Why move to Selborne, Chawton and Holybourne

PUBLISHED: 01:16 30 October 2011 | UPDATED: 20:13 20 February 2013

A four bedroom house in Chawton with views over the Watercress line and beyond. £545,000 through Warren Powell-Richards, Alton, 01420 87379

A four bedroom house in Chawton with views over the Watercress line and beyond. £545,000 through Warren Powell-Richards, Alton, 01420 87379

This trio of villages offer rural life within easy reach of the market town of Alton and are ideal for commuters, says Jill Belcher...

Why move to Selborne, Chawton and Holybourne

This trio of villages offer rural life within easy reach of the market town of Alton and are ideal for commuters, says Jill Belcher...

The picture postcard village ofSelborneattracts visitors from across the globe who come to pay homage to the work and writing of the naturalistGilbert White.

The Rev White, whose groundbreaking volume, The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne has never been out of print since its publication in 1789, is now acknowledged as the worlds first ecologist. His home, The Wakes, is a museum with an average of 30,000 visitors a year, who also help the village to sustain facilities which are excellent for a place with fewer than 700 residents.

There are local shops, a post office, cafe and two pubs - the Selborne Arms and the Queens Hotel - and many walkers make it their base for delightful hikes to the surrounding hangers and Selborne Common.

The village has been the base forRobert Goldsmiths award-winning Selborne Potterysince 1985 and also established nearby is the Hampshire Artists Co-operative and the mouth and foot painting artists gallery.

Selborne Church of England Primary School was rated good by Ofsted in 2009 and properties include everything from barn conversions to listed cottages and modern homes. The village will be getting together on Saturday, December 3, from 5-9pm, for Christmas in Selborne, when stallholders will be taking over the decorated High Street. You are less than four miles from Altons railway station with trains to London Waterloo taking just over an hour, while it is only a dozen miles from the M3 and four miles from the A3.

Even more famous as a village isChawton, whose population of about 400 is boosted throughout the year by visits from tens of thousands of devotees of the work ofJane Austenand Chawton Cottage, where she lived and worked from 1809 to 1817, is now a museum. Chawton has a very active and sociable cricket club, established in 1883, as well as a 16th century pub, the Greyfriar and a cafe, called Cassandras Cup. St Nicholas Church is the centre of village life along with the village hall and Chawton House Library, which holds a magnificent collection of rare books.

Properties range from delightful period cottages to modern, larger homes and Chawton Church of England Primary School was graded good by Ofsted in 2010. Chawton is only about a mile and a half from Alton, so ideal for rail commuters, and by car it is moments from the A31.

On the other side of Alton lies the village ofHolybourne, an expanding community and home to about 1,500 people. Here you will find a wide variety of properties, from older village homes to modern detached houses and purpose-built retirement flats, all within a couple of miles of Alton.

The village pub is the White Hart, there is a post office and store and the Andrews Endowed Church of England Voluntary Aided School was graded satisfactory by Ofsted in 2009. Based in Holybourne is Treloar College, a specialist residential and day college for over-16s with physical disabilities from throughout the UK and overseas .

Holybourne has a village association, a cricket team, a recently renovated village hall, the amateur dramatic groups Holybourne Theatre and Holybourne Youth Theatre.

All three of these villages combine the advantages of active village life, local facilities, commutability and the bustling town of Alton on their doorstep.


Alton College, which has an excellent variety of sixth-form and adult education courses is rated as outstanding by Ofsted. Alton Convent School is a leading independent Catholic day school with a nursery for babies from six months and a prep school for boys and girls to 11 as well as a selective senior school for girls from
11 to 18. Based at Long Sutton, Lord Wandsworth College is a mixed independent for students from 11 to 18.

Check list

Alton and its facilities
on your doorstep

Large variety of properties

Active community life

Close to countryside

Excellent road links

Good rail links from Alton

Why I love living in Selborne

Nick and Hayley Carter, who have an eight-month-old daughter, Emily, took over the Selborne Arms in 2001. The couple have managed to tread the fine line between running a thriving local pub with a reputation for excellent beers and winning a high reputation for their superb food. The 17th century pub has been named this years CAMRA Pub of the Year and won the South East Region Best Creative Outdoor Area in the South East Region of the Great British Pub Awards.

Says Nick, We were looking for somewhere in the country that was not too isolated. Wed never heard of Selborne and looked around and saw there was potential for us here. This is a proper village, with a community where plenty is going on, including lots of local societies, a recreation ground and a village hall. There are a lot of working farms, plenty of local produce and people still working on the land. It is also a really nice, pretty place to live in the South Downs National Park.

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