The Hawkley Inn is a mile away from Plum Cottage and is the perfect village pub. The Hawkley manages to blend the conviviality of a locals’ pub and a rotating selection of real ales, with an exceptional restaurant where dishes are attentively prepared from local produce by owner and chef Simon Emberley. A pub lunch or supper at The Hawkley is a must.
8 miles from Empshott Green in the village of Steep is The Harrow Inn. A pub that time forgot and which serves only cask beer in wooden barrels and a small selection of other wines and beers. Their Cheddar Ploughman’s features in The Lonely Planet’s Top 500 World Food Experiences and payment is only accepted in cash or cheques. A piece of rural history not to be missed.
Four miles away is the Pub with no name (aka The White Horse at Priors Dean). It’s another historic building serving traditional pub food in a wonderfully cosy atmosphere. A word of advice: It’s worth making your first trip to the Pub with no name during daylight hours! It’s easy to get lost in the maze of country lanes, and the phone signal is likely to give out when you need its help the most!
Although there is no one who will deliver food to you at the cottage, there are some great takeaway restaurants within a few miles. Madhuban in Liss (01730 894372) is a prized Indian Restaurant, whose sauces are made on site and sold all across the country, and Fez in Petersfield (01730 231266) produces wonderful Turkish dishes, with their Mezze plates being particularly special!
Nearby Buriton, is worth a visit not only for the walking, but also for the food. However far you decide to walk from this stunning village with its beautiful church, duck pond and manor house, you’ll come back to a choice of two pubs both serving wonderful food!
The Five Bells 01730 263584
The Village Inn 01730 233440
Step out of your front door at Plum Empshott Green and you’re at the foot of Noar Hill. From here you can immediately access a whole network of footpaths and bridleways and The Hangers Way. At this point you are almost in the middle of its 21 miles with the option of walking towards Alton in one direction, or The Queen Elizabeth Country Park. You can find more information here.
At Buriton, which is a 7 mile drive, you can pick up the South Downs Way and walk along its chalk escarpment, which is an ancient Drover’s Way, into West Sussex or back to Winchester in Hampshire. You can find more information here.
Some laminated maps of our favourite walks will be left for you in the cottage!
There are some fabulous days out in the area, and these are some of the things that we love doing.
The South Coast, Bosham and West Wittering – 20 miles away
The stunning sailing village of Bosham is well worth a trip. Built around the pretty harbour, it’s the perfect place for lunch in one of the many waterfront eateries, and a walk with an ice cream afterwards is a must. Just remember to watch where you park! The locals can be quietly amused when a visitor leaves their car by the sea wall at low tide, only to find it underwater at high tide!
Just a couple of miles on the other side of the estuary is West Wittering beach which offers miles of flat walking along by sea and over the sand dunes.
Chichester – 18 miles away
For a touch of culture, Chichester is well worth the visit. A pretty town with numerous interesting shops and world renowned for its Festival Theatre and the constantly changing exhibitions at Pallant House.
Portsmouth – 19 miles away
The historic naval town of Portsmouth, site of many a naval battle, is a destination for a trip to the Cinema, the Designer Outlet shops of Gunwharf Quays or the Historic Naval Dockyards.
Petworth – 15 miles away
In the ‘Antiques Town’ of Petworth you’ll find The Hungry Guest, a delicatessen to rival parts of the Harrods Food Hall, The East St Bar and Grill (under the same ownership) and a huge assortment of antique, interior design and gift shops…it’s hard to leave empty handed. The Farm shop at nearby Cowdray Park is also well worth a visit for anyone who loves food and freshly grown local produce.
Haslemere – 10 miles away
At the meeting point of Surrey, West Sussex and Hampshire is the historic town of Haslemere. There are numerous boutiques for clothes and interiors, a Space NK and a Butcher’s, a Baker’s and a Fishmonger’s. For an unexpectedly quaint and cute treat, take in the Haslemere Museum and it’s remarkable collections of Natural History and Geographical exhibits.