What’s on offer in the village of Wellow
- Credit: Archant
Home to Italian ice cream and Florence Nightingale, Wellow residents have the best of both worlds, the New Forest on their doorstep and some bustling cities close by says Claire Pitcher
A brief history
Home to around 3,000 people, Wellow is often referred to as two different places, East Wellow and West Wellow. Most however choose ‘Wellow’, but there’s no official right or wrong. King Alfred left ‘the toune of Welewe’ to his daughter Ethelgifu. ‘Welue’ is also mentioned in the Domesday Book, but the first mention of the village as ‘Wellow’ appeared on a Saxon map of 1575. Until 1895 when the county boundary was moved, West Wellow was in Wiltshire, and East Wellow in Hampshire. The parish church, St Margaret of Antioch was consecrated in 1215 and there are still paintings inside dating from this time. The church is most famous as the burial site of Florence Nightingale and is a destination for many visitors interested in Nightingale and the history of nursing.
Just three miles away from West Wellow is the wonderful farm shop belonging to Lyburn Cheese, winner of Best Hampshire Product at the 2015 Hampshire Life Food & Drink Awards. Go along to pick up a few slices of the winning Stoney Cross cheese and sample Old Winchester and Lyburn Smoked – both of which took bronze at the World Cheese Awards. Pay a visit at Landford, SP5 2DN. They also regularly go to Hampshire Farmers’ Markets.
Also close by is New Forest Lavender, where you can peruse and buy some expertly reared plants from their nursery before having tea and cake in the tearooms. Find them at Landford, SP5 2BG.
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Michael Hayward set up New Forest Lavender in 2008 with his wife and two daughters. He’s lived in Wellow for 58 years. He says: “I can’t see myself ever leaving. This is a great place to live and work. We have the peace and tranquility of the New Forest but we have the beautiful cities of Salisbury and Winchester nearby. Plus there’s some breathtaking coastline close at hand.
“Running the business takes up a lot of my time, but if I had to recommend something to do locally I would definitely suggest a cycle through the narrow lanes close to Saint Margaret’s Church to visit Florence Nightingale’s grave. Then perhaps a walk with the dog in the New Forest, ending with my wife’s lavender cream tea in our relaxing lavender garden.”
Grabbing a bite
There are few eateries in and around Wellow. First is Upham Brewery’s Rockingham Arms, which reopened in April 2014 after being refurbishment. They aim to use as much local produce as possible and you’re not just limited to a posh, a la carte menu, there’s plenty of delights on their bar menu and Sunday set menu. See www.rockinghamarms.co.uk. At The Red Rover pub you’re guaranteed some good pub grub, plus they have lots of special offers every week. Choose from a classic burger, scampi and chips or yummy beef and ale pie. Find out more at www.redrover-westwellow.co.uk. Make sure you leave some space however, as you don’t want to miss a visit to Carlo’s Ice Cream Parlour. Experience wonderful Italian ice cream sundaes in their tea room garden – from the Waffle Wonder to a Marshmallow Landslide. See www.carlos-ices.co.uk.
Making the headlines
Back in 2014, on Valentine’s Day, a large tree fell in the churchyard at St Margaret’s Church, damaging the Nightingale family memorial. The top of the memorial broke off and the main body shifted on the plinth. Luckily, it has now been fully restored.
Reported in the Daily Echo in December, there could be a new solar park on land in East Wellow. The 72-hectare site could power 9,100 homes and is being proposed by Hive Energy.
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