Hastings, England: Not Just a BeachNovember 4, 2023
South West England, UK: A Solo Road TripNovember 6, 2023
Hampshire is a ceremonial county in South East England, famed for its national parks, stately homes and maritime history.
Back in April 2022, I embarked on a road-trip. To start off with, I spent a couple of days with friends in the Hampshire area before heading solo, further along the coast. Here, I’ll sum up our group gathering, starting with Winchester.
Girls on Tour
Winchester with the girls. As we all came from different areas, Winchester seemed a logical place to meet so none of us had to drive too excessively. First stop was Winchester Cathedral, the resting place of Jane Austen, a much-loved English novelist. The grotesques adorning the exterior were well carved, the whole building itself intricately designed. Archways and spires capped off multiple sections perfectly.
We spent most of the day meandering around the streets, darting in and out of quirky little shops, and frequenting pubs for refreshments. Wandering around the town, we marvelled at the architecture, historic buildings creating picturesque backdrops at every turn. Known for medieval Winchester Cathedral, visitors come from afar to marvel. With the 17th-century Morley Library, the Winchester Bible and a Norman crypt, there’s a lot to see.
The river walk offers a lovely alternative to the streets, opening up to even more historical sites.
For one night only, we stayed in the old Dairy Cottage. Including a roll-top bath with countryside views, this place was lovely.
Food and Drink
In Winchester, we opted for Three Joes, and all 3 of us wholeheartedly agreed that it was mighty fine pizza, 10 out of 10.
Once in the Dairy Cottage, we walked down to the local pub, The Boot Inn. Brushing shoulders with the local farmers, dressed in attire suitable for their day job, it was a cosy affair.
Having arrived too late for dinner, they offered to rustle up desserts for us. How could we decline? Three scrumptious desserts and some wine later, we were ready to head off.
We were treated like locals and when we couldn’t get a taxi back the Landlord personally made sure we got back safe. That folks, is what you call a Gentleman.
Other Sites of Interest
Exploring the local woodlands, we discovered a fairy door and had an impromptu goth photoshoot. The usual side quest for us.
Once we handed the keys back, we headed over to Woodhenge. Woodhenge has been linked with Stonehenge and it has been suggested that there is a connecting path between the two, known as Stonehenge Avenue.
Durrington Walls adds further to the evidence of Neolithic activities in the area and it is speculated that they intertwine though it is unclear why the settlement fell out of use. The Cuckoo Stone, a sarsen boulder, is in the adjacent field. Its full significance remains unknown, though localised burials indicate it was a sacred spot.
On the way to Woodhenge, we passed a tank with ‘L’ plates on it too. What should be more concerning - the fact there was an army tank out and about, or the fact it was driven by someone that didn’t actually know how to drive it?! I’m still not sure but I remember feeling utterly bemused by the sight.
Winchester is a great city for shopping yet delights foodies and history-buffs alike. There’s a multitude of activities to choose from and offers enough to cover a multi-day visit. You won’t be disappointed unless you dwell on the weather.