Out and about

Set on the edge of The South Downs National Park, on the “Writers Way” the barn is an ideal base for walkers, with several beautiful walks straight from the front door.

We are also in the heart of Jane Austen country with the pretty village of Chawton a leisurely half hour walk away through woodland and open fields (or short drive), where the Jane Austen House Museum and Chawton House are located.

The naturalist, Gilbert White’s Museum (with its excellent cafe) in the pretty village of Selborne is a short drive away or a beautiful walk through open fields and a stunning beech wood which comes alive with bluebells in Spring. Explore the pretty Selborne Common and walk up the zig zag path created by Gilbert White and his brother in the 1700s. Visit the Selborne Pottery for gorgeous hand thrown pots, mugs, lamps and vases.

A 20 minute drive to the south is the stunning market town of Alresford and for opera fans, we are ideally located for the Grange Festival. The nationally acclaimed annual Alresford Watercress Festival which takes place in May, is an event not to be missed! Just 10 minutes further down the road is historic Winchester with its beautiful cathedral and a plethora of independent shops.

The south coast is approximately 50 minutes drive, with an extensive number of beaches to choose from.

There are a number of National Trust properties within easy reach, such as Hinton Ampner, Uppark House and The Vyne.

For train enthusiasts, the heritage Watercress Line runs steam train trips between Alton and Alresford.

“We have just returned from a short break in The Hay Barn. We enjoyed our time in Upper Farringdon very much and found our stay in the cottage very comfortable.

The cottage is beautifully appointed and very well equipped and had ample space for the 3 of us and would easily accommodate a family of 4 comfortably.

Susannah met us on arrival and made us feel very welcome. Whilst both Susannah and Alex were on hand, we never felt in anyway overlooked during our stay.

The village is quiet and is surrounded by beautiful countryside with many footpaths, some straight from the door.

There was plenty to do in the area. We went to the Weald and Downland Living Museum, the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard to visit the Mary Rose and the Victory and on our last day we went to the Jane Austen House Museum in the neighbouring village of Chawton. We thoroughly enjoyed all of them and all of them had well organised Covid measures in place.

We would be very happy to recommend a stay in The Hay Barn to friends and family.”

Richard, Derbyshire

Food and drink

Waitrose, Sainsburys and M&S Food are located in Alton with the former two available for delivery to the barn. There is a Farmers Market in Alton on every second Saturday of the month and there is an excellent butcher in nearby Four Marks. For more fresh, local produce, there is also The Country Market on the way to Bordon.

If you don’t fancy cooking, the atmospheric Rose and Crown is a short and pleasant stroll away through the village and offers delicious lunches and dinners, but be sure to book in advance as they do get very busy.

The Greyfriar in Chawton also offers excellent pub food and the cafe at Gilbert White’s house offers excellent lunches and cakes!

“We had a lovely stay at the Hay Barn in the heat of summer. Susannah and Alex are very helpful hosts (with a thorough COVID-19 policy) and the barn is beautifully designed, with a spacious and well equipped living area. It is situated on a country lane, on the edge of a lovely village complete with fine pub for good food and a five minute drive from the manor owned by Jane Austen’s brother, great for fine country walks and picnics under grand old trees. The glorious West Wittering beach (pre-book) and Marwell zoo are in driving distance. A restful place to get away from it all.”

Brendan and Sam, London