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A Short History of Basingstoke

Often mistaken for a new town, Basingstoke is an old market town expanded in the 1960’s as a result of a tripartite agreement between London County Council and Hampshire County Council. It was developed rapidly, along with various other towns in the United Kingdom in order to accommodate part of the London 'overspill' as perceived under the Greater London Plan in 1944.

Basingstoke is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. The parish church of St Michael already existed and the town had a market and 3 mills. In 1214 market day was fixed by royal charter to take place on a Wednesday and has been so ever since.

During the English Civil War 1642-1648, Basing House was besieged for several years until, in 1645, Oliver Cromwell himself turned up to finalize the matter.

The Basingstoke Canal opened in 1796 and carried all kinds of goods and even passengers to London. Basingstoke is a town where many roads meet and it became an important town for the coaching trade with its heyday in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Writer Thomas Hardy put Basingstoke literally onto his map of Wessex and romantic fiction novelist Jane Austen, whose father was rector at nearby Steventon, danced at Assemblies held in the town.

Find out more through the following links:

 

Basingstoke & Surrounds – History, Heritage & Leisure 

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Anvil Arts (The Anvil, The Haymarket & The Forge)

haymarket.jpgAnvil Arts, the largest performing arts organisation in Hampshire, runs The Anvil, The Haymarket and The Forge in Basingstoke, three of Hampshire's finest arts and entertainment venues. With theatre, music, dance and comedy all here together, there have never been more opportunities for great nights out in Basingstoke.

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Ascot Racecourse

ascot.jpgAscot is one of the leading and most beautiful racecourses in the country, hosting 9 of the UK's 32 annual Group 1 races. Ascot today stages twenty-six days of racing over the course of the year, comprising eighteen Flat meetings held between May and October. It also stages important jump racing throughout the winter months.

The course is closely associated with the British Royal Family, being approximately six miles from Windsor Castle, and where Royal Ascot is the centrepiece of Ascot's year and dates back to 1711. The Royal Meeting, held in June, remains a major draw, the highlight being the Gold Cup. The most prestigious race is the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes run over the course in July.

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Basingstoke Canal and John Pinkerton Canal Cruises

canal.jpgCome and enjoy the peaceful surroundings of the Basingstoke Canal on board the canal boat John Pinkerton II. From Easter to September, afternoon public trips depart from Colt Hill Wharf, Odiham for a 2 – 2½ hour cruise, usually including time to explore the 14th century King Johns Castle at North Warnborough.

For dates of public trips and special theme trips, or details of charter parties for up to 50 people, contact David Horwood on 01256 765889 or email jpbookings@basingstoke-canal.org.uk or see the John Pinkerton webpages.

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Basing House

basinghouse.jpgUnearth the amazing stories of Basing House, the nationally important historical ruins of the largest private house in Tudor England which suffered at the hands of Oliver Cromwell during the English Civil War. Take a stroll around the recreated Jacobean garden and unearth more fascinating stories about the house in the garden museum. Free car parking. We also now allow dogs on leads on site.

Open March to October.

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Basingstoke Town Trail

The Basingstoke Town Trail is a self-guided walk of the town centre starting in Basingstoke’s 800-year old Market Place. As you follow the trail you will discover more about the town’s history, from Domesday through to the modern day. The full walk lasts approximately 90 minutes, although this can be followed in smaller sections.

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BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin Distillery

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Discover the craftsmanship and heritage behind BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® at the gin distillery in the heart of England.

Laverstoke Mill in beautiful, rural Hampshire is the setting where you are invited to go behind the scenes as the gin is made in the state-of-the-art distillery.

Choose from a selection of daily experiences and regular scheduled events on offer at the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® distillery. The BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® distillery opened its doors to the public for the very first time on Wednesday 1 October 2014. It was named as one of the world’s top new destinations to visit in 2015, among a list of 26 attractions compiled by travel guide company, Lonely Planet. 

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Bowlplex Basingstoke

bowlplex.jpgBasingstoke Bowlplex boasts 26 lanes of fully computerised ten-pin bowling, a late licensed bar and grill and all the best in arcade action in Video World. Whether it’s a family outing, a day or night out with friends or an office or team building event, there's so much to enjoy at Bowlplex.

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Carfest South

carfest.jpgCarFest – a dream combining classic cars, live music, food and masses of family fun, whilst also raising money for BBC Children in Need – a dream conjured up by radio and TV presenter Chris Evans and brought to life in Cheshire and Hampshire. CarFest South takes place in August at Laverstoke Park Farm, Overton just a few miles away from Basingstoke.

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Donnington Castle

donningtoncastle.jpgDonnington Castle is a ruined medieval castle, situated in the small village of Donnington, just north of Newbury. It was founded by Sir Richard Abberbury the Elder in 1386 and was bought by Thomas Chaucer before the castle was taken under royal control during the Tudor period. During the First English Civil War the castle was held by the royalist Sir John Boys and withstood an 18-month siege; after the garrison eventually surrendered, Parliament voted to demolish Donnington Castle in 1646.

Only the gatehouse survives. Today the site is under the care of English Heritage.

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Farnborough Airshow

farnborough.jpgThe Farnborough International Airshow has its origins in the annual RAF Airshow at Hendon from 1920 to 1937. Today it is a week-long event that combines a major trade exhibition for the aerospace and defence industries with a public airshow. The event is held in mid-July in even-numbered years at Farnborough Airport. The first five days (Monday to Friday) are dedicated exclusively to trade, with the final two days open to the public.

According to the organisers, the show attracts 110,000 trade visitors over the first five days, and 100,000 public visitors on the Saturday and Sunday.

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Farnham Castle Keep

farnhamcastle.jpgThe impressive motte and shell keep of Farnham Castle, founded in 1138 by Bishop Henry of Blois, grandson of William the Conqueror.

Long a residence of the wealthy bishops of Winchester, the accommodation in the keep was updated in the 1520’s. The keep was abandoned after Civil War service, but much-altered parts of the medieval bishops' residence remain in private hands. English Heritage has guardianship of the Keep but Farnham Castle now manages the visitors to the Keep.

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Festival Place

festivalplace.pngWith over 200 stores Festival Place is the ultimate destination for choice and variety of stores to shop ‘til you drop. With brands like Warehouse, French Connection, Top Shop, Next, Laura Ashley, Debenhams, Jones Bootmaker, TK Maxx, New Look, H&M, GAP, Waterstones, Apple Store or Sony Centre you’ll be spoilt for choice.  And there is a wide choice of places to stop for coffee on the way round including Starbucks, Costa Coffee and Caffé Nero. And if you need lunch to stop for a breather then you can choose from pretzels at Auntie Anne's, a pizza at ASK or Pizza Express or a bowl of noodles and green tea at Wagamama, or a great burger at Gourmet Burger Kitchen.

With shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, a multi-screen cinema, sports centre and the Discovery Centre there are loads of places at Festival Place to enjoy both day and night.

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Gilbert White & The Oates Collections

gilbertwhite.jpgGilbert White & The Oates Collections celebrates the lives of three explorers of the natural world. The historic house was the home of the eighteenth century pioneering naturalist Gilbert White; whose major work The Natural History of Selborne has never been out of print since its publication in 1789. The House is surrounded by 25 acres of majestic restored garden and parkland, which specialises in eighteenth century plants and gardening methods inspired by Gilbert White.

The Museum is also home to the Oates Collections where visitors can discover the stories of the nineteenth century explorer Frank Oates, who travelled extensively around Africa and Central America and the heroic Captain Lawrence Oates.  The Collection commemorates the life of Lawrence Oates, who travelled with Scott to the South Pole on the epic yet ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition of 1912.

This unique and diverse Museum also boasts an award winning Tea Parlour, which serves light lunches, homemade cakes and cream teas. A well-stocked and unusual gift shop and outdoor plant sales.

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Highclere Castle

highclere.jpgHighclere Castle is one of England's most beautiful Victorian Castles set amidst 1,000 acres of spectacular parkland. The Carnarvon family has lived at Highclere since 1679, and the current Castle stands on the site of an earlier house, which in turn was built on the foundations of the medieval palace owned by the Bishops of Winchester for some 800 years.

Please note that the Gardens and woods can be explored only when Highclere Castle is open to the general public, between 60 and 70 days a year.

The Castle was the seat, 100 years ago, of the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, who famously discovered the Tomb of the Egyptian Boy Pharaoh, Tutankhamun, in 1922 with his archaeological colleague, Howard Carter. Today, the 8th Earl and Countess have opened a new Egyptian Exhibition throughout the cellars of the Castle to celebrate the 5th Earl’s achievements.

When you visit, you will recognise many rooms from Downton Abbey. You will see the Drawing Room in which Maggie Smith delivered many a withering comment to some unfortunate relation.

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iFly Basingstoke

ifly.jpgiFLY is the new name for Airkix, the home of indoor skydiving and is where those dreams of flight become a reality. Get ready to be suspended in a column of air which totally reproduces the feeling of freefall. Super safe, super fun and super cool!

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Jane Austen's House Museum

janeausten.jpgJane Austen spent the last eight years of her life in this unpretentious cottage from 1809 until 1817. It was in this house that Jane’s genius flourished and where she was free to write. In this house Jane revised the three manuscripts she had written previously, but which had remained unpublished, wrote three more novels and started one more, which was destined to remain unfinished before illness overtook her. Jane left the cottage for the last time in May 1817 to take lodgings near her physician in Winchester. She died only a few months later on 18th July and was buried in Winchester Cathedral.

The Museum today reflects the comfortable family home that the Austen women created while telling the story of their lives and Jane’s work. More information...

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LEGOLAND Windsor Resort

legoland.pngLEGOLAND Windsor Resort also known as LEGOLAND Windsor is a child-oriented theme park and resort in Windsor, themed around the LEGO toy system. Young and old alike will be fascinated by the incredible LEGO models throughout the park. From comical camels to fearsome fire-breathing dragons, world landmarks to musical pirates, it's amazing what can be built with LEGO bricks - nearly 55 million of them! With over 55 interactive rides, live shows, building workshops, driving schools and attractions, all set in 150 acres of beautiful parkland, LEGOLAND Windsor Resort is a unique family theme park.

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Marwell Wildlife

marwell.jpgAnimal lovers will adore Marwell Wildlife, formerly known as Marwell Zoological Park, a 140-acre zoo and registered charity situated near Winchester. It is home to over 1,200 animals of 235 different species. A visit to Marwell Zoo is a chance to get close to the wonders of the natural world – and play a big part in helping to save them. From ring-tailed coatis to majestic giraffes, endangered tigers to frilled lizards, curious meerkats to pygmy hippos – the park is home to an incredible range of exotic and endangered species, in beautiful, landscaped surroundings.

Just by visiting Marwell Wildlife, you’ll be making a big contribution to the various projects to conserve species and habitats, both here in Hampshire and around the world.

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Mid Hants Railway 'Watercress Line'

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Running along the edge of the South Downs National Park in Hampshire, you can join the train at New Alresford: located just 7 miles from the ancient city of Winchester and famous for its clear chalk streams and watercress farms. Opened in 1865, the railway was soon nicknamed for its early role in transporting this locally grown crop to the markets in London and beyond. Alresford has a charming Georgian town centre with independent shops, a picturesque river walk with medieval Fulling Mill, and National Trust property Hinton Ampner is just a couple of miles away. Grab a bite to eat in the West Country Buffet on the platform, or a take-away cream tea for onboard the train.

At Ropley station you can enjoy a stroll on the elevated picnic area, from where you can walk in Harry Potter's footsteps over the iron footbridge where he received his Hogwarts Express ticket; the famous film location from King's Cross station that is now at the Watercress Line! This takes you into the Loco Yard; here you can get up close to the locomotives and see behind the scenes in the impressive engineering workshops, where the locomotives and carriages are skilfully restored to their full glory.

At the peaceful country station of Medstead and Four Marks, the highest station in Southern England, you can relax and watch the world go by. The steep gradient of the line to this station means a fleet of large, powerful steam locomotives is needed capable of hauling heavy trains ‘over the Alps’; a spectacular sight and sound at any time of year!

At the Alton end of the line you can also join by mainline train, just an hour from London Waterloo. This bustling market town has a delightful mix of historic buildings and modern shops, with its own Curtis Museum and Allen Gallery and links to Jane Austen’s House in nearby Chawton.

The ‘Watercress Line’ is open every weekend from mid-February through until the end of October and it also runs midweek from May until September. For more information and train times see: http://www.watercressline.co.uk/

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Milestones Museum of Living History

milestones.jpgStep inside Milestones, a large living history museum filled with an intriguing network of full size streets and shops, exploring the story of Hampshire's social and industrial history from the Victorian era to 1945. Experience the 1940s Sweet shop, Vintage penny arcade, Victorian dressing up clothes, Play Post office and more! Check out the website for the interesting programme of events throughout the year.

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Netley Abbey

netleyabbey.jpgNetley Abbey is a ruined late medieval monastery. The abbey was founded in 1239 as a house for Roman Catholic monks of the austere Cistercian order. Despite being a royal abbey, Netley was never rich, produced no influential scholars nor churchmen, and its nearly 300-year history was quiet. The monks were best known to their neighbours for the generous hospitality they offered to travellers on land and sea.

In 1536, Netley Abbey was closed by Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries and the building was converted into a mansion by William Paulet, a wealthy Tudor politician. The abbey was used as a country house until the beginning of the 18th century, after which it was abandoned and partially demolished for building materials.  The extensive remains consist of the church, cloister buildings, abbot's house, and fragments of the post-Dissolution mansion. Netley Abbey is one of the best preserved medieval Cistercian monasteries in southern England, cared for by English Heritage.

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New Forest Centre

newforest.jpgThe New Forest Centre is an essential part of any visit to the Forest. Set in the heart of the National Park in Lyndhurst, you'll find a fascinating museum, visitor information centre, gift shop, library, exhibition gallery and friendly staff to answer all your questions about the New Forest and how to best enjoy it.

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Odiham Castle

odihamcastle.jpgOdiham Castle (also known locally as King John's Castle) is a ruined castle located within a tranquil site adjacent to the Basingstoke Canal and is one of only three fortresses built by King John during his reign. The site was possibly chosen by King John because he had visited the area in 1204 and it lay halfway between Windsor and Winchester. The flint ruins are those of the only octagonal Keep in Britain, and currently being restored under the Heritage Lottery Fund and Hampshire County Council.

This site has witnessed and been part of many historical events, from the signing of the Magna Carta, a French siege to the ownership of the de Montforts, a revolt and even the imprisonment of a Scottish King.

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Planet Ice Arena

planetice.jpgThere is something for everyone at Planet Ice Basingstoke - public skating, weekly disco sessions with live DJ, parent and toddler sessions, courses that teach a wide variety of winter sports and disciplines (including figure skating, ice dancing, ice hockey and speed skating), ice hockey matches and training (Planet Ice is home to EPL Ice Hockey where the Basingstoke Bison embody the big hitting spirit of Basingstoke), birthday parties, group visits, school visits, private tuition, events, shows and performances!

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Sandham Memorial Chapel

sandham.jpgNestled in the village of Burghclere an unexpected treasure lies hidden – a series of epic paintings by one of the most important twentieth century artists – Stanley Spencer. The austere exterior of the Chapel belies the powerful content which cannot fail to take your breath away. The paintings depict Spencer’s own experiences as a medical orderly at the Beaufort Hospital in Bristol and then in Salonika. As the National Trust’s only property dedicated to the First World War and the only property in the country marking the ‘Forgotten War’ it is a particularly apposite place to visit in these centenary war anniversary years.

There is an exhibition area to contextualise Spencer, how the chapel came into being and the paintings as well as a new garden of reflection.

Sandham Memorial Chapel is open from March 28th – October 31st on  Wednesdays to Sundays 11-4pm. Entry is by pre-booked ticket only, call 0844 249 1895 or book online via the Chapel’s website.

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Silchester Roman City Walls & Amphitheatre

silchester.jpgOriginally a tribal centre of the Iron Age Atrebates, Silchester became the large and important Roman town of Calleva Atrebatum. Unlike most Roman towns, it was never re-occupied or built over after its abandonment in the 5th century, so archaeological investigations give an unusually complete picture of its development.

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Steventon Church (Jane Austen)

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Steventon, a village near Basingstoke, is where Jane Austen was born and lived until she was 25 years old. The 12th century Steventon Church where Jane worshipped, stands almost unchanged from those days.

Here there are memorial tablets to James Austen, Jane's eldest brother, who took over the parish from her father, his two wives and some of his relations. Their graves are in the churchyard. There is also a bronze plaque dedicated to Jane Austen.

Another plaque recognises the generous support from members of the Jane Austen Society of North America who paid for the refurbishment of the church bells in January 1995.

As a daughter of the Rector, Jane Austen would have had easy access to the parish registers, hence her mischievous completion of the specimen marriage entry in the front of the register for 1755-1812 (Hampshire Record Office ref 1M82/PR3).

For more information see:

http://www3.hants.gov.uk/austen/deane-parsonage/steventon-church.htm and http://www.seekingjaneausten.com/steventon.html

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Stonehenge

stonehenge.jpgStonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in Wiltshire, less than 1 hour’s drive from Basingstoke. One of the most famous sites in the world and one of the wonders of the medieval world, Stonehenge is the remains of a ring of standing stones set within earthworks aligned on the movements of the sun. It is in the middle of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds. Archaeologists believe it was built anywhere from 3000 BC to 2000 BC.

Stonehenge now has a transformed visitor experience, with a new world-class visitor centre, housing museum-quality permanent and special exhibitions, plus a spacious shop and café.

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The Grange at Northington

grange.jpgSet like a lakeside temple in a landscaped park, The Grange at Northington is the foremost example of the Greek Revival style in England. Created between 1804 and 1809 when William Wilkins encased an earlier house in Classical facades, most strikingly the temple front supported on eight gigantic columns. It is currently owned by the Ashburton family.

English Heritage have a guardianship deed on the Grade I listed building, with the gardens and monument's exterior open to the public. The Grange Park Opera stages a festival annually, during June and July, in The Grange's Orangery theatre.

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The Vyne

vyne.jpgThe Vyne is a 16th century country house outside Sherborne St John, Basingstoke, and was built for Lord Sandys, King Henry VIII's Lord Chamberlain. The house retains its Tudor chapel, with stained glass. The classical portico on the north front was added in 1654 by Inigo Jones's pupil John Webb. In the mid-18th century The Vyne belonged to Horace Walpole's close friend John Chaloner Chute, who designed the Palladian staircase. The Vyne was bequeathed by its final Chute owner, Sir Charles Chute, to the National Trust in 1958.

Each year a number of concerts, plays and family events are run. The grounds contain large woodland and a wetlands nesting site which is populated by swans and Common Redshanks. There are a number of woodland, wetland and parkland walking trails.

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The Willis Museum & Sainsbury Gallery

willis.jpgNamed after local clock maker George Willis, who established the collection in 1931, the Willis Museum explores Basingstoke's history, from its archaeological past to the more modern development experienced during the 1960’s and 1970’s.

The museum is home to the impressive Sainsbury Gallery, which hosts a range of high-profile exhibitions throughout the year. The museum also offers a year-round programme of family events and community exhibitions.

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Thorpe Park Resort

thorpepark.jpgThorpe Park is a theme park with a temporary hotel in between the towns of Chertsey and Staines. After demolition of the Thorpe Park Estate in the 1930’s, the site became a gravel pit. Thorpe Park was built in 1979 on the gravel pit which was partially flooded, creating a water-based theme for the park. This essentially allows guests to view the park as an island.

The park is mainly geared towards a young adult/teenage audience due to the vast majority of signature attractions being roller coasters and thrill rides.

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Watership Down

watershipdown.jpgWatership Down is a hill, or down, at Ecchinswell. It rises fairly steeply on its northern flank (the scarp side), but to the south the slope is much gentler (the dip side). The Down is best known as the setting for Richard Adams' 1972 novel about rabbits, also called Watership Down. The area is popular with cyclists and walkers. A bridleway, the Wayfarer's Walk cross county footpath, runs along the ridge of the Down which lies at the south-eastern edge of the North Wessex Downs Area of Natural Beauty.

Other nearby features include Ladle Hill, on Great Litchfield Down, immediately to the west. Part of the hill is a 10.37 hectares (25.6 acres) biological SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest), first notified in 1978. The hill has a partially completed Iron Age hill fort on its summit, and the surrounding area is rich in Iron Age tumuli, enclosures, lynchets and field systems. Further to the west lies Beacon Hill. Watership Down is accessible via the large village of Kingsclere. More information...

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Waverley Abbey

waverleyabbey.jpgWaverley Abbey was the first Cistercian abbey in England. It was founded in 1128 by William Giffard, Bishop of Winchester. Located in Farnham, the abbey is situated on a floodplain, surrounded by current and previous channels of the River Wey. It was damaged on more than one occasion by severe flooding, resulting in rebuilding in the 13th century. Despite being the first Cistercian abbey in England, and being motherhouse to several other abbeys, Waverley was "slenderly endowed" and its monks are recorded as having endured poverty and famine.

The abbey was closed in 1536 as part of King Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries. Subsequently largely demolished, its stone was reused in local buildings, including Waverley Abbey House, which was built in 1723 in the northern portion of the former abbey precinct.

Waverley Abbey House, the ruins of the abbey and the surrounding land are all part of a conservation area. The house is a Grade II* Listed building and the ruins a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The ruins of the abbey are currently managed by English Heritage and open to the public.

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Wellington Country Park

wellington.jpgWellington Country Park is set in 350 acres of beautiful parklands. As a destination, it offers the opportunity to enjoy the Park’s facilities as a camper and it also provides an adventure play area, toddlers' area, sand pits, water play, slides, miniature railway, nature trail maze, crazy golf plus various play equipment to climb on and through, to ensure a fun-filled day for all.

In addition, visitors can meander around the various woodland nature trails allowing you freedom to wander through beautiful forests where you can discover the herd of Red Deer or stroll around the 35 acre lake, with its assortment of wildlife.

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West Green House

westgreen.jpgWest Green House is an 18th century country house at West Green in Hartley Wintney, and was built by General Henry Hawley, who led the cavalry charge at the Battle of Culloden. The house is listed Grade II*. It is well known for its gardens and for its summer season of opera.

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Whitchurch Silk Mill

whitchurchsilkmill.jpgA gem of industrial heritage in beautiful, rural Hampshire, Whitchurch Silk Mill is a Georgian water mill that weaves British silk fabrics using Victorian machinery. Whether you're machine-mad, an admirer of silk fabrics, a child learning about the Victorians, or just looking for a delightful day out in Hampshire, Whitchurch Silk Mill has something for you including the original mill wheel and Victorian machinery, fabulous fabrics on the looms,  a shop to indulge in silk products from the Mill, plus peaceful setting by the River Test, with tearoom for lunch and refreshments.

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Winchester Cathedral

winchester.jpgWinchester Cathedral is a Church of England cathedral and it is one of the largest cathedrals in England, with the longest nave and greatest overall length of any Gothic cathedral in Europe. Dedicated to the Holy Trinity, Saint Peter, Saint Paul, and Saint Swithun, it is the seat of the Bishop of Winchester and centre of the Diocese of Winchester. The cathedral is a Grade I listed building. The cathedral was founded in 642 on a site immediately to the north of the present one. This building became known as the Old Minster and was demolished in 1093, immediately after the consecration of its successor.

Nowadays the cathedral draws many tourists as a result of its association with Jane Austen, who died in Winchester in 1817.

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Winchester Science Centre

intech.jpgWinchester Science Centre is an educational resource centre for science situated just outside Winchester.

The hands-on exhibition houses over 100 activities, all of which link in with the National Curriculum for schools. During term time it is used mainly by local schools and days out, while at weekends and holidays it attracts a wider audience. The dome is now a state of the art digital planetarium seating 176.

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Wyevale’s Sherfield On Loddon Garden Centre

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Wyevale’s Sherfield On Loddon Garden Centre stocks a fantastic range of plants and gardening equipment, making it the perfect stop for anyone with a green thumb. The staff, who are all keen gardeners themselves, are as friendly as they are knowledgeable, and they’re sure to be able to answer absolutely any questions you have about horticulture.  As in any Wyevale Garden Centre, the choice of gardening supplies and accessories is second-to-none, and most of the plants are grown in British nurseries. The centre, which is dog friendly and wheelchair accessible, also has an excellent restaurant where you can stop off for coffee and cake or a three-course meal. It is also home to owls, buzzards, woodpeckers, partridges, and pheasants, making it a paradise for bird-watchers.

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