I only have one more week in England before I return to our boat in Greece. I’ve been taking the opportunity to visit some more of the English countryside – this week I went to Stockbridge.
Stockbridge is a small town in Hampshire, between Romsey and Andover, not far from Winchester. The river Test flows through the town, divided into five shallow streams. The Test is very famous for fly fishing where people pay a lot of money to catch trout. Stockbridge means ‘bridge over the river’. The town was once on a drovers’ road, where it was common to see flocks of sheep or herds of cattle being driven through the town en route from Wales. A thatched cottage known as ‘Drovers’ House’ has a message in Welsh painted on the wall, which says “Seasoned hay, tasty pastures, good beer, comfortable beds”.
There is a pretty church in the town centre, built in 1848. Before this time, the inhabitants had to use the chapel at the neighbouring village of King’s Somborne as they did not have a parish church of their own.
Stockbridge is known for its fine Georgian buildings and collection of lovely shops. There are several pubs and many other places to eat. The town also hosts many other food festivals, such as “Trout’n’About”. Held August 50 stalls line the High Street selling a wide variety of goods including local trout, Hampshire buffalo and venison, locally made ice cream, bread, cakes, jams and oils.
In June, many local gardens have an open day, where you can see some beautiful flower displays and have tea on the lawn, all in the aid of charity.