I love a weekend getaway. Whether I’m off to Europe or staying in the UK, there’s something energizing about a quick break. This weekend I’m heading south for 36 hours in Hampshire, and I can’t wait to see, smell, and taste what the area around the South Downs National Park has to offer. So read on for my Hampshire travel guide.

Hampshire Travel Guide

Hampshire Travel Guide

My boyfriend and I hop in the car on Saturday morning and travel south for the hour-and-a-half drive from London to Hampshire. After an amazing day trip to Winchester recently, I’m excited to be back in the area.

Red Phone Box in Petersfield

Petersfield, Hampshire

We arrive in time for breakfast at a cafe in Petersfield, an ancient market town in the South Downs countryside that was established by the Normans in the late 11th century.

Saturday Market in Petersfield

After eating outside to take in the scenery, we explore the town center and soak up everything from the vintage shops in the lanes to the Saturday market in The Square.

I can’t get enough of Sheep Street, with its eclectic mix of architectural styles and bright houses.

Sheep Street, Petersfield

Bedales Library

From Petersfield my Hampshire travel guide continues with Bedales, the school my boyfriend attended as a teenager. Its library is a temple to books and wood, and is one of the most spectacular I’ve ever seen.

Bedales Library

Designed by Ernest Gimson in the Arts and Crafts style, it feels equally like a cathedral and a cozy living room. I could move in.

Bedales Library

Hampshire Travel Guide: The Villages

But I have to move on. There’s more to my Hampshire travel guide, and next on the itinerary is one of my favorite things to do on a road trip in England: drive through villages and soak up the storybook atmosphere.

Thatched Roof Cottage in East Meon, Hampshire

Starting in the village of Privett, where we discover a beautiful church and lovely houses, we spend the afternoon motoring around the South Downs.

Church in Privett, Hampshire

From Privett we explore East Meon, with its impossibly sweet thatched-roof cottages and narrow stream. Pink houses with red post boxes make me feel like I’ve fallen into my favorite fairy tale. It’s one of the most beautiful villages in England.

Pink Thatched Roof Cottage in East Meon, Hampshire

Not far away, we end our day with dinner at The Thomas Lord, a pub in West Meon. We love the food as much as we adore the hydrangeas in the beer garden.

Garden at The Thomas Lord Pub, West Meon, Hampshire

The next morning we’re back in West Meon for breakfast in another garden, this one at the cafe in the West Meon Village Shop.

West Meon Village Shop Cafe, Hampshire

Jane Austen’s House Museum

Fueled, my Hampshire travel guide continues in Chawton, where we visit Jane Austen’s House Museum. I’ve read her major novels a million times, so it feels fitting to pay our respects at this important Jane Austen site in England.

Jane Austen's House Museum

The house is where she spent the last years of her life, and has everything from her writing desk to her clothing and jewelry. Outside, a beautiful flower garden and resident cat make us feel welcome.

Jane Austen's House Museum Garden

Hampshire Lavender Fields

There’s one more place on my Hampshire travel guide, and it’s a colorful one. Not far from Jane Austen’s House Museum are English lavender fields in Hampshire’s Hartley Park Farm.

This is one of two open weekends of the summer, and I’m excited our trip coincides with it.

Hartley Park Farm Lavender Fields

The fields themselves are smaller than I anticipated and seem only partly in bloom. But they’re still pretty to see and reasonably photogenic.

Given how many pictures I’ve seen of lavender fields in England on Instagram lately I’m happy to finally join the fun.

Hartley Park Farm Lavender Fields

Hampshire Travel Guide and Beyond

It’s a good way to end our weekend in Hampshire, and as we travel back to London I’m full of the colors, scents, and sights of the area. With all this energy I’m excited for my next quick getaway to Cambridge in a week’s time. Stay tuned…

Have you visited? What would you include in a Hampshire travel guide?

Find this post helpful? Buy me a coffee!

New here? Join thousands of others and subscribe to the A Lady in London blog via email.

Pin it!
Hampshire Travel Guide

16 Comments on Lady’s Hampshire Travel Guide

  1. Ah how beautiful, Hampshire is so close to my home town. I’d love to see this library though! Always have a weakness for a beautiful library.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.