Alresford

Alresford is known as the UK’s capital of watercress farming and as the home of the Mid-Hants Steam Railway – the Watercress Line.

A Georgian town of colour-washed houses, riverside walks and specialist shops.

Make a full day out with a ride on the Watercress Line and a walk around the picturesque Georgian town, with its delightful tea rooms and independent shops, or visit nearby National Trust property Hinton Ampner

The hub of UK watercress industry.

The town's history is punctuated with fires, despite the abundance of water in the area, and the buildings that you see today rose from the ashes of the great fires of the 17th century.

Alresford is the perfect place for strolling and there is plenty to please the eye including St John's parish church and Old Alresford Pond created by Bishop de Lucy in the 12th century.

Try a local dish with a watercress twist.

Despite its modest proportions, Alresford offers a surprising number of eateries, many serving watercress dishes; choose from a fine selection of old-fashioned pubs, smart bistros and traditional tea rooms. If you fancy something a little more spicy head to Alresford's Indian restaurant.

‘Let's join in the praise of the bat and the wicket...'

According to John Arlott, the cricket broadcaster and commentator who lived in Alresford between 1961 and 1981, Alresford Cricket Club was one of the strongest teams in England between 170 and 1795. You can find out more about Alresford's excellent cricketing reputation by following our Cricket trail which will help you trace it's evolution across Winchester and Hampshire's countryside.

Time your visit to coincide with one of Alresford’s annual events.

Don't miss the Watercress Festival each May. The annual Alresford Music Festival provides the perfect platform for local musicians to perform alongside professionals. Grange Park Opera is staged in the crumbling splendour of one of the finest neo-classical buildings in Britain, Northington Grange.

Less than 20 minutes drive from Winchester’s city.

By bus: on bus routes 64 & 67. For more information visit our local travel page. 

By car: leave Winchester on the B3404 signed for Alresford, Alton and Petersfield.  At Morn Hill roundabout take the A31 for Alton then a few miles further on turn left into Alresford.

Recommended

Trails

  • A sketch of Jane Austen
    Literature

    Jane Austen trail

    Around Winchester
    Trail revealing more about Austen's life in Hampshire
  • Winchester College
    History & heritage

    Cricket trail

    Around Winchester
    Trail tracking the evolution of cricket in Winchester and Hampshire
  • Fulling Mill, Alresford
    History & heritage

    Alresford Millennium & Alre Valley trails

    Alresford
    Explore Alresford with self-guide trail
  • Victoria Cross
    History & heritage

    Military Trail

    City centre
    Trace Winchester's military past from the Iron Age to the Nuclear Age.

Events

Attractions

  • Steam train on the Watercress Line to Ropley
    History & heritage

    Mid-Hants Railway 'Watercress Line'

    Alresford & Alton
    Let off steam and travel by one of our lovingly restored Steam trains through 10 miles of beautiful Hampshire countryside.
  • Jane Austen's House Museum
    Arts & culture

    Jane Austen's House Museum

    Alton
    The house at Chawton is where Jane Austen spent the last eight years of her life.