Location:South Downs National Park near PetersfieldSee map here
More info:Prices include breakfast
Description of South Downs B&B barn nr Petersfield, England
The barn is a family home B and B close to the South Downs Way we welcome country lovers, walkers and horse riders. Winchester, Chichester, Goodwood and Portsmouth are within easy reach. East Meon is approx 1 mile. Oxenbourne is a quiet backwater with an extensive network of country lanes, bridle ways and footpaths.
Set in 10 acres of wild flower meadows and paddocks we have established a natural habitat for wild life. The combination of rare breed Shetland sheep and native ponies enable us to maintain our fields in a sustainable way. Future plans include installing our own beehives. We have installed solar panels to provide electricity and hot water.
Rooms, food and facilities
We have two bedrooms with bathroom ensuite and another bedroom with private bathroom. Prices are from £85.00 per night Breakfast is served in our farm house kitchen and we have our own freshly laid eggs homemade jams and marmalade. Guests have the use of a private sitting room with wide screen TV. and access to the Internet.
Nearest station Petersfield Oxenbourne is a small hamlet 1 mile southeast of East Meon? South Downs Way is 1 mile south
Responsible tourism: South Downs B&B barn nr Petersfield, England
We bought our property 18 years ago when it was a grain drying barn standing on the edge of arable fields. Our endeavours to be "green" started then we reused much of the existing 17th century oak frame and whenever possible reused old bricks. We installed what at the time was cutting edge technology and installed extensive insulation in order to reduce heating costs. Recently we have installed solar water heating and PV panels to produce electricity. With the generous support of the ANOB we have planted hundreds of metres of native Hampshire hedge and dug a large wild life pond. Again with generous support from the South Downs Park Authority we have recently had a long stretch of hedge laid by a local Meon Valley craftsman and we are delighted with the result and to support this dying craft. We have an acre of dedicated garden with another pond, orchard, croquet lawn, shrubbery, areas of wild flower meadow vegetable garden and an herbaceous pot garden on the terrace at the rear of the house; guests are welcome to explore all of this. We maintain several acres planted with an Old Fashioned Meadow Mix on which we run a small herd of Shetland ponies and rare breed Shetland sheep all the hedging provides shelter for these animals as well as birds and other wild life. A byproduct of the ponies is of course copious amounts of horse manure which we use to mulch the garden thus reducing the need to water. Over the years our areas of wild flower meadows have become more diverse at the time of writing (April) we have thousands of cowslips and as the year progresses the flowers and native grasses make a haven for bees and butterflies. In gardening terms it is also pretty low maintenance as we only cut the meadow once at the end of August. The hedgerows as well as shelter also provide an abundance of berries for the birds and an abundance of sloes, elderflower and wild plums for us.
We try whenever possible to use local shops and craftsmen. We also recommend our guests to our local pubs Ye Olde George Inn and the Isaac Walton both in East Meon approx 1 mile from us. Together with close friends we host an annual curry supper evening which started out with 8 and has grown to 42 and the only reasons have stopped there is because we can't fit any more dining spaces. Proceeds from this event go to the Rosemary Foundation which is a local charity dedicated to helping terminally ill patients in their own homes. We also support another fundraising committee which is dedicated to helping small local charities in the Petersfield area, and I help extensively with the catering for these events. Each year East Meon hold a May Fair and we are always happy to donate a prize or our time helping and I commentate on the dog agility test and as proceeds from this fare go to support the Village Hall I am always happy to buy from the stalls selling local goods and crafts.
We make available to our guests a variety of good local guide books and when required give information on local amenities and points of interest. We are surrounded by bridle ways and footpaths and can suggest lovely walks and cycle rides. Many guests arrive to walk the South Downs Way and we have lots of info on this, whilst others are visiting friends and family or attending a specific event, weddings or anniversaries. We are happy to give information on local attractions such as the Millennium Tapestry in East Meon Church, itself an excellent Norman building. The tapestry is the work of many villagers, carefully crafted over thirty years. It tells the story of East Meonís long history via a panoramic image of the village. The Sustainability Centre at Leydene (near East Meon) is very much in-keeping with the values and messages of Our Land. They are a fully operating agricultural charity, whereby in their huge beautiful open site, they display and educate how we as humans can live with a sustainable future. They teach how businesses and consumption can both be in cahoots with the natural world. The Fly Fishery at Meon Springs is another attraction additional to our landscape and a relaxing way of appreciating the lovely surroundings. Slightly further away we have the Butser Ancient Farm, which is a working Iron Age farm, and Old Winchester Hill Iron Age Fort, from which there are extensive views of the lower reaches of the Meon Valley with the Solent in the distance.