South Downs - Hampshire area


Type:Towns & Villages

Hampshire South Downs


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


  • Discover Another Way To Visit South Downs National Park

What's Nearby

  1. Queen Elizabeth Country Park

    With over 2,000 acres of downland and woodland, Queen Elizabeth Country Park is the ideal…

    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. Petersfield Museum and Art Gallery

    Situated at the foot of the South Downs, Petersfield Museum tells the story of…

    6.4 miles away
  1. Buriton Literary Walk Inspired by W H Hudson

    This walk starts in the village of Buriton and explores parts of the South Downs National…

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

    St Mary's Church, Itchen Stoke

    7.03 miles away
  3. Bishops Waltham Palace

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

    7.37 miles away
  4. Butser Ancient Farm

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

    7.68 miles away
  5. Gilbert White's House & Gardens

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

    8.19 miles away
  6. Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium

    Winchester Science Centre is more than a day out. It’s a chance to spark your children’s…

    8.46 miles away
  7. Sky Park Farm

    Experience life on a working deer farm, explore the farm trail, adventure playground and…

    8.56 miles away
  8. Chawton House

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

    8.66 miles away
  9. 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
  10. The Grange Festival

    The Grange Festival is dedicated to performing world-class opera in the heart of…

    8.91 miles away
  11. Jane Austen’s House

    Jane Austen’s House in Chawton, Hampshire is the picturesque country cottage where Jane…

    8.97 miles away
  12. Marwell Zoo

    Embrace your wild side at Marwell Zoo! Home to hundreds of endangered and exotic species…

    8.98 miles away
  13. Jane Austen Circular Walk

    Come and discover the beautiful countryside that inspired Jane Austen and take a peek…

    8.98 miles away
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