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South Downs - Hampshire area

Type:Towns & Villages

Hampshire South Downs

About

Hampshire’s South Downs - around Chawton where Jane Austen lived – has quite a different feel from the rest of the National Park.

With its steep wooded hills and hidden valleys of watercress farms, lavender fields, vineyards, hop gardens and trout-filled streams … its picture-perfect villages and peaceful market towns …this is one of the loveliest parts of rural England.

Hidden away between the cathedral cities of Winchester and Chichester, this is great walking, cycling and riding country. Invigorating long-distance trails and circular routes dip and rise through ancient woodlands, and out onto the tops of the Downs.

South Downs Towns & Villages in Hampshire

The poet Edward Thomas loved these wooded chalk hills. So did Britain’s first naturalist - the great Gilbert White. When, in the 18th century, he described his lovely Selborne as a ‘rural, sheltered, unobserved retreat’, he could have been writing about the area today.

There’s a rich cultural life here, with contemporary arts and crafts thriving in small studios and galleries, live performances at Bedales, festivals and events in the market towns and villages.

And – only 40 miles from London – it’s got a cosmopolitan feel when it comes to places to eat and stay. So there are chic green B&Bs, wonderful foodie pubs with   open fires, classy restaurants with rooms - all serving delicious food, beers and wine from this fertile, fruitful land.

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Map & Directions

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  • Discover Another Way To Visit South Downs National Park

What's Nearby

  1. Hinton Ampner House and Garden

    Best known for its fine garden, Hinton Ampner is an elegant country house with an...

    3.47 miles away
  2. Hambledon Vineyard

    The UK’s oldest commercial vineyard and now a top sparkling wine producer, Hambledon is...

    5.76 miles away
  3. Mid-Hants Railway 'Watercress Line'

    Let the train take the strain as you sit back, relax and travel through the heart of the...

    5.98 miles away
  1. Queen Elizabeth Country Park

    Fourteen hundred acres of downland and woodlands situated in south east Hampshire....

    5.98 miles away
  2. Edward Thomas circular walk

    A 4 mile circular walk with stunning views of the South Downs

    6.16 miles away
  3. Flora Twort Gallery and Petersfield Museum

    A selection of fascinating paintings of local interest by local artist.

    6.47 miles away
  4. Buriton Literary Walk - inspired by W H Hudson

    Circular walk inspired by naturalist W H Hudson.

    6.53 miles away
  5. St Mary's Church, Itchen Stoke

    St Mary's Church, Itchen Stoke

    7.03 miles away
  6. Bishops Waltham Palace

    Remains of Bishop of Winchester`s palace are mainly 12th and 14thC consisting of...

    7.37 miles away
  7. Butser Ancient Farm

    Butser Ancient Farm, nestled within the Southdowns National Park, is a wonderful outdoor...

    7.68 miles away
  8. Gilbert White's House & Garden and The Oates Collection

    Historic house and garden, home of Gilbert White, author of 'The Natural History of...

    8.19 miles away
  9. Avington Park

    Avington Park, a Palladian mansion, features a classical portico surmounted by 3 statues...

    8.44 miles away
  10. Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium

    Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium, previously known as INTECH, is an under-cover,...

    8.46 miles away
  11. Chawton House

    Chawton House Library is an internationally respected research library with a unique...

    8.66 miles away
  12. Marriott Meon Valley Hotel Golf Club

    The Marriott Meon valley Hotel & Country Club is set in over 225 acres of the most...

    8.8 miles away
  13. Jane Austen's House Museum

    The novelist Jane Austen is known worldwide for her popular novels describing the society...

    8.97 miles away
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