Situated 11 miles north of Winchester, Riverside Lifestyle is perfectly located to explore Hampshire as part of a short break or retreat to the countryside.
With interesting cities, stunning countryside and a plethora of attractions on our doorstep there is something for everyone, from family fun attractions to historic houses, museums and beautiful open spaces.
We’ve compiled a list of nearby places to visit within Hampshire, which can be added to any itinerary.
Cities, Coastline and Countryside
A cathedral city on the edge of the South Downs, Winchester is England’s ancient capital and former seat of King Alfred the Great. It’s known for medieval Winchester Cathedral, military museums and excellent shopping opportunities. It is also home numerous award-winning restaurants, pubs and bars.
Known as the cruise capital of Europe, Southampton boasts an impressive cultural offering, from museums such as Tudor House and SeaCity bring the city’s history to life, music venues and art galleries, to award winning parks and fantastic shopping facilities with Westquay providing a unique shopping destination.
With its port, Naval base and maritime heritage Portsmouth boasts an impressive relationship with land and sea. Portsmouth Historic Dockyard tells the story of Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory and provides an insight into the city’s maritime past. Today, Portsmouth projects a modern feel with its famous Emirates Spinnaker Tower that offers spectacular views across Solent water. The waterfront setting of Gunwharf Quays is the perfect example of modern living, with its waterfront bars and restaurants.
Escape to a world a million miles from your everyday life – the New Forest is a place of ancient history, wildlife and beauty. There is an array of places to visit and explore, from award winning gardens, museums, leisure and wildlife parks plus much, more.
Quintessentially English, the medieval cathedral city of Salisbury is steeped history. With stunning architecture, the city is a hive of activity with plenty of boutique shopping, bars and restaurants, plus excellent museums, art galleries and theatres.
Discovering Hampshire’s Gardens
Hampshire offers some of the most picturesque gardens, many of which are easily accessible for a day trip from Riverside Lifestyle.
Houghton Lodge Gardens near Stockbridge are Grade II* listed surrounding an enchanting 18th century Cottage Orné. With informal and formal gardens, Walled Garden with espaliers, themed herb garden, wildflower beds, Orchid House and tearooms.
Sir Harold Hillier Gardens near Romsey is a garden for all seasons with 180 acres to explore. Walk the beautiful 250-metre Centenary Border, which bursts with colour, the Hydrangea Walk, explore Azalea Woodland, Winter Garden and Himalayan Valley. Children will enjoy the play features such as the tree house and flying carpet swing.
Also near to Romsey is the National Trust property, Mottisfont. It is a romantic house and gallery set in beautiful riverside gardens. From spring bulbs to the famous walled rose garden, which not only look stunning but also fill the summer air with heavenly rose scents.
Exploring Hampshire’s Heritage
Hampshire has a rich and varied heritage from military connections to architecture and literary heroes.
Just 10 miles north of Riverside Lifestyle is Whitchurch Silk Mill; a Georgian water mill that still weaves silk fabrics using Victoria machinery. Set on the River Test there is something for everyone including children’s trails with explorer backpacks, heritage tours, shop and café.
In northwest Hampshire The Museum of Army Flying tells the story and journey of British soldiers in the air from the pioneering days of balloons and kites, to the Glider Pilot Regiments dropping at Arnhem right through to the modern chapter of helicopter operations. Overlooking the active airfield, visitors can stop in the Museum’s Apache Cafe without the need for a Museum ticket.
In Basingstoke, step into the Victorian era inside Milestone’s Museum and discover the story of Hampshire’s retail and industrial heritage. Take a walk along life size streets and step inside a 1940’s sweet shop, be inspired by collections from vehicles, toys, domestic appliances and lots more.
Basing House is 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. Discover fascinating stories from the Tudor and Civil War in the museum
The Vyne is 4-miles north of Basingtoke and is a National Trust Property. Five centuries of history are brought to life in this former Tudor palace turned 17th-century family home, set in 1500 acres of gardens, woodland and wetlands.
Family Fun & Adventures in Hampshire
There is plenty of family fun to be enjoyed in Hampshire.
Just off the M27 near to Romsey, Paultons Park is family theme park with more than 70 rides and attractions included in the admission price. Discover the Lost Kingdom with Jurassic themed family rides and a prehistoric Dinosaur adventure play. Or for the younger audience, you can fully immerse yourself into Peppa Pig World with themed rides and activities.
In the heart of the Test Valley, the Hawk Conservancy is set within 22 acres of stunning countryside. With over 150 birds of prey, it is a full day out for all ages with world-class flying displays throughout the day, and many other activities in between.www.hawk-conservancy.org
For the older thrill seekers of family fun, head to Thruxton Motorsport Centre – the fastest race circuit in the UK! Just a few miles from Riverside Lifestyle, you can choose from a number of experiences from the latest supercars to driving Land Rover off track. There are a number of high profile race meetings that take place throughout the year including the British Touring Car Championship, British Superbikes and British Trucks.
Located just 10 minutes away and open all year round, Finkley Down Farm is a must for young families, with a host of animals to see including many interesting breeds and species. There is also an indoor play barn, pedal go carts and tractor rides.
Places to eat
If you are looking to eat or drink out during your visit to Riverside Lifestyle, there is plenty of choice in the local area; from family friendly country pubs in the heart of the Test Valley to outstanding restaurants, which are ideal for celebrations and special occasions.
Located in the beautiful Test Valley village of Longstock, The Peat Spade Inn is a charming country pub serving fabulous pub food. The menus feature fresh, seasonal produce which is locally sourced; choose from a 2 course set menu, breakfast, lunch, bar and dinner menus. The Peat Spade Inn is the perfect place to unwind alfresco.
Clos du Marquis
Clos du Marquis is a little taste of France in the heart of the Test Valley. Set in an 18th century coaching inn, the restaurant offers the quaint elegance of a “French Auberge” with small beamed dining rooms and a lounge with log fires in winter. The menu boasts specialities from the South West of France with a wine list, which perfectly complements the cuisine.
The Greyhound on the Test
Step inside this exquisite country inn, and you will be warmly welcomed. The Greyhound on the Test is an award-winning venue on Stockbridge High Street. Enjoy the Walk In Breakfast, Main Menu which uses local produce to create a delicious variety of sharing plates, seafood dishes, small plates and daily specials, or try the Set Menu which changes on a daily basis.
Located in Whitchurch, Blue Ginger is known for its contemporary Indian cuisine. Using the freshest ingredients, which are all locally sourced, the chefs create exquisite flavours throughout their dishes – you can almost taste their passion for producing the best Indian cuisine.
The Red House
Boasting plenty of rural charm, tradition and history, The Red House in Whitchurch dates back to 1500’s. With a charming bar area and Red Room dining area, which is ideal for special occasions, you can expect the menus to deliver on taste and presentation. Choose from the Main Menu or Light Bites where dishes use the finest, locally sourced produce.
Located in Ampfield, halfway between Winchester and Romsey, Keats Restaurant prides itself on using the freshest ingredients which are sourced from like-minded suppliers who, like the team at Keats care deeply about the food. With an Italian influence, you can enjoy freshly made pasta, daily fish specials and some delicious desserts. Choose from A la Carte Menus and in Sunday’s, their roast dinners are not to be missed.