CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hampshire Life today CLICK HERE

What the Dickens?

PUBLISHED: 15:43 15 September 2009 | UPDATED: 16:17 20 February 2013

1.

1.

From its Saxon roots to its contemporary charm, Charlotte Tomlinson-White explores the north Hampshire town of Andover

What's in a name?
Andover originates from the word 'aet Andefers'; a name given to one of the Kings of Wessex's hunting lodges in 962.


Location, location, location
Situated on the River Anton, Andover lies within the north west of Hampshire and contains numerous villages including Appleshaw, Grateley and Vernham Dean.


What's it got going for it?
Andover is steeped in history. Dating back to Saxon times, the majority of its buildings are from the 18th century. Narrow walkways lead you down the High Street to 'The Andover Time Ring', many trails - including two poetry trails - and inspiring museums.
Andover is brimming with natural beauty with Anton Lakes, Harewood Forest and numerous parks right on its doorstep. For the best panoramic views of Andover head to 'The Ladies Walk'.
Andover is in the enviable position of being surrounded by several major historic sites such as Stonehenge and Winchester, pretty villages such as Wherwell and Stockbridge, great shopping in Basingstoke or Southampton and places of natural beauty such as the New Forest - all within easy access.


The case against
Visitors and locals alike don't seem to appreciate the cultural significance and wealth of local amenities Andover has to offer. Poor support of local events, such as the Andover Carnival, has been said to hinder the town's potential.
The traffic system is a perennial issue, particularly around the new Asda supermarket complex which seems to bottleneck, especially during rush hour. With seemingly endless roundabouts and a convoluted one way system the average driver can be forgiven for getting confused.


The lows
During the Victorian times Andover was at the centre of public outrage. The Andover scandal of 1845-6, reported extensively by The Times and followed passionately by the public, brought to light the hardship of the workhouse regime.
Starvation, brutality and sexual abuse were daily occurrences at the hands of McDougal (The Master of the Workhouse) it revealed. This notorious scandal is said to be one of many that inspired Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist.
During the 1960's Andover became an overspill town for London. Thousands of poor quality houses were built, as well as industrial estates, a bypass and a new shopping centre (the Chantry Centre). Although it brought economic growth, this altered the town's quaint charm.


The highs
As well as being situated on the ancient Harrow Way, Andover was an important rest stop for coaches on their way to London, Southampton and Oxford during the 18th Century.
It also had its own canal - the Andover to Redbridge Canal - providing essential transportation for coal, manure, slate, stone and architectural goods to and from Southampton.Andover received military acclaim when the RAF opened an airfield there during World War I; it was the birth place for the first viable long-range electronic navigation system. Andover Airfield was also home to the first European helicopter pilot training school during World War II.
Rooksbury Mill Local Nature Reserve, one of the town's most scenic locations, has recently been awarded the esteemed Green Flag status.


Top 5 things to do in and around Andover
1. Adrenaline junkie? Satisfy your need for speed at the Thruxton Motorsport Centre (01264 882222).
2. Pop along to Whitchurch Silk Mill and learn all about the ancient art of weaving silk at this working 18th Century water mill. 3 Bird lovers will jump at the chance to get close to birds of prey at The Hawk Conservancy Trust (01264 773850).
4. Explore the gallery at the Fair Fairground Craft & Design Centre (01264 77343), or even commission an art piece.
5 Andover Museum & Museum of the Iron Age (01264 366283) is a must for history enthusiasts.

Where to...
Have a coffee: Head to Coffee Carousel for your caffeine fix and sit back and relax in this comfortable coffee shop (01264 368849).
Do lunch: Enjoy a traditional family lunch at The Copper Kettle, (01264 351175) with delicious home cooked food.
Eat dinner: Tickle your taste buds at The Black Swan at Monxton (01264 710260) known locally as the 'Mucky Duck', it has a reputation for great food sourced locally.
Go for a drink: With a stage for live music, a roaring log fire and a wide range of fine ales and lagers, you'll savour a drink at the Hare and Hounds at Charlton Down (01264 735672).

My Andover
Phil Evans, Professional Wedding Photographer and the UK's very first qualified Master Craftsman with the Guild of Wedding Photographers.Phil is also a member of Andover's Carnival Committee.
How long have you lived in Andover?
I've lived in Andover for most of my life, having come down from London as a very young child, and though I now travel quite a bit in the course of my work, Andover will always be home.
Where do you like to go out?
When I'm out and about in Andover, I like to visit the farmers market in the High Street as it's very attractive to look at with the Guildhall as a backdrop to the green and white market canopies, and there's a real nostalgia
about it.
What does Andover do best?
Andover does community best: It may have grown in size but has still managed to retain its market town feel - and people are warm and friendly wherever you go.
And the worst?
The only real downside to the town is the sad loss of many of our independent traders. Few remain, but many have now disappeared.
When you have visitors - where do you take them in the area?
There's something for everyone in Andover: From the Flying Army Museum, Finkley Farm and The Test Valley Tapestries to shopping, cinema and pubs - there's so much to choose from, you can find something to suit all ages and interests.
Describe Andover in one sentence suppose if I had to describe Andover in a single sentence it would be as a charming market town, comfortable and friendly with lots to see and do.

More from Out & About

Blow away the Christmas cobwebs on a walk with fine views and a striking memorial

Read more
Yesterday, 14:07

Treat yourself to lunch and tea with a visit to one of these fantastic Hampshire tea rooms.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:06

Is there anything more refreshing than a stroll on a crisp winter’s day? We don’t think so! Here are a few of our favourite rambles across the county to enjoy this season

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

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

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

With 100 years since the last guns were fired during World War One, we remember the sacrifices Hampshire made

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

With the New Forest, South Downs and a picturesque coastline, Hampshire is an amazing place for a walk. We round up a few of our favourites

Read more
Friday, November 30, 2018

There is so much to see and do in Hampshire over the festive season, from carol services to markets and of course amazing food and drink and our day-by-day guide brings you the pick of the best

Read more
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

If you’re planning to add a new extension, remodel the internal layout or create a brilliant new kitchen overlooking a landscaped garden, a visit to the South East Homebuilding & Renovating Show (19-20 January 2019) at Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre is a must

Read more
Monday, November 26, 2018

Huge Christmas markets, frosty countryside and cosy pubs; winter in Hampshire is second to none…

Read more
Monday, November 26, 2018

When it comes to celebrating the festive season, Winchester is alive with the sound of music. From Cathedral choirs to community singers and from family musicals to classical concerts, there’s something for everyone

Read more
Friday, November 23, 2018

Get in the festive spirit with our selection of the Hampshire's top dining experiences this Christmas…

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

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

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

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
 
A+ South & South West

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad

Local Business Directory



Property Search