Petersfield Tour

29 November 2022 by Simon Drayson

Petersfield garden v2

Petersfield, often referred to as the Gateway to the South Downs National Park, is a very pretty market town in east Hampshire, just 10 miles from our studio in Midhurst. The lively town has a lot to offer, with weekly markets and annual festivals, including the Petersfield Christmas Festival on Sunday 11th December.

Petersfield church

Around town

Petersfield Museum and Art Gallery

Located in the heart of the town, the Petersfield Museum celebrates the history of Petersfield through a mix of literature, archaeology, photography, art and historic dress. Interestingly the museum is housed in the old Town Courthouse, adjacent Police Station and Stable block, which have been remodelled but have kept some of the original features of the buildings, including police cells and the courthouse.  

Petersfield Bookshop

The Petersfield Bookshop is a fabulous shop specialising in secondhand books and antiques, a must visit for any book-lover. The shop is crammed full of books and curious things, all arranged in a beautifully chaotic way over several rambling rooms, which you could easily get happily lost in if you had the time.  

St Peter’s Church

St Peter’s Church is at the centre of the town, just off the main square. The current church is Norman in origin, thought to have been founded by Queen Matilda, wife of William the Conqueror. Much of the original building can still be found, although there have been many restorations over the ages to this important building.

Petersfield lake

Health and leisure

The Heath

The Heath is an impressive 69 acre open space, complete with a 22 acre lake, all amazingly within walking distance of the town centre. The area has much to offer everyone, including the children’s play areas, boat hire and fishing on the lake, walks and café.

Petersfield Phyic Garden

You can find the Phyic Garden just off the High Street, this little oasis of calm is located in one of the old towns ‘burgage’ plots. The private garden has been open to the public since the 1980’s, it is a type of formal herb garden, inspired by the Chelsea Physic Garden.

Petersfield Open Air Pool

For the warmer months the Petersfield open air pool is well worth visiting, opened in 1962 is the only open air public pool in Hampshire. The pool is heated from spring to autumn, with the boilers getting switched off in mid-September for those brave enough for a cold dip! The pool is closed for the season once the water drops below 14°C.

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Photo by @anniespratt

Local Attractions

Chawton House

About 10 miles north of Petersfield is Chawton House, an Elizabethan country house and gardens which is open to the public. The house is run as a research centre for the study of early women’s writing, their library contains an incredible collection of over 4,500 rare works by women writers from the period 1660 – 1860.

The house has long connection with women writers, most notably with Jane Austen who stayed here and has referenced the ‘great house’ in her private letters.

Uppark House and Gardens

The National Trust property, Uppark House, can be found is just 6 miles to the south east of Petersfield, a stunning country house with exquisite furnishings. The house is open to the public and the gardens, designed by Capability Brown and Humphry Repton, are beautiful throughout the seasons. Luckily for Archi the gardens have dog friendly routes too!

Petersfield walking Archi dog

Eat and Drink

Around town

There are many places to eat and drink around the town, Josie’s is a great place to grab brunch and a decent coffee, similarly there is Madeleines Kitchen which we are sorely missing from Midhurst after it recently closed our local branch.

 Sky Park Farm

On the outskirts of town, you can find Sky Park Farm, a destination well worth finding for all you foodies. The Grazing Rooms offer classic modern British dishes, with a focus on serving local produce and emphasis on showcasing their venison on the menu, happily there are also a few vegan which keeps Simon happy, which in turn keeps Darren happy! Alongside the Grazing Rooms you can also enjoy the deer park, farm shop, butchers, adventure playground and picnic grounds.

Hambledon Vineyard 

Hambledon vineyard, about 10 miles away from Petersfield, is well worth the journey. The vineyard was established in 1952, making it Britain’s oldest commercial vineyard, it now produces some of the finest English sparkling wines. It is possible to join a tour of the estate and enjoy some wine tasting, they even have a pop up restaurant for those wanting to linger for longer.

Do let us know if we have missed your favourite place to visit in and around Petersfield, we always like to learn about hidden gems we might have missed. If you have enjoyed this blog post don’t miss the one’s we have written about Haslemere, Midhurst and Billinghurst.

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