CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hampshire Life today CLICK HERE

Everything you need to know about Odiham

PUBLISHED: 10:11 26 November 2013 | UPDATED: 10:11 26 November 2013

Fancy a pub lunch? The George offers some great homecooked dishes

Fancy a pub lunch? The George offers some great homecooked dishes

Archant

With a castle once fit for a king and a picturesque High Street lined with Georgian houses and independent shops, Odiham has long been a popular place to live and visit.

A potted history

As always, the first ever written record of Odiham’s existence appeared in the Domesday Book (1086). Odiham has been spelt very differently throughout history, such as Wudiham and Odiam. One of the most significant historical sites in Odiham is the castle which King John added to his collection in 1214. It cost him over £1,000 to build, but meant he had a stronghold halfway between Windsor and Winchester. During the 14th century Parliament sat at the castle and King David II of Scotland was also imprisoned there for 11 years. From the 15th century its only use was as a hunting lodge.

The Pest House in the village once housed local people and travellers who suffered from the plague and other diseases. It was an ‘isolation hospital’ and is one of just five surviving examples. It was the Odiham Society who restored the building in 1981 to form a Heritage Centre.

It was also in Odiham that the Royal Veterinary Society was formed, thanks to the Odiham Agricultural Society. It’s fair to say that the foundation led to the birth of the veterinary profession in Britain.

Shop till you drop

Like so many of Hampshire’s towns, Odiham has its fair share of small, independent shops. Taking a stroll down the picturesque High Street will take you past Originals Jewellery, Katherine Jane and Caviste, to name just a few. Also dotted around are a selection of traditional shops – Swirleeze sweet shop and Lloyds Pharmacy plus there’s the award-winning farm shop, Newlyn’s, on the outskirts – a great place to pick up some beautifully fresh produce and bits and bobs for over the festive season.

Food & drink

Italian restaurant El Castello (01256 704281) is on the High Street which promises to ‘deliver culinary delight to even the most discerning of palates’. On its menu you will find traditional favourites such as spaghetti bolognese and a delicious sounding list of pizzas. If Italian isn’t your thing try The Grapevine Bistro Restaurant (01256 701122) which is also on the High Street. The family-owned restaurant serves seasonal food made from fresh, locally sourced produce on their A la Carte menu. Try the roasted rack of English lamb or whole lemon sole. There are also a couple of good pubs in Odiham, including The Bell in the Bury and The George Hotel and Restaurant. Plus don’t forget if it’s just a cuppa and piece of cake you’re after visit The Snug, a small but perfectly formed coffee shop on the High Street.

Out & about

Once you’ve window shopped and scoffed some tea and cake on the High Street take a trip to Odiham Castle – one of the three strongholds built by King John, to add to the 90 he had already. The footpath has recently been restored and a there have been lots of new trees planted that show you the way into the ruins. It’s open every day and admission is free.

It may be a little too chilly to take to the canal on a boat at the moment, but come March the whole family could get onboard at Galleon marine which is based in Odiham. You can hire anything from a narrowboat to row boats and canoes to explore the canal.

A Site of Special Scientific interest, Odiham Common is well worth a visit. In the summer it’s great for picnics and it’s just as picturesque on frosty winter mornings when you might just spot some local wildlife.

Getting around

Great links to London north on the M3 has made Odiham a popular place for commuters to call home. Being in the north of Hampshire also means neighbouring counties Surrey and Berkshire are about a 15-minute drive away. The nearest train station is in Hook, about eight minutes away, with services to London Waterloo and Basingstoke (among others). There are regular bus services too, going from the High Street to Hook, Crookham, Fleet, Farnborough and Frimley.

Share what you most love about Odiham with us at facebook.com/hampshirelife and twitter.com/hampshirelife and discover a new Hampshire town and village every month by taking advantage of the latest money saving deal at subscriptionsave.co.uk/hampshire

More from Out & About

This thriving community in North Hampshire is a desirable location for residents and visitors alike

Read more

Running a successful regional theatre means thinking beyond the bricks and mortar to reach out to the community. We ask four of Hampshire’s leading impresarios, how do they ensure that the show goes on?

Read more
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Savour spectacular views of the Needles and Alum Bay and discover history tales on this invigorating walk on the Isle of Wight

Read more
Monday, November 12, 2018

With late-night shopping, fairs, Christmas markets and plenty of food and drink, we’ve rounded up some of the best festive offerings in Hampshire

Read more
Monday, November 12, 2018

Havant a clue where to go or what to do? Here are some pointers to parks, paths and performances

Read more
Monday, November 12, 2018

With its connections to Shakesepeare and royalty, the village of Titchfield is full of surprises

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

As the mellow fruitfulness of autumn takes hold across the New Forest, what could be better than spending a few days in and around Lyndhurst? We take a tour and come up with our top 8

Read more
Monday, November 5, 2018

Hampshire is full of autumnal scenes this month, so we asked the county’s photographers to share their secret spots for stunning vistas

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

We round up some of the best events and things to do across Hampshire this month

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Remember, remember… Here’s a quick round up of some stunning displays across Hampshire this year

Read more
Monday, October 22, 2018

Is this the ultimate city break? Winchester has it all: from ancient history to space exploration, plus cafes, cocktails, culture and countryside… But with so much to do, choices are going to have to be made

Read more
Monday, October 22, 2018

Our guide to some of the best Halloween events on offer across Hampshire this October

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

The community shop is thriving. Why? And what makes the perfect village store? We went in search…

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

From Jane Austen to Karl Marx, our towns and villages have fascinating links to some of the biggest historical celebrities. Viv Micklefield follows in their footsteps with the help of a blue plaque or two

Read more
 
A+ South & South West

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Latest Competitions & Offers

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad

Local Business Directory



Property Search