Plan your trip
Take the South West Train from London Waterloo to Petersfield. Trains are frequent and take approximately 1 hour. Look up times.
The surrounding area which is easily accessed by bus services, cycle routes and walking paths includes major tourist attractions of Jane Austen’s House and Museum at Chawton, 18th century Naturalist Gilbert White’s House at Selborne, The Hollycombe Steam Collection at Liphook, Historic Petersfield market town, National Trust Uppark House at South Harting, Stansted House at Rowlands Castle, Butser Ancient Farmstead, country parks and much more!
Petersfield is an ancient market town set in the South Downs National Park. It is mentioned in the Domesday book. Bronze Age and Iron Age burial mounds are still to be found on The Heath next to Heath Pond - this is a lovely tranquil green space not far from the busy Market Square. St. Peter’s Church in the centre of the town dates back to Norman times.
The town centre has many independent shops, restaurants and places of interest to visit and is a Conservation Area. The town is the second largest community in the country to be part of a National Park. In 2009 the town hosted celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of the coming of the railway, completing the link between London and the naval hub in Portsmouth.
The market runs every Wednesday and Saturday in the Square, there is a town Museum, Physic Garden, Festival Hall, and Open Air Swimming Pool - as well as a Blue Plaque Trail around the town.
There are a whole host of pubs, cafés and restaurants where you can eat or snack at the beginning or end of your walk.
Rowlands Castle as the name suggests, once had a castle here, which stood to the east of the present-day centre of the village. According to written records, its towers and battlements are known to have been in good repair in the 12th Century, when King Henry II spent several days there while hunting in the area. By the 14th Century it had fallen into ruins. Today, only the ditch, a bailey bank, and an earth mound remain in the private grounds of Deerleap House.
Brick and tile-making took place in this area as far back as Roman times, owing to the plentiful supply of clay. Pottery was also produced. In the mid-19th Century, a brickworks was established employing many local people, and despite being commercially successful for many years, a downturn in demand meant closure in 1967.
The Green itself is the largest of its kind in Hampshire.
Rowlands Castle lies just outside the boundary of the South Downs National Park and is a great jumping off point for walks, and for the Stansted Estate.
The view from the train windows between Rowlands Castle and Petersfield is particularly attractive, showing the beauty of the rolling South Downs National Park hills, with interesting buildings, landscapes and woods.
The East Hampshire Community Rail Partnership runs a travel and tourism information Hub next to Petersfield Railway Station where visitors can plan their itineraries for their stay. It is open Wednesdays to Sundays throughout the Summer from May to October 2017. Contact [email protected] for more information.