River Itchen, Winchester, Hampshire, England; Image credit - @TheCrazyIndianFoodie
Whether you are a food enthusiast, nature lover, camping fan, shopaholic or an art appreciator, you will always find lots of fun things to do in Hampshire throughout the year. I was here in September 2019 with VisitBritain as part of a Food and Wine Media trip across South East England. While travel to the UK is currently restricted, I hope to be able to visit and discover more of it very soon.
Here’s a travel guide for a quick weekend trip to Hampshire from London.
Just around an hour from central London, you can easily reach Hampshire via bus, train or road or by air. The nearest airport to Hampshire is Southampton (SOU) Airport which is 12.6 miles away.
Things to do on a weekend trip from London to Hampshire:
Visit the iconic Bombay Sapphire Distillery:
Bombay Sapphire Distillery, Hampshire, England; Image credit - @TheCrazyIndianFoodie
Located around 30 mins by road from London, you have to visit the extraordinary Bombay Sapphire Distillery that is the only facility to produce the world-famous gin. Enter the spectacular red brick Laverstoke Mill & start off your tour with a visit to the glasshouse where 12 gin botanicals are grown in temperature-controlled conditions. Next, visit the Botanical Dry room for an immersive sensory experience further on embarking on a tour of the unique distillery followed by some fun cocktail tasting.
Visit Winchester, the beautiful capital city of Hampshire:
Winchester Cathedral, Hampshire, England; Image credit - @TheCrazyIndianFoodie
After a wonderful gin tasting experience take a trip to Winchester city to explore its gorgeous alleys, churches, libraries and stunning beauty. The world-famous Winchester Cathedral is one of the largest cathedrals in all of Europe. This incredible building houses a 17th century Morley Library, the Winchester Bible and a Norman crypt, making it a must visit.
Dine in a restaurant located in a 600-year-old medieval house:
Chesil Rectory Restaurant, Winchester, Hampshire, England; Image credit - Devashree Sanghvi
While in Winchester, don’t forget to dine at Chesil Rectory, an award-winning, exemplary restaurant in Winchester located in a 600-year-old medieval house. Travel back in time with the charming interiors and get spellbound by the whole experience of dining here.
Go wine tasting at Hambledon Vineyard:
Hambledon Vineyard, Hampshire, England; Image Credit - Devashree Sanghvi
Take a trip to the iconic Hambledon Vineyard located in Hambledon the birthplace of cricket. A state-of-the-art winery, you can find the finest Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grown over 200 acres of spectacular vineyards. A trip through the vineyard, cellars and storage facility followed by a wine tasting session will make for an exciting end to your fun day through Hampshire.
Stay at Lainston house and take a class at Season Cookery School:
Lainston House, Hampshire, England; Image credit - Devashree Sanghvi
Make your Downton Abbey dreams come true by staying at Lainston House, a splendid 17th century English mansion that comes with grand rooms studded with elegant interiors, marvellous architecture, a gorgeous courtyard, massive lawns, an award-winning fine dining restaurant, a quaint pub, a cookery school and more. After a good night’s rest, stay back and explore more of beautiful Hampshire or drive back to London with unforgettable memories.
For a detailed Food, Wine and Travel Guide through South East England (Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and Surrey) click here.
Blog contributed by Ms Devashree Sanghvi, Thecrazyindianfoodie