Abbotstone Wood Camping is just a couple of miles from New Alresford, which is actually quite old, and a charming little town with everything you might need.  It has a Co-op, a Tescos, as well as cafes, pubs, chemists and a good butcher, it even has its own brewery. The Itchen Valley Brewery, is open to visitors and of course you can buy some of their fine ales. It has a market every Thursday, and a Continental Market on some weekends. You can get further information at www.alresford.org

The town is right in the heart of the Hampshire watercress country, and is the southern terminal for the Watercress Line Heritage railway, so you can take a steam train to Jane Austen’s home town of Alton if you like

The campsite is also within easy walking distance of The Grange, Northington, a huge neo classical pile set in landscaped gardens.  They run an Opera season here during June and July, and you could combine a night at the opera with a night under canvas. Go to Grange Park Opera for this year’s programme.

 Just along the road from the site is an ancient hill settlement known as Oliver’s Battery. There is a cycle track and a nature walk. You will find a footpath that leads you down to the deserted mediaeval village of Abbotstone which featured in the Doomsday Book, but was deserted during the Plague. Not much remains, but you can see the outline of fields and buildings in the meadows.

You can also pick up a footpath from the campsite that runs northwards and after a mile or so brings you to the Woolpack pub at Totford, where you can have a beer or Sunday Lunch or both.

There are several places to fish nearby, and some of them will offer day tickets. Google ‘fishing in Alresford’ and you will find a number of them.

You can apparently drive a tank at Tichbourne Down, if that’s your thing. It’s not cheap but it’s only a few miles away and you can get details from daysoutsoutheast.co.uk

Adventure Balloons operate over South Hampshire, and take off from West Meon and other places. Again, not cheap but a great experience if the weather is right. You can contact them on 01252 844222

Winchester has a traditional Farmers Market every Thursday, as well as a fine cathedral and plenty of good shopping.

 Should the weather cave in,(would it ever) the Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium is fantastic and well worth a visit. It is about 5 miles from Alresford on the Winchester road.

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