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Bombay Sapphire Distillery

Uncover the secrets of Bombay Sapphire gin on the site of a former paper mill in Whitchurch. Behind the doors of the historic distillery at Laverstoke Mill in rural Hampshire, you can unveil the care, skill and artistry behind every drop of Bombay Sapphire.

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Highclere Castle

The Carnarvon family home and best known as television’s Downton Abbey Highclere Castle is nestled in the North Hampshire countryside. Highclere offers different tours and events throughout the year, which reflect the seasons, the history and of course Downton Abbey.

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Beacon Hill

Whitchurch Silk Mill

Whitchurch Silk Mill is the UK’s oldest working silk mill and a gem of industrial heritage located on the River Test in quintessential rural Hampshire. For more than 200 years, the mill has been drawing power from the gin-clear waters of the river via its waterwheel and is still weaving beautiful silk using 19th-century machinery.

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Credit Whitchurch Silk Mill

The Vyne

Explore a former Tudor powerhouse turned 17th Century family home, set in gardens, woodlands and wetlands. Historic gems include a pre-Reformation chapel, Tudor oak gallery with 16th Century wood carvings and neo-classical staircase hall.

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The Vyne ©National Trust Images/John Miller

Hidden Britain Tours

Discover the cradle of Jane Austen’s genius exploring the picturesque villages that Jane Austen knew so well as her birthplace and her father’s church at Steventon. Hidden Britain Tours will guide you through the country houses where she fell in and out of love, trace the people she mentions in her letters and explore where she danced at social events.

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Countryside walks and the North Wessex Downs

Combine your visits to these attractions to explore the beautiful countryside that surrounds Basingstoke and Deane including areas of the North Wessex Downs - an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which is truly special. Follow in the footsteps of Whitchurch resident and author Richard Adams on a 24-mile circular trail as you explore the stunning north Hampshire landscape that he loved to wander and where he told his tale of the rabbits of Watership Down. Or take a gentle walk along part of the Test Valley with the Whitchurch Mill Trail. The trail is an attractive circular walk of up to seven miles taking in the crystal clear waters of the River Test,one of Hampshire's finest chalk streams, and surviving watermills. Climb one of the best known hill forts in England and the site of one of the beacons that formed a network across Hampshire, Beacon Hill. Take in the vast views which stretch for miles across the the North Wessex Downs and Highclere Estate into Hampshire and Berkshire.

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Where to stay

From luxury accommodation to sleeping under the stars, Basingstoke and Deane offers a wide range of accommodation to choose from including B&Bs, cottages and rural retreats to enjoy during your stay.

  1. Oakley Hall Hotel is a country house hotel in the heart of the Hampshire countryside and covers all of life’s little luxuries. Their collection of 50 bedrooms includes two four poster suites, six executive bedrooms and a three-bedroom garden cottage, all of which offer stunning views of the 315 acres of grounds.  Oakley Hall Hotel welcomes canine companions so you can enjoy your countyside stay with the whole family.
  2. Did you know you can stay on the grounds of Highclere Castle? The Grotto Lodge and London Lodge are one of the best locations for country walks. The Grotto Lodge has two double bedrooms, while the London Lodge houses one double bedroom. Both lodges provide stunning views across north Hampshire.
  3. Silchester Farm’s rural retreat is a real treat! The refurbished barns offer a home from home for up to 14 guests, providing a perfect base from which to explore the beautiful Hampshire scenery and local attractions with family and friends.
  4. Cedar Tree may be small but it has everything you could wish for a holiday for two. Set in the grounds of Peak House Farm, this delightful shepherds hut looks onto the North Wessex Downs and is only two miles away from the pretty country town of Whitchurch. If the shepherds hut isn’t to your taste, Peak House Farm also offers a bed and breakfast serving up a traditional farmhouse breakfast.
  5. The Watership Down Inn nestles at the foot of the North Wessex Downs, overlooking the head waters of the Test Valley. The renowned Watership Down lies to the north of the B&B.

Updated March 2024