Head for the hills

The leafy village of Burghclere nestles in the north Hampshire Downs and boasts stunning walks, a National Trust property and three great eateries

As William Cobbett describes in his diaries of Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex written in 1822, “Burghclere lies along at the foot of a part of that chain of hills which, in this part, divide Hampshire from Berkshire. The parish just named is, indeed, in Hampshire, but it forms merely the foot of the Highclere and Kingsclere Hills.” Today it remains a relatively small, rural parish enveloped by the rolling chalk hills of the Basingstoke and Dean district.

While you are hereTake some time to visit the treasured art collection by Stanley Spencer at Sandham Memorial Chapel. Wander through the orchard and take in the beautiful scenery with views stretching to Watership Down. Visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk for more information or Tel. 01635 278394.But try not to Leave without donning your walking boots and heading out on some of the area’s most peaceful walks.  Try the Wayfarers Walk from Inkpen to Emsworth and traverse the Watership Down as you meander through Burghclere and its neighbouring villages. Find out more at www3.hants.gov.uk

Prehistoric linksAlthough the first official documentation of Burghclere dates from 749AD, there is evidence to suggest the area was inhabited before this time with remains of an Iron Age hillfort being the most notable structures in the area. There is vast evidence from the Bronze Age period revealing seven barrows thought to be used as burial chambers after recent excavation, six of these are now recognised as Ancient Monuments and it is thought the area would have continued to be settled from then on after.

Eat atThe Dew Pond, Old Burghclere  01635 278408 Why? Visit this stunning 16th century restaurant for stunning views, warm fires and award winning food. Judging by its excellent reviews both regionally and nationally, The Dew Pond is definitely the place to be.

Stay atThe Carnarvon Arms, Winchester Way, Burghclere, 01635 278222 Why? Mentioned in the 2009 Michelin Guide and voted as 8th best pub in Britain by the Morning Advertiser last year, The Carnarvon Arms provides a tranquil atmosphere ideal for resting tired feet after a long walk across the hills.

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