A Locals’ Guide to Kings Worthy
- Credit: Photograph by Emma Caulton
A drive-through village on the outskirts of Winchester reveals many hidden treasures, as the locals divulge
North-east of Winchester, flanked on one side by Abbots Worthy and on the other by Headbourne Worthy, sits Kings Worthy.
This village’s centre was originally close by the River Itchen. Here 13th century St Mary’s Church, 17th century cottages and 18th century Cart & Horses inn are still found. Over the centuries, however, Kings Worthy has stretched northwards into surrounding countryside.
Sue Tinkler, Sue Tinkler Art Glass
Sue Tinkler makes kiln-formed glass wall art, sculptures, splashbacks, jewellery and trophies, undertaking commissions as well as selling via galleries and exhibitions.
At the time of writing, a joint exhibition ‘PhotoFusion’ was taking place at Winchester Discovery Centre. Her designs are inspired by textures and patterns found in our natural and industrial heritage, including the dairy farm surrounding her studio. Sue also runs courses and is developing an on-line shop and garden studio.
Sue’s Local Life
“The best thing about Kings Worthy is the variety of open countryside with a network of paths.”
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Favourite pub: “The King Charles, a short stroll down the lane and great meeting point with lots of outside space.”
Café: “Winchester Coffee Roasters, roasting their own coffee on-site. Buy beans to take home or drink in, with fabulous cakes in a quirky, shabby chic interior.”
Local walk: “I like circular walks to South Wonston via a network of disused railway lines, including the remains of an old station platform where troops travelled to the south coast in World War II. In winter the walk from my studio through a working farm, with its landscape of ploughed fields, hedgerows and winter trees, inspires many of my designs.”
Local event: “The bi-annual Worthys Festival - next one September 2021.”
Jo Richards, Faye Benjamin Jewellery
Jo Richards makes unique handmade fine sterling silver jewellery. She went to university in Winchester, settling locally when her children were young.
In her previous career Jo was an engineer, but she has been designing and making jewellery for over 25 years. She started her jewellery business in 2015 when her children were young, naming it after them as they were, in part, the inspiration for Jo to take a new path in life.
Jo’s Local Life
“Despite being less than two miles from Winchester’s centre, Kings Worthy has a lovely village feel. Rarely do I go out without bumping into someone I know or getting a friendly hello from someone I don’t.”
A secret: “During lockdown we discovered an embarrassment of local walks and cycle routes. A walk to our local church became a favourite. St Swithun’s [at Headbourne Worthy] has a beautiful shady churchyard with a pretty stream running through it - the perfect place to relax and for the children to explore safely.”
Favourite restaurant: “The family are big fans of Indian food and our local is the best! Kings Worthy Balti House cooks great takeaway curry from an open kitchen. The staff are friendly and the food is delicious.”
Local walk: “Several of my pieces are inspired by water, as the chalk streams along the Itchen Way and parts of St Swithun’s Way are minutes away and beautiful year-round.”
Fitness class: “I love the outdoor bootcamps run by Juliette Green of Green Apple Fitness held in Kings Worthy’s Eversley Park and suitable for all ages and abilities.”
Day out: “I run jewellery-making workshops from my home and seen an increase in people who value handmade craft and want to experience the joy that creating things brings.”
Sarah Gaiger, Utopian Tent Company
Sarah Gaiger moved back to Hampshire after starting a family; soon after she established The Utopian Tent Company while teaching part-time.
Sarah started and managed The People’s Front Room for many years, a pop-up music and arts venue at festivals, so a company providing event tipis for weddings, parties and corporate functions was a natural progression and fitted well, seasonally, with teaching.
It soon became a full-time role alongside working freelance in schools and for organisations as an art practitioner with young people.
Sarah’s Local Life
“The best thing is having good walking and cycling on your doorstep.”
A secret: “A Saxon burial mound was excavated in 1944 near Princes Mead School.”
Local walk: “Across the park to Abbots Worthy and along the Itchen through Easton.”
Overnight stay: “Bull Farm Studios. Sue Tinkler’s self-contained accommodation units down a farm lane on the edge of the village and close to the pub.”
Katie Westwood, Cobbs Farm Shop
Katie Westwood, marketing manager for Cobbs, used to work on the tills at the farm shop (then known as The Good Life) when she was 17 and at college. Cobbs has been a feature in the local community for nearly four decades, from its beginnings as a watercress shed to what you find today: farm shop, café, butchery, delicatessen, gift room, florist and plant centre.
Throughout its journey its ethos has remained the same (as has the locally grown watercress) - to supply quality food with provenance.
Katie’s Local Life
“We love being part of the community and would like to thank our customers for shopping local.”
Favourite pub: “The King Charles – they have an amazing beer garden, outdoor games room and climbing frame for the kids.”
Café: “Our café at Cobbs. We serve delicious homemade food and the best afternoon teas locally, if you ask me! A lot of the team live in the village which I think puts Cobbs Café at the heart of the community.”
Local Walk: “Either beside the River Itchen, through the water meadows, saying hello to the cows along the way, or Micheldever Woods, great for bike rides, family strolls, dog walks and den building.”
Overnight stay: “A lovely Airbnb opened this summer in Sutton Scotney called The Fisherman’s Lodge. My parents run it! The beautifully renovated cottage is situated along the River Dever and is part of the old trout fishery. It’s an idyllic spot.”
Fitness class: “Sarah Caven Fitness. In lockdown Sarah reinvented herself, offering online classes. She is back doing some indoor personal training now and also runs outdoor bootcamps. Sarah is always sharing words of encouragement and healthy recipe ideas via her Instagram page.”
Mark Goulding, Winchester Coffee Roasters
Winchester Coffee Roasters is a family-run business established by Mark in 2012. He originally worked from the garage at his Kings Worthy home, moving into the old foundry building when it became available.
They now have a coffee school and pop-up café, open 8.30am-3.30pm Friday to Sunday, among sacks of coffee beans.
Mark’s Local Life
“Kings Worthy is a great place to live and work and is surrounded by some of Hampshire’s finest walks and cycle routes.”
Something special: “The World War II pillboxes on the old railway line from Kings Worthy to South Wonston.”
Restaurant: “The Cart & Horses for great ambience and friendly staff.”
Shop: “Springvale Stores, extremely helpful and has a very efficient post office.”
Day out: “Fat Ebike Hire – to explore Hampshire in style! My son has just launched an electric bike hire business from the café. During lockdown I purchased an electric bike so I could get out and about. Unfortunately, it was poor quality, so I returned it and undertook further research, coming across these fat tyre bikes. They look amazing and lend themselves to road, off-road and gravel use as the tyre pressure can be easily adjusted to suit the terrain. I bought one, loved it, and then my son suggested hiring them out from the café. So here we are. We have eight of these bikes all with mid-motors.”