Where to live when commuting to London: Hampshire South Downs

Published Jul 12, 2016 – 2 mins read

For those looking to commute to London and embrace the countryside few areas have more to offer than the Hampshire South Downs. The South Downs are cherished for their ‘boundless’ open landscape of rolling chalk downland.

Petersfield is an attractive market town in the south east of Hampshire. It is surrounded by beautiful South Downs countryside with Queen Elizabeth Country Park and Butser Hill to the south and the wooded hills and hangers of Steep and Hill Brow to the north. And it is great for commuters – trains run frequently to London Waterloo and take just over an hour.  There is a good selection of schooling in the area – The Petersfield School is well regarded locally, whilst Churchers and Bedales offer differing independent school options. Two recent developments – the creation of the South Downs National Park and the completion of the Hindhead Tunnel, removing the infuriating traffic jams on the A3, has increased the attractiveness and demand for this area.

If you are looking for a more rural setting, then there are a handful of lovely villages within a short drive of Petersfield. The pick of the bunch is East Meon and South Harting. There are few more beautiful villages to drive into than East Meon with its flint and thatch cottages, Georgian houses and Norman Church, all framed by the rolling South Downs hills. The East Meon community is friendly and active with two pubs, a good primary school and a selection of clubs (such as golf, cricket, gardening).

South Harting nestles in the lee of the South Downs and has some of the most dramatic views of any of the downland villages. The main street is stocked with handsome Georgian houses, with flint and tile hung cottages, distinctive of the South Downs, proliferating through the rest of the village. A good primary school and friendly pub means that South Harting is an idyllic village.

Winchester is another desirable commuting hub, and there are a number of attractive villages close by. The scenery in the western corner of the South Downs is a little gentler with lower hills and clear chalk streams. Perhaps the finest of the villages is Cheriton with its award winning pub and onsite brewery, outstanding primary school, and range of village amenities, such as the Post Office, tennis club and cricket club.

The crystal clear waters of the River Itchen provide some of the best fly-fishing anywhere in the country. The villages that adorn the river are small and charming and benefit from a selection of lovely pubs, small shops and a Good primary school (Itchen Abbas). Of particular note are Itchen Abbas, Easton and Ovington.

If you would like to know how you could benefit from these commuter villages or have an interest in moving to the South region, please contact us.