What’s on offer in the village of Locks Heath
- Credit: Archant
Famed for its connection to the strawberry trade, Locks Heath and the surrounding area has a great mix of countryside and coastline while having all the amenities you could wish for
Did you know?
Locks Heath and the surrounding area used to be renowned for its strawberry growing. It developed thanks to the 1866 Enclosure Acts, which allowed the common land to be split into a large number of smaller plots. The owners of the plots wanted to grow a crop that would give them a quick income from a small outlay. The fact strawberries ripened early made them valued in markets across the country. There are various references to strawberries in Locks Heath. The Talisman Pub was named after a variety of strawberry. The Joseph Paxton pub, also known as a locally grown strawberry, is named after the gardener, architect and MP who designed the Crystal Palace in London.
Take to the water
Ever wanted to learn to dive? A short drive from Locks Heath is Swanwick where you could obtain your PADI open water diving certificate at Andark. They have their own purpose-built diving lake. Check out andark.co.uk or call 01489 581755. If you prefer to stay dry, take a coastal walk along one of the marked routes in Hook and Warsash Nature Reserve. You can spot many fascinating birds depending on the time of year, including linnets and skylarks.
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Grabbing a bite
The Nook and Cranny in Hook is a Grade II listed restaurant serving delicious locally sourced food from their A La Carte menu. Try the Hampshire fillet of lamb or smoked belly of local pork. They also have a walker’s menu consisting of sandwiches and cakes. Take a look at www.thenookeatinghouse.co.uk. In Locks Heath itself you could try Italian restaurant Franco & Paolo. They have excellent reviews and have a set evening menu with two courses for £12.95 or three for £16.95. Visit their website to find out more at francoandpaolo.co.uk.
Keith Venn has lived in Locks Heath since 1982. “My choice of Locks Heath was based on the travelling time to my place of work in Havant, with easy access to the M27 and to the major cities of Portsmouth, Southampton and Winchester.”
Since moving here 35 years ago, Keith has witnessed plenty of changes to the area: “I’ve seen many ‘infill’ houses built, as most major housing development was completed around 1983. When we first arrived, the Locks Heath shopping centre was just part of a sales pitch by housing developers. There were a few shops at that time; a general store near the Locks Heath Junior School, a hardware store where McColl’s is located at Dymocks Corner, a carpet store (still at Dymock’s Corner) and a grocery store opposite the carpet store. The doctor’s surgery for the area was in Locks Road and run by Dr Burwell and his colleagues.”
Keith describes how when the Locks Heath Centre was built it served as a focal point for the area. It included a library and a community hall. The anchor store was the Co-Op. “This wasn’t just a grocery store, but also sold items such as computers! I remember they sold the Commodore PET,” he reminisces.
These days Keith enjoys visiting the Locks Heath Centre for shopping and socialising: “There are now three coffee shops, and also one run by volunteers in the community building adjacent to the library. I also enjoy a number of local walks which lead through wooded areas, off the main roads.”
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