Getting to know Haslemere

23 August 2022 by Simon Drayson

Haslemere town photo

We are very lucky to live where we do. The South Downs are a beautiful area, with its natural beauty of rolling hills, stunning woodland and a quaint mixture of small towns. The towns are filled with rich histories and architectural gems from across the eras, which we obviously thrive on. To us it feels such a privilege to have these all on our doorstep to explore, being able to visit regularly and get to know so well.

Just a stone’s throw away from us in Midhurst, is the charming market town of Haslemere. We love this town, to be honest it was one we looked at quite seriously when making the move down from London. We can well recommend visiting, here are some highlights you won’t want to miss:

Haslemere museum

Architecture

There is plenty to see here, even if you just stroll around the town, you will be able to see so many wonderful examples from throughout the periods. It is worth finding Half Moon House on the High Street, thought to have been built circa 1500 it is known as the oldest property in the town, a handsome Grade II Listed property built with a timber frame, and tile-hung cladding which is typical of the area (one of the many Listed Buildings in the town.)  

The Haslemere Educational Museum is also on the High Street, an award winning independent museum which first opened in 1888. The museum is well worth a visit, with its eclectic mix of permanent displays which cover natural history, human history and geology, alongside their varied special exhibitions, which is currently celebrating the best of The Best Of Art Vinyl, running until the end of August

Haslemere blue plaque historic interest

Blue Plaques

The Haslemere Society have set up their own blue plaque scheme, celebrating notable people and events in history with links to the area. It is quite an impressive list charting the history of the town, including people such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (of Sherlock Holmes fame), George Eliot (or Marina Evans as she was really called) and Field Marshal Montgomery and events like the Haslemere Riot of 1855.

The plaques make an interesting trail around the town, for more information you can find the map here

Green post box Haslemere

Points of Interest

St Bartholomew’s Church was substantially rebuilt in 1871 in an early English style, on the side of a much older church dating back to at least 13th century. Within the church there are a few interesting interior details from the arts and craft era. On the organ chest is a tapestry by the famous Morris & Co depicting angel musicians, and most impressive is the stain glass memorial window for Lord Tennyson, designed by artist Edward Burne-Jones.

You can find a green ‘Penfold Postbox’ on the High Street. The replica postbox depicts the iconic hexagonal design from 1866, designed by local Haslemere architect, John Penfold.

Haslemere post office resturant

Retail

A few of our favorite places to shop include, the Haslemere Bookshop – a wonderful independent store with new and secondhand books, this is everything a book shop should be. Hemingways of Haslemere is a perfect pit stop for coffee, brunch and a little gift buying on the side. We have also enjoyed Red H Restaurant, a restaurant & cocktail bar set in the old post office, internally they have kept the original counter into the interior design which we love.

Archi walking Haslemere

Walking

Since Archi joined our family walking has become a much bigger part of our lives, obviously we are spoilt for choice living in the South Downs National Park, and Haslemere is no exception. Just off the High Street there is access to Swan Barn Farm, a peaceful woodland from which you can follow a lovely 2 mile walk (which Archi definitely approves of.) For those more adventurous, Haslemere is also the starting point for the Greensand Way, a 108 mile walk that takes you through Surrey and Kent, finishing at Hamstreet near Ashford on the east coast.

There is much more to see and do that we have not included in the list, but we hope the quick overview inspires you to visit – get in touch to let us know your highlights, we’d love to know.

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