What’s on offer in Bishop’s Waltham
PUBLISHED: 11:34 10 January 2017 | UPDATED: 10:12 11 January 2017
With its historic Palace ruins, quaint streets and independent shops, Bishop’s Waltham is as much loved by visitors as it is by its friendly residents. Claire Pitcher paid a visit to find what makes it so special
Did you know?
Keen historians may already know it was William of Wykeham who supervised the building of both New College Oxford and Winchester College as well at the cathedral nave. But did you realise he also remodelled Bishop’s Waltham Palace in 1378? He was bishop from 1367 to 1404 and was Chancellor to Edward III and Richard II. His chief mason, William Wynford, carried out the work. They rebuilt the great hall, service area, kitchen and great chamber. He died at the palace in 1404.
To take home
Bishop’s Waltham is renowned for its plethora of independent shops. For something for your little ones visit Toy Box in Brook Court. They sell beautifully crafted wooden toys as well as Lego and railway sets. On the High Street, pop into Apple Crumble and Kitsch for some great kitchen-alia, from coffee machines to garlic presses. Luvvit Want It is on Cross Street and sells gorgeous interiors items, from clocks to candles. Plus there are so many more unique shops to explore.
Dates for your 2017 diary
There’s a country market every Friday morning, 9.15am to 11am, in Jubilee Hall. Bishop’s Waltham Music Festival is in July and has been going for 20 years. June 10 is the date for this year’s carnival organised by the Rotary Club and not forgetting the Durley Garden Fair, which this year will be on April 30 from 10am – 4pm, with free parking and children under 14 going free.
Making the headlines
At the end of 2014 six drivers came to a muddy end on a local dirt track. The unsuspecting motorists were foolish enough to follow their satnavs into a field after a dodgy Google Maps update. The app showed the path, Pondside Lane, as a road by mistake. Helpful residents eventually put up a warning sign.
Grabbing a bite
Piccola Roma has the number one rating on Trip Advisor for the best place to eat in the town. Meaning ‘Little Rome’ the family-run Italian offers tasty pizzas and an extensive list of pasta dishes. Book a table on 01489 892502. For tea, coffee and a lunch time snack a popular destination is The Anvil, and its menu is mostly gluten free. There are plenty of pubs too, including The Hampshire Bowman and The Barleycorn Inn.
Joan Ferrer has lived in Bishop’s Waltham for 16 years. She’s the lady responsible for setting up the annual Charity Garden Fair, the first one of which took place in 2003. She says it wasn’t long until the fair outgrew the grounds of Bishop’s Palace:
“In 2011 we moved the Fair to Winters Hill Hall in Durley, by kind invitation of Jamie and Carolyn Balfour. We have over 70 stalls, many of which have been with us since 2003. There’s entertainment for the children such as face painting, and birds of prey demonstrations.”
It’s not just the fair that she loves about living here: “The residents are friendly and welcoming. The High Street is very attractive, as are the adjacent streets, with many buildings going back to the 16th century and earlier.
“We have a strong café culture which brings people into the town from the surrounding countryside. The shopping is diverse and we have our own fishmonger, butchers, hardware store, bakers, greengrocer, electrical shop, and even a wool shop, not to mention clothes shops and a small supermarket. This makes Bishop’s Waltham completely self- sufficient.”
When she’s not organising events, Joan tends to her garden and goes for walks: “Bishop’s Waltham has wonderful walks and as it’s on the edge of South Downs National Park there is plenty of gorgeous countryside to explore. The recently renovated old railway track is a level walk, which encourages joggers and walkers.”
• 25 Hampshire dates for your 2017 diary - Got an empty calendar for 2017? We’re here to help you fill it. Claire Pitcher handpicks the year’s big events to make a note of