The pretty market town of Alresford is surrounded by beautiful Hampshire countryside, with clear chalk streams and picturesque villages with thatched cottages and duck ponds. There are plenty of good dog walks all around, many of which take in a pub along the way! We are located on the edge of The South Downs National Park, from where you can see The Isle of Wight, on a good day from Beacon Hill. We love this part of Hampshire, and we have put together a short guide, which we hope will be useful. It has been compiled by our team, all of whom live close by.
Map by Henrietta Hellard. Many thanks to Roy Gentry of the ‘About Alresford’ website for allowing us to use it: www.alresford.org
So, what do we love about Alresford? The places to eat!
Alresford is bursting with eateries and restaurants, so whether you’re looking for a quick bite for brunch, or a three-course sit-down meal, there are a whole host of options for you to choose from. Here are some of places to eat close by:
Pubs and Restaurants
The Globe On The Lake, The Soke, Alresford
A welcoming 15th-century pub with a garden and terrace on the banks of a small lake, plus modern British menu. 01962 733118 www.theglobealresford.com
The Horse & Groom, Broad Street, Alresford
A cosy 17th-century oak-beamed inn, with exposed bricks and rustic wood bar, plus gastropub fare and patio. 01962 734809 www.horse-and-groom-alresford.co.uk
The Bell Hotel, West Street, Alresford
A small family run Free House in a lovingly restored Grade two listed former coaching inn, serving excellent food and offering six en-suite rooms. 01962 732429 www.bellalresford.com
The Swan Hotel, West Street, Alresford
A charming 3 star former coaching Inn offering excellent accommodation and food. 01962 732302 www.swanhotelalresford.com
The Cricketers, Jacklyns Lane, Alresford
A family-orientated inn with exposed beams, a garden and play area. Serving steaks and game dishes, plus classic pub fare. 01962 732463 www.alresfordcricketer.wixsite.com/alresfordcricketers
Indian & Bangladeshi Restaurant, Broad Street, Alresford
Award winning restaurant serving classic Indian & Bangladeshi cuisine. Offering Sunday buffets, ‘all you can eat’ and 3 course lunch specials. 01962 733246 www.alresfordindianbangladeshi.co.uk
Shapla Indian Cuisine, West Street, Alresford
Superb Indian cuisine, first class service in historic building. Special Sunday lunch time buffet. 01962 732134 www.theshapla.com
Pizza Express, Broad Street, Alresford
A busy, versatile and friendly branch, which boasts its exclusive award winning Pinglestone Pizza. Al Fresco dining in a beautiful garden. Children very welcome. Coffee from 10.30am, Food noon until late. 01962 738758
Tea Rooms and Cafes
Caracoli, 15 Broad Street, Alresford
A high quality coffee house and food store serving delicious food and drink. Monday – Saturday 8.30am – 5pm – Sunday 10am -5pm. Light lunches are also served – menu information 01962 738730 www.caracoli.co.uk
Tiffin Tea Rooms, West Street, Alresford
Traditional friendly tea room serving speciality teas and coffees. Homemade cakes, cream teas and light lunchtime specials including vegetarian. Licensed. Outside seating in a pleasant, quiet courtyard setting to the rear. 01962 734394
Courtyard Tea Rooms, Broad Street Arcade, Broad Street, Alresford
Stylish Shabby Chic Tea Rooms serving homemade cakes and bakes, cream teas and elegant two-tiered afternoon tea specials. Open for breakfast, light lunches and cake from 10am – 4.30 Tuesday – Sun. 01962 733303 www.courtyardtearooms.co.uk
May: Watercress Festival
June: Alresford Duck Race (bi-annual), Alresford Music Festival
September: County Sports Day; Alresford Agricultural Show
October: Apple Day; Victorian Funfair
December: Turning On the Christmas Lights & Father Christmas visits
Broad Street is also home to Alresford’s Weekly Street Market held every Thursday, selling homemade cakes, fudge, bread, cheese, flowers, cards, fruit and veg, clothes and more!
There are several gated playgrounds and open spaces for the young to let off some steam. Centrally located Arlebury Park Playground is probably the best known, with large wooden climbing equipment and an ariel runway for older children with the standard swings and slides, together with a mock rowboat for smaller ones. There is also a skate-park set further down the hill for interested tweens and teens.
Sun Lane Rec and Stratton Bates Rec playgrounds are well stocked with a variety of equipment for under 12 year olds. Each of the playgrounds have green open spaces straddling them, which offer excellent space for dog walking or a football/rugby kick-about.
The Watercress Line:
Alresford is home to one of the four stops on the Watercress Line. Running between Alresford, Ropley, Meadsted & Four Marks and Alton. May – September is high season at The Watercress Line, where several trains run as standard throughout the week. There are also numerous special events and fixtures for children and adults including ‘The Santa Express’, ‘Wizard Weekend’ and ‘A Day Out with Thomas’ as well as ‘The Real Ale Train’ and ‘Countryman Dining. See http://www.watercressline.co.uk/calendar.php for more details.
Alresford is the perfect place for strolling and there is plenty to please the eye – The Fulling Mill and Eel House along the riverside walk, St. John’s Parish Church, the Millennium Trail and Old Alresford Pond, are all brilliant areas to take in some fresh air. Close by is Hinton Ampner House & Gardens too.
Have a look at www.alresford.org; www.allthingsalresford.co.uk; www.forumpublications.co.uk/local-information/itchen-valley-area for some more local information.
The town has excellent communications, via a network of ‘A’ roads and motorways, allowing good access to London, The Midlands and the south coast. With an airport in Eastleigh and mainline rail access to London from Winchester and Alton, Alresford is centrally located for busy people who want the best of country living whilst not being out of touch. See our ‘Transport Links’ page for more information.