Petersfield bed and breakfast, England

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Petersfield bed and breakfast, England

Environment

As a family we are very aware of resources; Kevin grew up in southern africa where water is highly valued and conserved (and where everyone knows the phrase 'When it's yellow let it mellow, when it's brown flush it down......'!!) and we try and encourage this in our children. We have elected to have a water meter as a constant encouragement to conserve water and we try very very hard to use water sparingly in the garden; we would never water our lawn during a drought for example; lawns always recover. We also have and use 3 water butts in the garden and keep chickens, who provide all our eggs.

We encourage birds to our garden with bird feeders,as do our neighbours, over whose oak tree our b and room looks; it is teeming with birdlife as the tree is covered with birdhouses of different sizes and shapes. We are lucky too; green woodpeckers are frequent visitors and buzzards circle the woods and fields we look over.

We are enthusiastic re-cyclers; everything our council takes as recycling gets recycled; glass, paper/card, cans and plastic bottles. And we have a functioning compost system into which all our vegetable and garden waste goes. Only real rubbish goes into our bin. We use only non-bio washing powder; bio is reserved for stain 'emergencies'! - and we try hard to use our tumble drier only when absolutely necessary, using our washing lines, indoor and outdoors, whenever possible.

We have had cavity wall insulation installed and also new and efficient double glazing. Only 2 old crittall windows remain - as a reminder of the house when first built. We use our central heating sparingly but as the house is south-facing and we have argon-filled double glazing on this side of the house, it is almost always warm. When it's not, we light a wood fire. Our next project is a woodburner...............

Community

We both take part in our local community; know all our neighbours well and support them when needed, introducing our guests to our local pubs, restaurants, art galleries, 'cinemas' and taxi drivers. We lend our guests ordnance survey maps if they need, and always point them in the direction of local pubs they can walk too, combining fresh air, wonderful scenery and great food and drink We shop locally, cycling to Petersfield when possible and using our twice-weekly markets in Petersfield when practical and possible. It is a wonderful source of fruit and veg, flowers, bread, petersfield-produced 'south africa' boerwors and biltong!! and there is also a wonderful 2nd-hand cd/music stall, run by a man who specialises in jazz and keyboard music; cheaper and better for the planet than buying new. We are also on various local committees; I have just trained as a Walking for Health Leader and am also a voluntary driver, driving people without their own transport to hospital and doctors appointments.

Landscape

Our fabulous bed and breakfast is located in Steep, just 2 miles from the market town of Petersfield. From the bedroom window you have lovely views of the South Downs and Ashford Hangers. From the front door there is some amazing walking and cycling including the South Downs Way and the Hangers Way trails. The South Downs Way follows the old routes and droveways along the chalk escarpment of the South Downs. The route provides visitors with a chance ‘to get away from it all’ whilst admiring the stunning views, bustling wildlife, fine pubs and quaint villages.

Just a short walk away from the house is The Harrow Inn, one of the least spoilt and most atmospheric country pubs in Britain! Well worth paying a visit. Other wonderful local pubs include The Pub with No Name (aka The White Horse) and The Trooper Inn. In this beautiful corner of Hampshire you are close by to Goodwood, renowned for its festival of speed and horse racing, the historic cities of Chichester and Winchester and the Portsmouth’s historic dockyard. Alresford with its pretty river and watercress beds is just a 20 minute drive and Jane Austen’s house at Chawton is only 8 miles.

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