New Alresford or just Alresford is a small, quiet Hampshire town with pastel perfection, period houses, independent shops and great pubs right in the heart of the stunning South Downs. At 8 miles from Winchester and only 60 miles from central London it’s perfectly located for a day trip or short break and in my opinion is well worth the journey.
I visited Alresford whilst staying in Avington, a pretty village, a few minutes down the road and home to Avington Park, for my 30th birthday. We were there for a week in the gorgeous South Downs staying in a large family holiday rental – Avington Park Farm Cottages. I’ve added the link here as we we really rated this accommodation and it was perfect for a large group. The Dutch tub was an added bonus!
During this time we took the journey into New Alresford on several occasions and I can honestly say I loved it there. On arrival at the train station, you feel like you’re in a period drama. The station is on the famous Watercress Line, aptly named for previously delivering fresh watercress to London every day, and opened in 1865. Today the heritage railway operates a 10 mile line of steam locomotives between Alton and Alresford. You instantly feel as though you’ve been transported in time.
However, as much as the station was an added pleasant surprise, it wasn’t what I was there for. It was the mix of independent shops, numerous pubs and great restaurants which I couldn’t wait to explore.
On our first trip, we spent some time perusing the shops and making several purchases. I’ll be honest I had to pop back later in the week for further retail therapy just so I could tell myself I’d checked out all of the shop options. There are various affordable home and clothing stores mixed in with some pricier ones, all of which have a slightly Jack Wills, Joules and other ‘rah’ shops vibe but I felt like that was all part of being in the country. All I needed was a gilet and a Land Rover to finish off the look.
Naturally after splashing the cash, we needed to sink a glass of wine or two so headed to the pub. There are more than a few in the town and I’ve listed some for you here…
Other than that, I really recommend a stroll around New Alresford, soaking up the architecture and taking some snaps. The properties there are beautiful and oozing in character. It’s streets are lined with some fantastic little restaurants as well.
The Surrounding Area
We explored a lot around New Alresford on our weeks visit so I thought it would be a shame not to share some extra tips. I’ve opted for our highlight – our favourite pub by far which was The Woolpack Inn (not the one in Emmerdale I might add) in Totford. We found it in the good pub guide and wow it is good. Open fire, character building and a Sunday roast to die for. I’ve added a photo of the Sunday roast as my husband and I still swear it’s the best we’ve had to this day. They also play sports in the bar and there’s a pool table – perfect for families, friends and couples a like. With a good OS map it’s on the end of a few picturesque walks as well, depending on your starting point.
Overall, this a great town. It has everything you want from a day out and a little bit of something for everyone. I thoroughly recommend a visit. What are your thoughts? I would love to hear from some of you on your experiences of Alresford and the surrounding area.