Set in the midst of the Hampshire countryside at the midway point of a long-established route between Winchester and Portsmouth, Bishop’s Waltham is a lovely town with a fine Norman church and a plethora of historic buildings.
Bishop Waltham’s shops, boutiques and restaurants are set within beautiful 17th and 18th century buildings, many of which line the High Street. In addition to retail outlets, there are all the services you’ll need including pharmacies, banks, medical and dental surgeries and opticians.
If you’re shopping for groceries or local produce, you’ll find fresh breads, delicious pastries and cakes at Hoxton’s Bakehouse in Brook Court or at Stainers Bakery and Tea Room on the High Street along with a branch of both the Co-op and Londis, Hylands Greengrocery, Grover Butchers, a post office and the Sweet Corner. There’s also a Sainsbury’s Local on Winchester Road and Any Fish on Merlin Mews. Whether you’re searching for chic clothing, gifts, household items, arts or crafts, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for in Bishop’s Waltham.
If you’re meeting friends for coffee or taking a break from shopping, you’ll be spoilt for choice in terms of venues. Alongside a branch of Costa Coffee, there are a whole range of independent cafes and tearooms including No.60 Coffee & Wine and the delightfully named Anvil Tea Rooms & Just In Case Wines, the latter being set in a pretty Tudor courtyard. Call into Josie’s Wine Coffee & Deli to enjoy wine or coffee or take something special home for later. Both the town’s bakeries serve teas, coffees and light lunches. If you’re hoping for a more substantial meal or are dining out, there’s Banks Bar & Bistro, the Barleycorn Inn, The Crown Inn, Georgio’s Mediterranean Restaurant & Bar and R2 Chinese Restaurant.
There are so many historic attractions in the town. The High Street is largely medieval dating back to 1232 and St George’s Square is all that survives of the town’s original market place.
Bishop’s Waltham Palace, next to the Beechcroft development, once a grand residence but now in ruins although the vast pond across Winchester Road created for the bishops of Winchester, is now used by the town’s fishing club.
St Peter’s Church stands on the site of a church built by Henry of Blois in 1136. Scarcely anything remains of the 12th century church – the earliest remains date from about 1200 because St Peter’s has been rebuilt, enlarged and restored in succeeding centuries. The church we see today is the result of a restoration carried out in 1894-7.
With the South Downs National Park on hand, there are miles of footpaths and cycleways providing access to some of Hampshire’s most spectacular countryside. Measured walks from Bishop’s Waltham include a heritage walk, a nature walk and a countryside walk. If you’re planning on a longer journey, the Pilgrim’s Trail passes through Bishop’s Waltham. This 155-mile trail is the route taken by the Miguelots - pilgrims travelling from the shrine of St Swithun at Winchester Cathedral to St Michael in Normandy via Southwick and Portsmouth.
This is a wonderful area for those who enjoy outdoor sports. Golf courses are set in beautiful locations – Corhampton Golf Club, Swanmore Golf Centre and East Horton Golf Club are all within easy reach.
Bishop’s Waltham has its own social club offering darts, pool, snooker, table football and live music for members. There’s a lawn tennis club in Swanmore and tennis courts at Hoe Road Recreational Ground in Bishop’s Waltham. The town is also home to the Meon Valley Bowling Club, a collection of private gyms and a community swimming pool located at the junior school.
With the waters of the Solent on hand, Bishops Waltham, you’re able to get out on the Hampshire waters and to appreciate the beautiful landscapes from a different perspective.
The nearest railway station to Bishop’s Waltham is at Botley which is only a few minutes’ drive away and provides links to Winchester City Centre and Southampton Airport, which is just under 30 minutes’ away by rail. There’s an excellent bus service between the town and Southampton, Eastleigh, Winchester and Fareham and to Petersfield on Wednesdays. The main motorway access routes are all within easy reach.
“Bishop’s Waltham is a vibrant and historic market town set in the glorious Hampshire countryside. With a foot in the South Downs National Park and located at the mid point of a long-established route between Winchester and Portsmouth, the town has long been appreciated as a place to stop and relax.”
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