Hampshire B&B, South Downs, England

Description of Hampshire B&B, South Downs, England

Enjoy a luxury 5-star B&B experience in the heart of the South Downs National Park. Nestled between two Iron Age hill forts in an acre of walled garden, this private cottage has two double en-suite bedrooms and its own living area and kitchen. Wake up and choose from continental or cooked breakfast, using locally sourced fresh ingredients and eggs from our own hens.

The garden is alive with flowers; a mix of garden favourites, herbaceous boarders, wild flowers and a wild area.

This beautiful area has much to offer, with the countryside waiting to be explored and access to the South Downs Way almost immediately on your doorstep. Cross the River Meon as you make your way up to Winchester Hill and experience the beautiful 360° views, all the way to the Isle of Wight on a clear day.

Pop to an inn for a drink and some supper, visit a historic town, or have a day out to one of the nearby attractions. Whatever you decide to do you’ll enjoy your stay in Exton and the beautiful South Downs National Park.

Rooms, food and facilities

There are two double rooms available in the cottage in the garden. Both bedrooms are en-suite. The cottage has its own living area with a 42"TV. Whilst the cottage is not self catering there is a small kitchen area where you can makes teas and coffee.

A delicious continental or cooked breakfast can be prepared for you between 8.00 and 9.00, made with fresh eggs from our own hens and locally source ingredients. We serve a variety of breakfasts and can cater for dietary requirements with prior knowledge.

Map

Vouchers
Not Accepted

How to find us

By Foot:
We are located on the South Downs way, with direct access from the footpath, approximately 13 miles equidistant from Winchester and Buriton.

Train:
The closest railway stations are Winchester or Petersfield; there is a bus to the village, or a taxi app' £25.

Car:
There is space to park your car at the house, Please see Google maps (link above) or the AA route Planner for the best directions.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Hampshire B&B, South Downs, England

Environment

Part of the house is a 16th century and Georgian, and the annexe in the garden which is now the bed and breakfast cottage used to be an old stable block. It’s made of brick and flint and we have kept the internal flint walls also. We also have three wood burning stoves in the house and one in the cottage.

The cottage is situated within an acre of walled garden that has a large lawn, lots of flowers and a pond. We have previously opened the garden up as part of the National Gardens Scheme. Areas of the garden are full or flowers including buddleias, primroses, cowslips, violets and daffodils. The flowers not only look lovely but they attract butterflies and bees in as well.

The pond was installed to partly to create habitats for frogs, toads, newts and ducks, to encourage them into the garden and help eat the bugs. We are right by the River Meon, so there will often be a couple of ducks in the pond that have come in over the wall. The wall tends to keeps out some of the wildlife such as rabbits and deer, but we do have lots of birds that come in.

The garden was once overcrowded with trees, but with permission from the council we have cut some of them down over the years, meaning that we have been self sufficient in heating the property and never once had to buy wood for our wood burners.

We have a vegetable garden, meaning from May through to September we are entirely self sufficient in vegetables. We also compost all of our domestic waste that we put back onto the garden. Glass, cardboard, paper, plastic and tins are all recycled, as are any old clothes and shoes.

The B&B is almost directly on the South Downs Way, so we are probably one of the most easily accessible accommodations for people walking this route. About 13 miles from Winchester and Buriton we are generally the first or last stop of the trail. Using public transport to arrive to us you can get the train to Winchester or Petersfield; from there you would need to get a taxi costing approximately £25.

Community

Our involvement with the local community is generally to do with the Church. There is a gate directly from the garden through a doorway into the church; our garden is therefore often used for events such as the harvest festival and various teas. The local parish have recently decided that they are going to plant wild daffodils around the village to make it look pretty, which I’m going to get involved with as well.

We have opened up our garden in the past as part of the National Garden Scheme in order to raise money for charity.

All of the food served in our breakfasts are either from the garden or sourced from the local village of Bishops Waltham. The smoked salmon is smoked locally by fishmonger Pete Atkinson, sausages and bacon come from the local butcher Andrew Grover and the tomatoes and avocados come from the village too. They even give me a discount for being a loyal customer.

If guests want somewhere to go for the evening or for a good meal I always ask if they’d like me to reserve them a table at the local pub in Exton called The Shoe Inn. They serve really great fresh food that is all locally sourced. Other pubs in the area include the Bakers Arms in Droxford and the Thomas Lord in West Meon; named after the man who invented cricket who is buried in the village.

There is much to do a little further afield from the village, including the ancient tower of Winchester, Alresford and Bishops Waltham. There is a lovely lavender farm in Alresford, you can visit the West Meon Springs, and there are watercress beds that are all the way up the river and you can see it growing.

Landscape

The main thing to do when visiting here is enjoy the stunning walks all the way around; crossing very few roads. We are situated within a valley and nestled between two Iron Age hill forts. To the east there is Winchester Hill, and to the west is Beacon Hill. The views from the top of both of these hill tops are magnificent and you can see all the way to the Isle of Wight on a clear sunny day.

The river is 25 yards away from the road that runs through the village and features in the walk up to Winchester Hill, over a little bridge. There are swans nesting in the fields surrounding the village, which you’ll find on the river, as well as the Egrets and Herons that live here too. You can follow the loop-lane around the village, lined with sycamore and beech trees, passing picturesque cottages and Grade II listed church, St Peters.

Our house has some interesting history linked to it; it became deeply implicated in sheltering itinerant Catholic priests during Elizabeth I’s reign in the 1560-80s. In 1580 the householder was detained in Winchester Gaol because his wife ‘was obstincie in her Poperie.’ He was released the following year, being not ‘hable to overrule his weife’s disposicion..... the obstacle being layed upon her own carcas’. Traces of the Tudor building remain in the present house built in the 17C.

Long standing folklore has it that the Manor ‘was granted to the executioner of King Charles I as a reward for his services’.... The King died on 30 Jan 1649. Robert Brandon, the executioner, died on 20 Jun that same year so he cannot have enjoyed the Manor for long.

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