Petersfield, Alton and East Hampshire

The rolling green hills of east Hampshire were once the inspiration for novelist Jane Austen. This part of the county is very rural, speckled with pretty chocolate-box villages and quaint market towns.

At its centre sits the South Downs National Park, which stretches from Winchester through to Eastbourne in East Sussex. One of the country’s newest National Parks, the South Downs is a haven for cyclists, horse-riders, walkers and runners. The 101 mile South Downs Way is a popular trail which takes in wildlife, pretty villages and country pubs along the way.

Visitors can follow in the footsteps of Jane Austen with a visit to her former home in Chawton. Now an intimate museum, this quaint cottage showcases historical artefacts such as Jane’s writing table and jewellery, alongside informative captions which provide valuable background information.

In the nearby village of Selborne, naturalist Gilbert White’s house is open as a visitor attraction. Explore the impressive gardens, visit his study or browse the adjoining Oates Collection, dedicated to the explorers Frank and Lawrence Oates. There is also a café on site, offering delicious cream tea and homemade cakes.

East Hampshire has two major mainline railway stations situated in the towns of Alton and Petersfield. The A3 road runs through east Hampshire, from Waterlooville through to Surrey providing a scenic route for those travelling by car.

For more information on things to do and see please visit Visit Hampshire.

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