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Report 1952: Hop Scotching England South to North to South

By Jeff H from New Hampshire, Fall 2011

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Page 3 of 4: Farelton to Petersfield

We got lost on the last leg of this part of our trip (well, not lost, really, after all we knew we were in Europe and pretty sure we were still in England!). I could blame my wife, the navigator, but we were both confused by the country roads South of the M4, when encountering villages and towns with forks, unannounced turns and roundabouts, etc. every 8 or 10 miles. We made it though, and since I am familiar with Petersfield from previous visits, we found our B+B quickly.

The owner had left us a note on the door and was not around when we arrived, so we headed directly to the home of my colleague, Ian. No one there either, so we then headed to my favorite pub (Folly's Wine Bar - reviewed on Slow Travel by Yours Truly, somewhere). After a few beers and a bite to eat, I took Sue to the next town, Buriton, to see another pub/B+B at which I've stayed a couple of times, as well as the home of Edward Gibbon (The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire). Back to Petersfield, where Ian and his wife greet us at their front door ... and from then on we didn't drive much for the next two days. That first night involved another pub dinner in downtown Petersfield at the Good Intent and the requisite pints of ale.

Next day we trained down to Portsmouth and enjoyed a wonderful day exploring the HMS Warrior and HMS Victory and lunch. We arrived back at Petersfield and waited for Ian and Clare to pick us up at the B+B ... we were headed for the Mayflower Theater in Southampton to see "Evita." An evening capped off by pub hopping around Petersfield after getting back from the play and made all the better, because I didn't have to drive.

Saturday: we drove another one of those county roads down to Chichester, recommended by Ian - closer than Winchester and offers just as much. Made the trip on our own without incident, but with a few "left wheels in the ditch" type scares. Checked out the cathedral and shopped around the very walkable village center. Lunch and back to Petersfield. Dinner at Ian's and Clare's home was Indian food, about six courses and just terrific. What hospitality; first the play, then an Indian meal in their home. We had enough wine with dinner to keep us from pub hopping again.

Sunday, Sue and I headed out to Stonehenge, which was far more impressive than I had imagined and more than the B+B owner has led us to expect. The location is spectacular and the mystery of the monument itself is awe inspiring. On the way back, we decide, "Why not stop at Winchester?" A larger version of Chichester, but with the more famous Winchester Cathedral, we spent the afternoon eating and shopping after a lengthy visit to the church. Lunch was in the "Oldest Bar in England," Established in 1002. I assume the original owner no longer works there, but the current premises have preserved much of the ancient look and feel ... and the fish and chips were first rate ... as well as the ale.

Monday, another full English breakfast at the Heath Farm B+B and then off to Reading to return the car, spend the night and head to the airport and fly home.

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