I wrote a post to accompany these photos about finding your happy place.
And then, when the time came to add the images to the text, I realised I wasn’t really happy with the post. I guess that’s because actually, everyone’s happy place is different. So I looked over the photos and thought about what they brought out in me – the joys of digital content and how quick it is to edit and create something totally new at the click of a button! So today, instead I decided to talk about the British countryside and everything I think you need to enjoy the perfect day out. I wrote about my British Beach Day Essentials in this post, so I suppose this is a follow on from that – what I look for in my perfect countryside day out. I love the countryside as much as I love being by the sea – there has got to be nothing more satisfying than a summer drive through the Hampshire hills, with rolling views and greenery everywhere. Quaint villages and little
coffee tea stops along the way. It really can be as idealistic as the Hollywood films make out!
A good tea & cake spot
Let’s start with the absolute essential – whenever I’m plotting a day out, be it with my parents, Sam or friends, this one is high on my hit list. No day out is complete without a good spot of tea and cake, whether that’s a cream tea, a slice of homemade victoria sponge or something a little fancier, there always needs to be a destination in mind. For me, despite my requirement for sugar, it gives the day a focus – a benchmark, something to work towards after that walk or drive.
Some of my favourite Hampshire spots for tea and cake include:
New Forest Lavender Farm (for beautiful gardens with the best cream teas this side of Devon), Coffee Lab Stockbridge (for coffee and pastries and the most delicious brownies), Annie’s Kitchen & Tea Room (for something a bit bigger too, if you’re looking for lunch and cake).
A picnic blanket & a good book
Even if you’re not planning to picnic, I always carry a picnic blanket in the car. You never know where you might end up and actually, is there much better than falling asleep in the sun after reading and doing absolutely nothing? I think not. Told you – it can be as ideal as Hollywood makes out!
Some of my favourite Hampshire spots for a picnic include:
Hinton Ampner (where these photos were taken – a beautiful National Trust property and gardens that allow you to picnic on the perfect lawns), Canada Common (on the border of the New Forest, this place is a dog lovers dream and you might even see a donkey or two), Chilbolton Cow Common (a beautiful piece of greenery with two streams meeting – children often play in the clear stream and it really is like something out of a film!).
A path to walk
Sometimes a good walk is all you need. Well that, and coming across an ice cream van en route. I love a summer stroll, and although I’m not always in the mood to go far, a good view and some peaceful time is all that’s needed to really enjoy the British countryside. Pair a walk with a picnic and I’m there.
Some of my favourite Hampshire spots for a walk include:
St Catherine’s Hill (popular but picturesque, this hill can be taken with speed or easily rambled up to give beautiful views of Winchester), Farley Mount (this one’s pretty nostalgic to me and gives you options to walk amongst the trees or on the open land), The Itchen Way (this is a walk I’ve not done since my school days and one I must do again soon – it takes you (if you do the full 30 miles!) from beautiful countryside in the heart of Hampshire out to Southampton water).
A village pub (with a beer garden!)
And to finish off a beautiful day in the sun? The village pub, of course (mine’s a white wine spritzer, fyi). The Brits really do love a beer garden and I have to say, being in Hampshire, we have our fair share of lovely pubs to choose from!
Some of my favourite Hampshire spots for a pub garden include:
The Woolpack (just north of Winchester, this one is a new find for us. We stumbled across it after our day out last weekend and enjoyed a cool drink in the empty garden – even on a hot Saturday afternoon!), The Shoe (heading east, this one is so picturesque I can’t even begin to explain, but imagine a quaint pub with a stream over the road, ample seating and just an ideal set up), The Globe (this one is in the heart of the market town of Alresford but it boasts some gorgeous views over a small local lake – the perfect late afternoon spot!).
So there we have it – my top four essentials for the perfect British countryside day out. I’d love to hear if you visit any of these local Hampshire spots or if you’ve been to any!