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Winchester to Petersfield via Exton – South Downs Rambler from Bluestar

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South Downs Rambler from Bluestar

A glorious run through the South Downs from the historic city of Winchester to the delightful market town of Petersfield passing several quaint villages & Old Winchester Hill en route.

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Runs in Spring & Summer

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Buses run three times a day on Sundays & bank holidays

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Concessionary bus pass information coming soon.

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Winchester to Meon Valley & Petersfield via Cheesefoot Head, Hinton Ampner, Bramdean, Exton & Old Winchester Hill

True to its name, the South Downs Rambler takes the scenic route from Winchester to Petersfield and back again via the Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium, the views at Cheesefoot Head, the gardens of Hinton Ampner, the Iron Age fort at Old Winchester Hill, the luxurious Langrish House Hotel and two traditional village pubs.

The South Downs Rambler is a summer route, created in partnership by the South Downs National Park Authority, Hampshire County Council, Three Rivers Rail, Cross Country Trains and Bluestar, to offer visitors the chance to explore rural Hampshire in a relaxed and sustainable way.

If you are looking for breathtaking views, visible prehistory, fine pubs and pretty villages with easy access to the South Downs Way and rail links at Winchester and Petersfield the South Downs Rambler is the Sunday bus route for you.

Drivers on the South Downs Rambler have considerable local knowledge and will be delighted to offer guidance.

The South Down’s Rambler is back for 2022 and will run 3 trips per day on Sundays (and Bank Holidays) until 11th September 2022.

Connect with the South Downs Rambler in Winchester with Bluestar 1.

Places to visit & things to do along the way

Winchester

Modern day visitors to Winchester in the county of Hampshire can’t help but soak in the history as they wander through the ancient streets of this small city. Few however may realise that some of Winchester’s first settlers arrived there more than 2,000 years ago.

From world class attractions and architecture such as Winchester Catheral, unrivaled shopping and delicious dining, to countryside trails for walking and cycling – there’s plenty to do in and around Winchester.

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Winchester Science Centre

An exciting family destination, Winchester Science Centre is the South of England’s interactive science and technology centre with the largest standalone planetarium in the UK. Open 7 days a week, they provide exciting, hands-on science experiences to spark curiosity and inspire the next generation of great scientists!

With two floors of fascinating, interactive science exhibits, stunning South Downs National Park surroundings and a vibrant events programme, the Science Centre makes for a brilliant action-packed family day out whatever the weather!

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Cheesefoot Head

Cheesefoot Head is a viewpoint on the South Downs Way that has beautiful views across the surrounding Hampshire Downs. The New Forest, the Isle of Wight and Butser Hill can all be seen from here.

Hop off the bus for a stroll across the beautiful Downs.

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Hinton Ampner

Best known for its fine garden, Hinton Ampner is an elegant country house with an outstanding collection of furniture, paintings and objets d’art.

The Hinton Ampner garden is widely acknowledged as a masterpiece of 20th century design. The five hectare garden unites a formal layout with varied and informal plantings in pastel shades.

Set in superb Hampshire countryside, there are magnificent vistas across parkland and the South Downs. Highlights of the garden include the dell, a sunken garden with fine topiary, and the recently restored walled garden.

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Bramdean

The Fox Inn, Bramdean

Set in the beautiful countryside, Bramdean’s Fox Inn was already 200 years old when the Prince of Wales (crowned George IV) came for refreshment with his entourage.

The Fox is a warm, atmospheric country pub, serving a wide variety of delicious meals and award winning traditional ales. With open-plan bar, black beams, real log fires, traditional pub food, award winning ales from our local brewers, children and dogs welcome, walled-in terraced area and spacious lawn under fruit trees, good surrounding walks.

Open on Sundays with food served from 11:30.

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West Meon

A quaint village in the South Downs with bus links to Winchester, Alresford and Petersfield.

The village has a few family-friendly local pubs, including The West Meon; and The Thomas Lord, where you can enjoy Sunday lunch with the family, a cosy dinner with your other half, or pints and banter with friends.

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Exton

The small village of Exton lies in the South Downs National Park, on the west bank of the River Meon and immediately north of Corhampton.

Follow the South Downs Trail to Winchester or eastward towards Old Winchester Hill, Petersfield & on to Eastbourne.

The Shoe Inn, the village pub, is a friendly welcome on the South Down’s Way. They provide comforting home cooked food, good wine, real ales and excellent coffee made using their own Hampshire Pantry coffee beans.

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Old Winchester Hill

Old Winchester Hill has been a famous and popular beauty spot since Victorian times and beyond. The views across the valley to Beacon Hill and down to the sea are superb.

The extensive scrub is good for bird watching and there is also always the chance of seeing a Red Kite or Buzzard overhead.

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Petersfield

Set in the glorious countryside of the South Downs National Park, Petersfield is an ancient market town originally built as a Norman ‘new town’ at the end of the 11th Century. It is now a vibrant place for shopping and eating out.

The main square is an attractive focal point providing the perfect venue for twice weekly markets on Saturdays and Wednesdays. There is a Farmers’ Market on the first Sunday of every month.

Petersfield has a vibrant musical and artistic scene. Music, art and drama can be enjoyed at Bedales Arts in nearby Steep.

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This route was last updated on 30th August 2022

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