Houses and Gardens
The homes in this area show a wealth of history and culture along with some of the nation's best kept gardens.
- Hinton Ampner Gardens are run by the National Trust near Alresford, one of Hampshire's hidden treasures, with formal gardens and a handsome house boasting a series of elegant rooms with fine furnishings.
- Bramdean House Garden is is a real gardeners garden, full of interest all year round. The fine eighteenth-century red-brick house has five acres of garden and stunning herbaceous borders, reaching their peak in June. There are wrought-iron gates through to the walled kitchen garden, filled with an abundance of fruit and vegetables and a special collection of old-fashioned sweet peas. Beyond a second wrought-iron gate lies the orchard with its curving tapestry hedge of alternating box and yew, flowering cherries, and fruit trees underplanted with daffodils.
- Abbey House and Gardens are a splendid way to spend the day, located next to the newly refurbished Guildhall. Abbey House is the official mayor's residence. On the site of a nunnaminster founded by King Alfred's wife, Queen Ealhswith, the adjoining gardens and boarders are spectacular in the summer with the variety of colour.
- Uppark House and Garden a gem on the South Downs, rescued after a major fire in 1989, one of the highlights is an 18th-century dolls' house with original contents. The complete servants' quarters in the basement are shown as they were in Victorian days when H. G. Wells' mother was housekeeper. The beautiful and peaceful garden is now fully restored in the early 19th-century Picturesque style, in a downland and woodland setting.
- Exbury Gardens in the New Forest cover 200 acres, world-famous for the Rothschild Collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and rare trees and shrubs. A great destination for families with the steam railway making a great day out.
- Mottisfont is a National Trust house, set in grounds in the River Test Valley with atmospheric gardens. Mottisfont is an unusual house with character and its own Art Gallery.
- Jane Austen's House is an essential visit for fans of this author. A pleasant 17th Century house where she lived from 1809-1817 and wrote or revised her six greatest novels.
- Chawton House Library holds a rare collection of women's writing from 1600-1830 and is also the former home of Jane Austin's brother.
- Sir Harold Hillier Gardens span over 180 acres and contain over 42,000 plants in themed landscapes and gardens.
- Houghton Lodge Gardens are set above the River Test and are a haven of peace and tranquility.
- Avington Park is a palladian mansion, featuring a classical portico surmounted by 3 statues built around 1670.
- Gilbert White's House and Gardens and The Oates Collection is a historic house with over 20 acres of garden and parkland, home to the 18th Century naturalist Gilbert White, author of 'The Natural History of Selborne'.
- Osborne House, Yarmouth Castle, Carisbrooke Castle and Appuldurcombe House are all on the Isle of Wight, all great attractions if you are venturing over to the island for the day or a few nights.
- RHS Garden Wisley is run by the Royal Horticultural Society and is their flagship garden, Wisley captures the imagination with richly planted borders, luscious rose gardens and the state-of-the-art Glasshouse. In the trials fields, the finest flowers and vegetables are identified from the countless new introductions. Elsewhere in the garden, cultivation techniques are tried and tested, and a series of model gardens answers the needs of a variety of conditions and circumstances.
- Water Meadow Nursery, Cheriton is only half a mile from Shorley Wood, and is a plant-a-holic's paradise! If you love gardening they have an abundance of plants for sale and also specialise in talks and lecture days on a variety of topics.