Local places to visit
Basing House Ruins
Basing House was once the country’s largest private house, the palatial home of William Paulet, the first Marquis of Winchester who served as Lord Treasurer of England to no less than three Tudor monarchs. During the Civil War, the house became a Royalist stronghold that fell to Cromwell – and was destroyed – in 1645 after a siege of over two years. Covering some 10 acres, the ruins contain Norman earthworks, the remains of Tudor kitchens, cellars, towers, a 300-foot-long tunnel, a spectacular barn, Civil War defences designed by Inigo Jones. The formal gardens have been reinstated, allowing visitors to step back in time to the 16th and 17th centuries.
Less than an hour’s drive from Oakley Hall Hotel, and set in the very heart of the New Forest, Beaulieu offers a great day out with something for everyone to enjoy. Explore the National Motor Museum with its extensive collection of cars from all ages. Wander through Palace House, home to the Montagu family. Visit Beaulieu Abbey, founded in 1204, and discover how the Cistercian monks lived. And stroll through the extensive grounds and enjoy a mix of formal and informal gardens.
The New Forest
In 1709 William the Conqueror dubbed the area now known as the New Forest his ‘new hunting forest’. It is a unique area of historical, ecological and agricultural significance, including the pasturing of ponies, cattle, pigs and donkeys in the open Forest.
The New Forest is ideally explored on foot, bicycle or on horseback to get a more intimate feel of the area, its coast and villages. As well as offering the opportunity to simply enjoy Nature at its most beautiful, there are also many other attractions, including:
- Breamore House and Museum
- Hurst Castle & Ferry
- Liberty’s Raptor and Reptile Centre
- New Forest Cider
- Setley Ridge Vineyard
Portsmouth is an easy drive from Oakley Hall Hotel and provides a wide variety of attractions. Steeped in naval history, Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard is a day out in itself, where you can visit HMS Victory or discover incredible Tudor artefacts in the Mary Rose Museum. Shopaholics are well served by Gunwharf Keys, the award-winning shopping and leisure complex, which includes a plethora of restaurants as well as a multiplex cinema. A little further along the coast is Southsea, where you can enjoy a typical day out at the seaside.
Silchester Roman Ruins
Just 10 miles from Oakley Hall lies Silchester, famous for the ruins of the Roman-British town Calleva Atrebatum. The outer walls, forum, amphitheatre, and the entire plan of the city, including baths and several temples, were revealed through excavations that began in the 1890s and have revealed a wealth of ancient artefacts ever since.
Whitchurch Silk Mill
Whitchurch Silk Mill, an early 19th century textile mill, is a short drive from Oakley Hall Hotel. As the oldest silk mill in the UK, Whitchurch Silk Mill is a fascinating example of our industrial heritage. Skilled weavers provide demonstrations during the week and the clear water of the River Test offers some of the best trout fishing in the South of England.
The historic town of Winchester is just 13 miles away and well worth a visit. Steeped in history and heritage, England’s ancient capital city is a treasure trove of historic buildings, monuments and museums waiting to be explored – from the world-famous Cathedral to The Great Hall and King Arthur’s Round Table and Military Museums. There are plenty of other attractions nearby as well, including Jane Austen’s House, Wickham Vineyard, the Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson and Marwell Zoological Park.
Laverstoke Park Farm
Laverstoke Park Farm is an excellent example of organic/biodynamic farming. The farm supplies pork to the Glasshouse Restaurant and welcomes visitors: the farm shop (closed Mondays) stocks a wide a range of top quality meat, pies, fruit and vegetables, all of which is from the farm itself; or wander round the farm and see cattle, sheep, pigs and wild boar – even water buffalo.
Laverstoke Mill is home to the world famous Bombay Sapphire Gin. Originally a paper mill, Laverstoke has been sympathetically transformed into a sustainable distillery and visitors can discover how Bombay Sapphire is made, as well as finding out more about the history of the mill or simply enjoying a walk along the River Test.
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