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Great Escapes for Discerning Drivers

Hampshire’s Test & Itchen Valleys

4 July 2021 - 8 July 2021

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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
Route map
Price: From £900 per person
Garden View Room: £900 per person
Cottage or Garden Room: £1,000 per person
Deluxe Room: £1,150 per person
Suite: £1,300 per person
(Based on two people sharing a double/twin room)

Starts: 4 July 2021
Duration: 4 nights
Mileage: 180 miles

What's Included?

  • Carefully created tour to encompass the best of the Hampshire’s Test & Itchen Valleys
  • Four nights fabulous hotel accommodation
  • Full breakfast each morning
  • Excellent three-course meal on three evenings with wine (half bottle per person)
  • Welcome Champagne Reception
  • Entry to the Bombay Sapphire Distillery
  • Entry to the Army Flying Museum
  • Entry to the Hawk Conservancy
  • National Trust gift card worth £10 per person
  • Tour book: route directions, maps, information on everything to do, see and visit each day
  • Rally plate
  • Tour Guides: Sarah Dowding & colleague – to ensure the tour goes smoothly and everyone enjoys themselves

 

Itinerary

May be subject to change.

Day 1: 4 July 2021

Arrive in Stockbridge and check in to the hotel. Enjoy a wander along the High Street and pop into the boutiques, admire the trout in the Test River which flows along the street or enjoy a stroll on the marshes.

There will be welcome drinks and dinner this evening.

Day 2: 5 July 2021 53 miles

After a good breakfast there is a circular scenic tour to explore north Hampshire and parts of the North Wessex Downs and the lovely Bourne Valley. There is time for a variety of visits, including the Army Flying Museum, the Hawk Conservancy, the fabulous Bombay Sapphire Gin Distillery and Whitchurch Silk Mill.

Dinner is included this evening.

Day 3: 6 July 2021 52 miles

Another circular tour exploring the villages around Winchester, the ancient city itself and the superb Winchester Cathedral. Visit the famed Hilliers Arboretum before heading to the market town of Romsey with its lovely Abbey.

Spend the remainder of the afternoon at the National Trust property of Mottisfont, renowned for its sensational rose garden. Return to the hotel. Dinner is at leisure this evening but there are a good number of places to eat in Stockbridge.

Day 4: 7 July 2021 75 miles

A literary day: Drive around the lovely Itchen Valley with a visit to Jane Austen’s house Chawton. The 17th-century house, where she wrote or revised her six great novels, is now a museum devoted to the life and works of Austen and holds a treasure trove of memorabilia including her writing desk.

Head to Selbourne, where the pioneering naturalist Gilbert White, whose major work The Natural History of Selborne has never been out of print since its publication in 1789. The house, garden and parkland is now a museum devoted to White and also to Captain Oates, of Antarctic fame.

Stroll around the lovely little town of Alresford before a visit to Hinton Ampner, best known for its fine garden and widely acknowledged as a masterpiece of 20th-century design.

Return to the hotel for a farewell dinner.

 

Accommodation

The Grosvenor at Stockbridge is a little gem, lovingly restored to its former glory over the past 18 months. It sits proudly at the heart of Stockbridge, the smallest town in England, and home to the world-famous River Test. Enjoy a stay in the stunning rooms, located in the main hotel or in one of the lovely courtyard rooms overlooking the garden.

Requirements

This Hampshire’s Test & Itchen Valleys Tour is open to classic, vintage and sports cars of any age. However, the most important requirement is that you take pleasure in motoring through fabulous scenery, deserving of the vehicles we love, relish character hotels and enjoy the company of like-minded travellers.

Bespoke Fitted Luggage

Make packing for your next tour simple and easy. Classic Travelling Luggage offers bespoke fitted cases for a large range of classic and sports cars.

 

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