Wednesday 25 November 2009

A day to exploring Hampshire

Hampshire, a county of southern England on the English Channel, it was a county constituency of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which returned two Members of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons from 1295 until 1832.

A day to exploring HampshireThis is a day for exploring the backbone of English rural life - country villages. Hampshire has plenty of special ones and is also renowned for beautiful rivers, so this tour combines both.

Upper Clatford is south of Andover in the River Andover in the River Anton valley, with thatched cottages and ancient All Saints Church. Neighbouring Goodworth Clatworth is also on the Anton (both villages have charming bridges). Walkers can ascend Bury Hill for sweeping valley view, or stroll in Harewood Forest.

Take the southbound A3057 road and turn left for Wherwell, down a hill with splendid views of the Test Valley. The village is a showpiece, with cottages clustered around the River Test, a ginclear chalk stream - stand on the wooden footbridge and spot the brown trout that anglers will pay almost anything to pursue.

Across the river is Chilbolton, a picturesque collection of cottages and farmhouses, plus a 12th century church. Then, return to the A3057 and a sharp right and left will take you to Longstock. This village would be the most delightful in Hampshire if there weren't numerous other contenders.

Continue to Stockbridge with its wide main street and river bridge, headquarters of the angling fraternity. Walkers will appreciate the sweeping expanse of Stockbridge Down.

A wonderful way to end a day that has shown the English countryside at its very best.

Don't miss: the National Collection of old-fashioned roses in the walled gardens at Mottisfont Abbey. Cultural types may prefer the unusual drawing room decorated by artist Rex Whistler.

Best time to go: in May and June, a sunny day!

Accommodation: to find a proper acccommodation, click here: hotels in Hampshire. Enjoying your exploring.