Visit the Jane Austen House Museum in Chawton
Within 5 minutes walk from St Mary's Hall Bed and Breakfast along a quiet Hampshire lane to Chawton, Jane Austen's House is where she lived worked, writing her most famous novels.
Visit Chawton House Library
Chawton House Library is a unique collection of early women's writing. St Mary's Hall B&B, Alton guests have visited from all over the world to attend seminars and meetings in the library which is only 2 minutes walk from the Jane Austen House Museum and is located in the former home and working estate of Jane Austen's brother.
Gilbert White's House and Garden | The Oates Collection
Selborne which is only 6 miles from St Marys Hall, Alton, contains Gilbert White's House and Garden which is extremely popular with our guests. The museum contains Gilbert White's original manuscript of "The History and Antiquities of Selborne", published in 1789. His work was the first catalogue all forms of Natural History found within his Hampshire garden. After many years of scientific documentation, it became an important stepping stone and reference to Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution.
The same museum also contains The Oates Collection with many exhibits relating to the Oates family, also from Selborne, including Captain Lawrence Oates who is famous for his part in Captain Scott's race to the South Pole in 1911.
The Watercress Line Steam Railway
Running from Alton train station, which connects directly to London Waterloo, is The Watercress Line Steam railway (also known as The Mid-Hants railway). The line was saved by volunteers in 1973 and they still run a busy timetable, so you can travel through scenic countryside to Alresford, another lovely Hampshire town. There are many events throughout the year, including Dining trains, Thomas-the-Tank engine specials, Real Ale trains and "War on the Line" events.
Just standing on the platform and watching the trains arrive and depart is a wonderful experience.
Winchester, Portsmouth, Goodwood, National Trust properties...
Alton is a short journey from Winchester, the former capital of Saxon England. It is beautiful city with excellent shopping and places to visit, including the 900 year old cathedral and King Arthur's Hall with its Medieval Round Table.
Portsmouth is another excellent visit, particularly to see the Historic Naval Shipyard which contains several amazing war-ships, including The Mary Rose (which was King Henry VIII's war-time flagship) and Admiral Nelson's Victory, on which he fought the Battle of Waterloo and fell to his death. The Victory is a unique experience...
There are so many other local attractions and events, as our Visitor Information video explains, including the National Trust and English Heritage properties, The South Downs with its long distance footpaths and National Cycle network, Goodwood for racing, Farnborough Air Show...