanks to its reputation for walkers. The area is amazingly popular with hikers, attracting upwards of two million every year to take a chance on its national trail. The South Downs National Park is a wonderful designated area of great natural beauty. Two-thirds of the land in East Hampshire and West Sussex is owned by The National Trust (NT), which has protected it from development so that walkers can enjoy the delights of open hillsides and stunning views.
Also known as the South Downs, the National Park covers around 130 square miles (335 square kilometres) of chalk countryside, which is rich with wildlife and flowers. The National Park's highest point is Butser Hill at 266 metres (872 feet) above sea level. Now run by the South Downs National Park Authority, it includes three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the coast from east to west. To the west, the downs will give way to flatter chalk, forming a natural corridor into Surrey and the South East.
Driving northwest on the A303 youll pass the rural villages of Andover and Clanfield, 2 of the villages that make up the County of Hampshire. A mixture of farmland and woodland will greet you as you drive through these areas although this is not to say you wont come across any stunning properties surrounded by amazing grounds in these areas. If a mix of countryside and seclusion is right for you, these are great places to buy a property.
Andover began as a Saxon village with loops and holloways, some of which can still be seen today. There are also several ancient burial mounds on the hilly outskirts, which is always a plus in my book. A one-time Cistercian monastery, Andover was awarded a charter by Henry III in 1204. They also have an impressive 14th century Great Hall at Tichborne Park well worth a visit if you love Tudor manors. As you head northwest you'll drive through bucolic countryside of smooth chalk hills, and as you draw nearer to the town, along with the pleasant greenery the view becomes increasingly dominated by historic brick mansions and cottages, clustered around the 17th century Market Square.
This is an interesting place to pop into for a peek at the lively local life. Buckinghamshire is the county of pretty villages and Andover is one of them. This town has a harbor, where you can go on a pleasure cruise. The place has Water Meadows Nature Reserve for all who enjoy bird-watching and natural history. Andover residents may look to their neighbours at Abbotts Langley, Churt and Chilworth as the leading villages for the area, but theyre actually just north of the town of Andover.
Rising steeply from the River Test, Romsey has a medieval cathedral and a market square that date back to 1295. It's only 8 miles south of Southampton with plenty of routes to the city; the A35 to the north and the A3090 to the south. The old town is enclosed by sturdy stone walls, which were built in the 13th century, and are well-preserved from various sieges throughout history. The castle ruins stand tall over this historic settlement and are worth a visit on their own for some fantastic views over the surrounding area.
If you’re looking to move to the Test Valley, Romsey is a great place to be based. It has good train connections via Southampton Central and Winchester, both of which have frequent services into London Waterloo – perhaps a commute we could envy! There’s also plenty to see in the town itself, with Romsey Abbey – the only large monastic house in Hampshire – and many pretty streets and buildings. The Test Valley is adored for its quaint towns and villages, and the market town of Romsey is up there with the prettiest.
Historically, Romsey was a busy trading port and river crossing, but today it’s best known as the gateway to the Test Valley orchards. Nestled in the Hampshire countryside, Romsey was first recorded in 1926 as Rumeseie, meaning “the fortress by the stream”. With its half-timbered buildings, Romsey is a great example of a traditional English market town. Located in the Test Valley, Romsey lies close to the cities of Southampton and Bournemouth in southern England.
Alton is a town in England, with a history dating back to Saxon times. The town has some archeological evidence from pre Roman Briton times; Legend has it that King Arthur was born at the nearby Castle of Ida, where his father Earl Marius built a defensive fortification known as the Kyneton, although this exact location is unknown. Records from the mediaeval period count Alton as one of the most valuable assets to be found in all of the Domesday Book in 1086, wherein it is listed under Aldeton.
All you have to do to get here today is jump in your car and head off in the direction of London. If you get on the A31, just stay on it for around 90 minutes until you reach the M3; make sure that when you exit onto the M3 you are taking the second Alton slip road. This will then take you right into Alton where you can park in any of the free car parks and then have a lovely walk around the town.
If youve never visited Alton you should know that this historic market town is set in beautiful Hampshire countryside. The modern town centre is compact and feels very steeped in history. Moorgate, the main shopping street, features two-storey buildings and a flint facade that date back at least to the 14th century, with some parts dating back to the 11th-century Saxon period. Romsey lies snugly on the Test Valley’s eastern slopes and is dominated by two regal and beautifully kept Norman castles, which stand watch over the town like benevolent guardians from above.
Lymington is a pretty town in Hampshire on the south of its boundry with the New Forest. There are many attractions to make Lymington an attractive place for young people to live which include good secondary schools, Leisure Centre and competitive house prices. The area is popular with walkers, clubs and societies and is close to the New Forest – it's the type of town where you can fit in with a varied social life but also enjoy your own space.
Lymington is one of the historic harbours on the south coast of England, and as such is a delight to visit. Lymington has a small but beautiful harbour, packed with historic sailing ships which make it a favourite amongst boat enthusiasts. The rich history of Lymington is clear to see from the shipbuilding history to the many listed buildings and Georgian houses spread throughout the town. Lymington is a town in southern Hampshire, England, at the western end of Lymington River, an arm of the New Forest.
It was a maritime centre in the 18th century and today is one of the main piers on the south coast, as well as being a popular destination for residents of London, lying just off the A303 road. Active, forested coastline with many hotels and guest houses along the way; charming harbour town with historic quay. Just a short distance from mainland Europe, Lymington is a busy yacht port and a major point of departure for yachts heading out into the Solent toward the Needles and Scilly.