Hampshire in southern England is renowned for its long and plentiful history. Its peaceful rural setting is dotted with pretty villages, lovely countryside and the market towns. The Test Valley in west Hampshire has the River Test meandering through ancient woodlands, tranquil water meadows and rolling chalk hills. Thatched cottages and picturesque villages add to the area’s charm. The Test Valley is most famous for its fly-fishing and the clear chalk streams of the River Test and its tributaries yield up brown trout, grayling and salmon.
Central Hampshire is home to the historic city of Winchester, and the lovely chalk streams of the Itchen Valley. You’ll find unspoilt villages, nature reserves and heritage sites. 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.
The county has much to explore with beautiful cathedrals, churches and abbeys, fabulous gardens, historic homes and fascinating museums, as well as excellent driving roads and lovely scenery.
Highlights of the Test & Itchen Valleys
- Drive through scenic rolling countryside and charming villages
- Stroll around the historic and ancient city of Winchester
- Visit the Bombay Sapphire Distillery
- See silk being made at the Whitchurch Silk Mill
- Visit the Army Flying Museum in Middle Wallop
- Explore beautiful gardens including Mottisfont, Hilliers, Hinton Ampner and Longstock Water Gardens
- Discover the Hawk Conservancy with its amazing birds
- Explore the market towns of Stockbridge, Alresford and Romsey
- Visit the Gilbert White’s house in Selbourne
- Discover the works of Jane Austen at her home in Chawton