Within our guest books are a selection of walks which start and finish at Barrow Hill Barns, exploring the beauty of the surrounding National Park and a few of our favourite pubs!
Hambledon Vineyard (7.7 miles)
Walk the vineyard that is nestled on the edge of the south Downs. A beautiful vineyard with stunning views over the valleys and hills, you will be shown around their gravity-fed state of the art winery. The friendly staff led by Hervé Jestin, formerly one of Champagne’s leading chefs de cave, will be delighted to explain the processes involved in making English sparkling wine, as well as what makes Hambledon Vineyard unique in england and around the world.
Tours last around 2 hours and you will taste both Classic Cuvee Sparkling wines!
Uppark (8.8 miles)
Uppark is an amazing 18th century house that is on the South Downs ridge and gives beautiful views as far out as the English Channel. They are gradually restoring the gardens to their original 18th century design. At the front of the house is a meadow that gives you space to play or relax with a picnic while gazing at the wonderful views. There is also nearby woodland to explore. In the house you are not only able to see the family rooms but you can also see the servants quarters downstairs. However, the most impressive piece in Uppark is the 18th century doll’s house which is one of the best in the country. It is magnificent, with amazing hand carved furniture, hand-painted oil paintings and the house’s impressive size! There was a fire in 1989 which devastated the upstairs, as well as some of the ground floor, and they have a video on site so you can see some of the restoration process. There is a cafe that serves light lunches and on a nice day you can sit outside. Dogs are only allowed in the woodland areas of the estate. The meadow is a great place for children to play and there is also a children’s trail. Parking is free. Always check the website before visiting as, due to its position, opening is often affected by extreme weather (especially in winter).
Hinton Ampner (9.4miles)
Hinton Ampner is an elegant country manor that has amazing gardens. There was a fire in 1960 which meant it had to be restored by its last owner but it holds a huge collection of ceramics and art. The formal gardens are beautifully kept and you can take the dog for a walk along any of the 4 miles of parkland and woodland. They often have activities for children to do as you walk around, such as things to find in the house. The house has beautiful view, as it sits on a hill, so you can look out across the South Downs. They have a tea room or you can picnic anywhere on the ground. Parking is free. If you want to visit the house then its a good idea to check the website for opening times as some days the house is closed. Also the general closing time of Hinton Ampner can vary.
The Watercress Line (11.9 miles)
Fares give you all day travel, so you can visit our stations with period charm and explore these historic towns. Watch the world go by at the peaceful country station of Medstead & Four Marks and enjoy a run around at Ropley station with its elevated picnic area and the famous Kings Cross Bridge which featured in the Harry Potter films. Here you can also investigate the impressive engineering sheds and see preservation in action!
The Watercress Line have fantastic special events throughout the year, including: a Day Out With Thomas, War on the Line, Santa Specials and Christmas Leave, along with spectacular Steam Galas and much more! There are pre-bookable real ale and fine dining trains for the grown-ups and Sunday lunch trains for all the family.
Jane Austen’s House Museum (12.2 miles)
This house in Chawton, where Jane Austen lived and wrote, is the only one that is open to the public. Jane Austen lived in many different places as she grew up but this is where she spent the last 8 years of her life and where she wrote or edited most of the books which were later published. She lived here rent free with her mother, sister and a close family friend. This was because her brother was adopted by the owner of the Chawton estate and so was able to offer her a house on his lands. In this house you can see the writing table that Jane used to write her books as well as paintings done by her sister and lots of other items. There is a learning area for children and a short video about Jane’s life. Opposite the house is a cafe and a pub where you can have some lunch after your visit. You could also visit the Chawton House Library, down the road, which is where her brother lived and Jane often visited. Opening times vary depending on the month but it is not open in January or February. A ticket gives you unlimited visits for 12 months and you can save £1 on your ticket for Chawton House Library with the ticket. Free parking in Chawton village.
Hollycombe Steam in the Country (13.6 miles)
The Hollycombe Steam Collection is a collection of steam powered vehicles, rides and attractions. The collection includes fairground rides, a display farm and two railways. Hollycombe is a great day out with all the family to experience the fanfare of Edwardian Britain.
The site is usually open at weekends over the summer months. It’s best to check their website for the days which they are open.
Marwell Zoo (17.2 miles)
They have an amazing range of animals including tigers, rhinos, giraffes, snow leopards and cheetahs. There are daily talks on the animals and multiple animal feeds to watch. As well as animals, they have five adventure playgrounds and lots of other activities on offer, such as train rides and different events running every day.
It opens at 10am but closing time varies, so its worth checking on the day. Last entry is 90mins before closing.
Winchester (17.5 miles)
An unspoilt cathedral city, Winchester is England’s ancient capital and former seat of King Alfred the Great.
Popular for its bustling shopping streets, its floral summer season and quirky open air events, Winchester is most well-known for its eleventh century Cathedral and for the Great Hall which for over 700 years has housed the mysterious King Athur’s Round Table.
During the festive season, a Christmas fair fills the small cobbled streets which surround the Cathedral.
West Dean Gardens (17.8miles)
Nestled at the foot of the South Downs, West Dean Gardens in West Sussex is one of the greatest restored gardens open to the public. You can explore a wide range of historic features on a gentle walk around the grounds. From surreal trees to the restored walled garden, West Dean Gardens proudly presents its rich creative and social heritage. Features include an impressive collection of working Victorian Glasshouses, a 300 foot pergola and a spring garden with flint bridges. There is also a restaurant and shop on site. The gardens surround West Dean College, which is internationally recognised for conservation and creative arts.
Bird World (18.1 miles)
This is a great day out for the family and has far more than just birds. They have over 2,000 species of bird which include emus, penguins, flamingos, birds of prey and much more! They also have lots of interactive events, such as two penguin feeding events and various bird shows every day. As well as the birds they have an aquarium which has crocs, piranhas and more. They have animal encounters every day which is where you can meet little animals like guinea pigs and rabbits. Ponies, sheep, reindeer, donkeys and goats can also be found at Bird World. They have a restaurant, cafe and kiosks if you get peckish.
Bird World is open from 10am-6pm in the summer and 10am-4.30pm in the winter every day (last entry is an hour before closing).
Weald and Downland Living Museum (18.4 miles)
Discover rescued traditional rural buildings set in a beautiful landscape, which tell the stories of the men, women and children who lived and worked in them over a 950-year period. Enjoy the Museum’s 40-acre site and visit their collection of 50 historic buildings. There is a regular programme of domestic and craft demonstrations, including cooking in the Tudor kitchen, blacksmithing in the Victorian smithy and seasonal demonstrations. Take a walk in the woods with the dog and visit the waterside cafe or enjoy your own picnic.
Fishbourne Roman Palace and Gardens (19 miles)
Explore this first-century home and outstanding archaeological site. Get hands-on at our exciting family events and marvel at the largest collection of early Roman mosaic floors in Britain. Discovered in 1960, the North Wing of this remarkable building is an important attraction for anyone interested in learning more about Roman life, art and architecture.
The extensive grounds of the Palace offer visitors the opportunity to stroll around the formal Roman garden carefully replanted to its original plan, featuring box hedging and staked espalier fruit trees. The Museum Gallery displays a wide range of Roman objects found during excavations on the site. These include beautiful jewellery and personal items and a sculptured marble head that is believed to be a rare image of the Emperor Nero, as a child.
Chichester Festival Theatre (19.2miles)
One of the UK’s flagship theatres, renowned for the exceptionally high standard of its productions as well as its work with the community and young people. The Festival Theatre’s bold thrust stage design makes it one of England’s most striking playhouses. The annual summer Festival season runs from April to October, during which productions originated at Chichester reach an audience of over 200,000. Year-round programming continues through the winter with the Theatre presenting high-class touring productions, as well as a traditional Christmas show mounted by the renowned Chichester Festival Youth Theatre.
Goodwood has motor racing, horse racing, aero & golf clubs. Its one of Englands great County Estates. They often have events on in the summer like the Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard (20.1 miles)
The Portsmouth Historic Dockyard has an amazing selection of historic ships that you can walk around and see. These include HMS Victory (Nelson’s famous flagship from the Battle of Trafalgar), HMS Warrior and the Mary Rose (the recovered Tudor ship). This dockyard has museums dedicated to most aspects of the Navy and interactive learning areas, so there is bound to be something for everyone.
Its open from 10am to 5pm in winter and until 5.30pm in summer.
Petworth House (20.6 miles)
Petworth is a stately mansion with amazing history and a beautiful art collection. The house was given to the Percy family (Dukes of Northumberland) by Henry VIII. There are over 300 paintings here including some by Van Dyck, Reynolds, Titian and Blake as well as classical and neo-classical sculptures. JMW Turner also spent some time here as he was under the patronage of the 3rd Earl of Egremont and so many of his paintings can be seen here. It is a good idea to check what’s on at Petworth as they often have some interesting tours through the house and certain days when you can see the upstairs rooms. You can also walk the vast grounds. Dogs are only allowed in the deer park. There are children’s trails, a restaurant and a cafe. Parking is free for National Trust members and £4 for non-members. Check the website for opening times and dates.
Paultons Park (32.8 miles)
Paultons Park is a family theme park that has stuff for children of all ages. For the younger children, there is Peppa Pig World and Critter Creek. These areas have classic rides, such as tea cups and merry-go-rounds, as well as a baby roller coaster. Over in the Lost Kingdom part of the park are the more serious roller coasters and water rides for older children. There are also loads of adventure playgrounds which are each aimed at different age groups. As well as rides, you can find lots of different birds at the park, including penguins (which are fed twice a day) and flamingos.
Butser Hill (3.7 miles)
Butser Hill is a lovely place to go for a walk as it gives you views in every direction of beautiful countryside and of the sea towards the south. The base of the hill is just half a miles walk from Barrow Hill Barns. You can challenge yourself by walking up from the bottom of the hill or you can just walk around the hill from the car park. Its big claim to fame is that it was used in ‘Only Fools and Horses’ when Del Boy goes hang gliding. It is popular with hang gliders and paragliders, due to the air currents driven off the hill, which can be fun to watch. There can be sheep grazing in the central bit around the radio tower so the dog needs to be on the lead for this bit. There is a cafe there but it is not open all year round. You have to pay for parking.
Ashford Hangers (4.2 miles)
This woodland provides panoramic views over Petersfield, Steep and Hawkley. The Hangers have connections with Gilbert White, an 18th century naturalist, and the poet, Edward Thomas. You can simply do a circuit around the Hanger to visit the two view points and maybe walk down a bit of the hanger to the poet’s stone. However, if you fancy more of a challenging you can walk down into Steep, to the Harrow Inn or you can walk some of the Hangers Way. The Hangers Way is a 21 miles route that begins at Alton and ends at Queen Elizabeth Country Park. You can park down Cockshott Lane but this is very limited (only about 3 cars fit) so may not be possible.
Old Winchester Hill (4.9 miles)
Old Winchester Hill provides amazing views across the Meon Valley to Beacon Hill as well as giving you views down to the sea. You can either follow a circular path that consists of steep slopes and woodland or you can follow the hill fort route that keeps along the top of the hill. It is also full of wildlife such as chalkhill blue butterflies in the summer, birds and lots of sheep. There are quite a few areas which require dogs to be on leads in order to protect the sheep. Lastly, there is the amazing Iron Age hill fort and Bronze Age burial mounds. Also visible in the hill fort area are smaller hollows from World War II, as the army used the hill as a mortar firing range. After walking around here you could pop into the Thomas Lord, in West Meon, for lunch. Parking is free.
Queen Elizabeth Country Park (5.5 miles)
There is lots to do at the Queen Elizabeth Country Park. Explore its 2000 acres of woodland and downland either by bike or foot. It offers stunning views and is dog friendly. However, there can be animals grazing so your dog may have to be on the lead. The car park has a cafe and there is a play area for children over 8. You have to pay for parking.
Harting Down (8.6 miles)
Harting Down is a vast area of downland that has scattered scrub and woodland. It is quite hilly which means its more of a challenging walk but you also have great views. There are amazing views across the Weald, to the north, and you can see the Isle of Wight, to the south. There are many different trails which means that you can tailor your walk to suit you. There can be animals grazing here so you should bring a lead in case. You can see an Iron Age hill fort and cross ridge dykes here as well. Also on the highest point of Harting Down (Beacon Hill) there are the remains of a Napoleonic war telegraph station. You have to pay for parking unless you are a National Trust member.
Selborne Common (11.2 miles)
Selborne Common lies on the top of a hill to the west of Selborne. You can park for free in the car park behind the Selborne Arms or, if the car park is busy, you can park in various spots around the village. The common is full of beech woods and meadows filled with flowers. To get up to the Common you walk up the ‘zig zag’ path which was cut by the naturalist Gilbert White and his brother in 1753. Walking up this path gives you wonderful views back over Selborne and the surrounding countryside. Sometimes there can be livestock grazing on the common, so a dog lead may be needed. If you have time afterwards you can visit Gilbert White’s house in Selborne which has been turned into a museum.
Hayling Island (15.2 miles)
Hayling Island combines all the attractions of a traditional seaside holiday destination with excellent sporting and leisure facilities. The island’s miles of unspoilt coastline and countryside also offer a haven of peace and tranquillity, where visitors can walk, cycle or relax.
Windsurfing was invented on Hayling Island and as well as events linked to this popular activity there are also many opportunities for sailing.
Hindhead Common and the Devil’s Punch Bowl (15.8 miles)
Although a bit further away, the Devil’s Punch Bowl is definitely worth the trip! It is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and even though it is located close to the A3 you don’t hear any traffic noise. To see the spectacular view of the Punch Bowl you need not go much further than the car park. However, if you feel a bit more adventurous then you can embark on one of the many walking trails on the map or just go exploring. Down in the Punch Bowl there is a mix of shady woods and open heath, where you may come across highland cattle and wild ponies. It’s also a great place for picnicking or you can have lunch at the cafe located in the car park. You have to pay for parking unless you are a National Trust member.
West Wittering Beach and East Head (28.2 miles)
A bit further away but this beautiful beach is a very popular destination. It is a lovely sandy beach where you can have picnics, walk the dog or do some water sports. If you plan on swimming or doing any water activities there is a large area dedicated to this. The beach is dog friendly but you must clean up after your dog and they are not allowed to swim in the water sports zone from 1st May to 30th September (there are maps before you get on the beach showing this zone). From the beach you can see Hayling Island. If you walk further around the beach, you will see some sand dunes and this area is called East Head. You can see Chichester Harbour from here and great views of the South Downs. Since East Head is a spit you can do a circuit walk back to the car park. The car park has bathrooms and showers as well as a cafe and a refreshment hut. You have to pay for parking. In the summer it can get quite busy so it’s best to check the website before you go!
South Downs Way
If you really want a challenge, there is the 100 miles long South Downs Way that runs from Winchester to Eastbourne. It is a bridle path, so it can be used by horse riders and cyclists as well as walkers. On the website are directions for stretches of the South Downs Way so that you could just do a section if you’d only like to walk some of it. The second webpage is the official one that helps you plan your trip.