The beautiful countryside and scenic downlands between Winchester and Newbury, inspired Richard Adams’ best-selling book Watership Down. Follow in the tracks of Hazel, Fiver, Bigwig and companions as you walk along the footpaths of the Wayfarers’ Walk, the best way to enjoy Hampshire’s diverse countryside. A route map is available from Winchester Visitor Information Centre.
Picturesque Itchen Abbas on the banks of the River Itchen, located between Winchester and New Alresford, is reputed to have provided the setting for Kingsley’s The Water Babies.
Visit the village of Selbourne where the the 18th century poet and naturalist was born and spent the greater part of his life and and tour his house on Selborne High Street.
Benjamin Franklin, inventor, politician and one of the five congressmen responsible for drafting the American Declaration of Independence, is said to have written much of his autobiography whilst staying in Twyford, just outside of Winchester.
Regarded as the father of angling, Izaak Walton lived in the Close and published The Compleat Angler in 1653 – the most reprinted fishing book of all time with over 400 editions so far. Walton was known to have spent happy days at the water meadows and considered the River Meon the best trout fishing in England, a legend that holds fast today with the prime trout fishing section stretching from Wickham to Meonstoke. Visit Walton’s tomb and memorial in Winchester Cathedral, or take a trip to East Meon where you can sip a pint in his honour in the pub named after him.