Location:Farrigdon, Hampshire, South Downs National ParkSee map here
More info:There is a reduction in price for guests staying longer than 2 weeks.
Description of Farringdon Bed and Breakfast, South Downs, England
Feel at home with Gillian when you come and stay in this lovely little artistís cottage in the village of Farringdon in the South Downs National Park. Enjoy a Full English breakfast in the pretty garden as you watch the birds and get ready for a day of exploring. Spend your evening in a local pub for some country grub and a well deserved drink, or if youíd prefer you can have dinner cooked for you by your host and enjoy a night in.
There are lovely places to spend your days, with Jane Austenís House in nearby Chawton or Gilbert Whites House in Selborne; both of which are lovely to walk to, have great views on the way and are in nice little villages. The Watercress Railway runs from Alton to Alresford during the summer so you can sit back, relax and take in the Hampshire countryside as you listen to the steam pumping out of the train. You can also meander around Alton and Alresford at either end, both of which are delightful.
Rooms, food and facilities
There is one twin and two single rooms in the house. There is one shared bathroom for all B&B guests, tea and coffee making facilities in all the rooms and a Wi-Fi connection should you wish to bring your computer. The conservatory area has also been set up as a lounge/dining room for guests and youíre welcome to use the garden.
If people book the night before I can arrange for dinner to be cooked at an extra cost.
The nearest train station is Alton and from there it is a short 15 minute taxi ride.
From London, take the M3 towards toward Southampton. At junction 4 take the A331 exit towards Guilford/Fareham. At the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the A331. At the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the A31 ramp toward Winchester. Merge onto A31 and at the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the A32. Take a left onto 'The Street' and then the first left onto Church Road. Weíre on the junction of Church Road, Crows Lane and Gaston Lane.
Responsible tourism: Farringdon Bed and Breakfast, South Downs, England
I have a large garden that Iím very fond of; itís very pretty and requires quite a bit of work to keep it like that. There are lots of plants, a big herbaceous area and a wild area. I have a nice pond that is full of fish; the pond attracts a lot of frogs that can be seen hopping in the garden and in the spring itís full of frog spwan. So many birds like to visit the garden, which is a delight to me as I love birds. I like to stand in the kitchen and watch them out the window. One year I witnessed 32 different species coming into the garden. There are lots of gold finches and there were gold crests nesting in the garden for 3 years running. A herron often swoops down for fish in the pond and for a while there was a sparrow hawk about too.
I do a lot of the gardening work myself, but for some of the more heavy duty bits I employ a local gardener that comes in and helps out. There are lots of flowers in my garden that attract butterflies which is nice. Since I have a large garden I need lots of compost and I make use of all my kitchen waste that I can by composting. I have three big compost-heaps in the garden that are all home made. I also like to make my own marmalade, jams and chutney and I buy my ingredients from the local greengrocer in Four Marks.
I like to source all my ingredients from local suppliers. We have lots of great local shops in the villages that really need supporting with all the supermarkets opening up. There is a butcher in Four Marks called Reeds that I particularly like to use for my meat, and the green grocer next door that opened about 3 years ago is good too. Four Marks has everything you might need with a great bakery, pubs, restaurants and there is also a really lovely flower shop. There is a farmers market in Alton once a month and they have a market every Tuesday that that sells all kinds of things.
Iím a professional artist and I used to run art classes in the village; however this had to stop as the hall went through a bit of a horror so I couldnít continue which is a real shame. I do still run the classes in another village though. Iím also chairman of the local preservation trust for the buildings in the village which I am very passionate about. I like to be involved in helping out charities; I am donating some paintings to a charity event for someone doing a walk up Mount Kilimanjaro. Iím also donating 9 paintings for an exhibition to raise money.
The local area has some nice little pubs to visit. The Rose and Crown is only a 3 minute walk down the road; itís a lovely pub with traditional beams, open fires, hop garlands and really good food. I have a great relationship with the Rose and Crown as I send people to them and they send people me. Slightly further down the road at the bottom of the village is the Golden Pheasant that also do lovely food.
Nearby are some nice villages to visit that have several lovely walks along the way. In Chawton there is Jane Austenís house to visit which is lovely. There is a nice pub and restaurant, lots of lovely houses and a very pretty church. In Selborne you can visit Gilbert Whites House and Gardens which is really beautiful to walk around and has been restored to the descriptions in his writings. There is a tea parlour here too that you can enjoy before walking back.
The local area is really full of open space. When you look out of the house you can see All Saints Church just down the road and if you look out across you can see lots of fields into the distance. There are horses grazing in the fields and if you walk down the hill there are sheep in the nearer fields. Sometimes there is rape seed and flax seed growing in the fields and it looks rather pretty. There used to be lots of orchids about that attracted butterflies and there was a special group that tried to preserve them and stop them being picked.
There are a few really nice walks in the area and there are lots of little paths that are not signposted but I would really recommend them and I can direct you where to go. Theyíre walks I sometimes take the dogs on. You can go to Selborne or Chawton, both of which are lovely little villages. On the way there are some great woods you walk through and then stroll across the tops of the fields with some beautiful views. At Selborne you can walk along the Footsteps of Gilbert White which takes you across some amazing beech hangers, woodland and rolling pasture. There is a ridge that is really pretty and you have lovely views.
There is a particular old building in the village that I am very fond of and has been a bit part of my role in the preservation trust. Masseyís Folly is a Grade II listed building that was built by Reverend Thomas Hackett Massey, one labourer, one brick-layer and a carpenter back in the mid 1800ís. Itís a large building that is made of red bricks and terracotta tiles; these came from a local manufacturer called Rowlands Castle Brickworks. There are a few old tales as to why the Reverend decided to build the Folly. There used to be an old railway line that ran nearby; itís now the watercress line from Alton to Alresford run by volunteers. Itís thought that the building that was there before was a station and the reverend wanted to create a tea room. It really is a great building and is part of our heritage in this area. There are some really astonishing bits of carving, but unfortunately it is no longer open to the public. It is still lovely to look at from the outside but really it needs to be restored and available for people to see. The preservation trust put a lot of work into making this happen but sadly has not been successful. Hopefully in the future it will be able to be enjoyed by the locals as a community hall again.