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Hampshire’s Test & Itchen Valleys

Hampshire in southern England is renowned for its long and plentiful history. Its peaceful rural setting is dotted with pretty villages, lovely countryside and market towns. The Test Valley in west Hampshire has the River Test meandering through ancient woodlands, tranquil water meadows and rolling chalk hills. Numerous 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 cathedral city of Winchester, and the lovely chalk streams of the Itchen Valley. You’ll find unspoiled 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.

These parts of the county of Hampshire have much to explore with a beautiful cathedral, churches and abbeys, fabulous gardens, historic homes, and fascinating museums, as well as good driving roads and lovely scenery of rolling chalk downlands.

Want a longer tour? Combine this tour with our New Forest Tour for five days of driving pleasure.

Tour Highlights

  • Drive through scenic rolling Hampshire 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

Tour Map


Day 1:  Drive to Stockbridge, Hampshire

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.

Day 2:  Visit Winchester & Mottisfont

52 Miles

Another circular tour exploring the villages around Winchester, the ancient city itself and the superb Winchester Cathedral. Visit the famed Hilliers Arboretum near Romsey.

Spend the remainder of the afternoon at the National Trust property of Mottisfont, renowned for its sensational rose garden. Return to the hotel.

Day 3:  Test Valley & Bourne Valley

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.

Day 4:  Itchen Valley & Jane Austen

75 Miles

A literary day: Drive around the lovely Itchen Valley with a visit to Jane Austen’s house in 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.


Where we'll stay

The Grosvenor at Stockbridge is a little gem, lovingly restored to its former glory. 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.

What's included



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