What's on offer in the village of Amport
PUBLISHED: 11:11 25 July 2017
Full of chocolate box thatched cottages and surrounded by Hampshire and Wiltshire countryside, Amport offers walks, wildlife, good pubs and top attractions, as Claire Pitcher discovered
Gary Benton, assistant curator at the Hawk Conservancy Trust, lives in the village with wife Jemma and their children, Alfie and Grace, both of whom attend Amport Primary School. “We spend a lot of time in and around the village as both my wife and I work at the conservancy. We have close family and friends in Amport, in fact, my wife’s family go back four generations here.”
“As a small child growing up, first of all in North Yorkshire and then Wiltshire, I spent a lot of time in the countryside. My brother and I grew up with dog training, fishing, shooting and falconry. I work my spaniels at local shoots and I’m training a nine-month old working cocker spaniel called Sika who will hopefully follow the footsteps of my nine-year old working spaniel, Rolo.”
Gary, a parish councillor, says: “Life in Amport is pretty good. It’s a picturesque village full of thatch and a lovely village green. Although we live in Amport we are collective as a Parish with two villages (East Cholderton and Weyhill). “We’ve had a substantial sum donated to the parish by solar energy company INRG (Solar Parks) 15 Ltd. This means we can improve areas of the parish.
“We’re lucky to have some great facilities; a church, cricket pitch, the village green, two pub/restaurants and many footpaths. We have a new garden centre, the Rosebourne, plus, one of the south’s leading visitor attractions, The Hawk Conservancy Trust.”
Did you know?
The Elizabethan style, Grade II listed Amport House is currently the British Armed Forces Chaplaincy Centre, but it was originally built in 1857 by John Paulet, 14th Marquess of Winchester.
Part of the community
There are some interesting clubs and groups in the parish, including the Arts Society, which meets once a month. There’s also the Grateley and District WI, who meet in Grateley Village Hall on the first Thursday of the month. There’s a group social evening on August 3 2017. There are also the Village Friends, who meet on the first Thursday of the month at Grateley War Memorial Hall. There are always speakers and events, which in September 2017 will be Andy Thomas, talking about crop circles.
Grabbing a bite
In the village itself is the popular The Hawk Inn. They serve great local ales from Upham Brewery and seasonal produce is selected for the menu which includes Vicars Farm sausage of the day with bubble ‘n’ squeak, fillet of hake and aubergine and mozerella gratin with aioli tagliatelle. There are some lovely views if you choose to sit out in the garden. Book online at www.hawkinnamport.co.uk or call 01264 710371.
Making the headlines
It was reported in the Daily Echo on September 6 last year that various military sites in Hampshire were to be sold as part of a £225m scheme to make way for 17,000 homes. One of these sites was said to be Amport House. Consultations are ongoing.
If you’re on the A303 you can leave at the junction for the Hawk Conservancy Trust, following the country lane into the village. The postcode is SP11 8BA. The nearest large town, Andover, has a train station with a line going to Waterloo and all the way to Exeter. There are regular buses going from Andover to Amport – the Stagecoach number 5 service.