British villages are renowned for being quaint, and they always make me feel warm and fuzzy inside when driving through the narrow streets.
Some villages may be closer to you and offer more than you think… Wickham in Hampshire is one of those villages! Perched in between Portsmouth and Southampton, and literally 3 minutes drive from Fareham Town Centre, it is a great place to visit and offers something different that city centers and busy towns can’t.
Packed full of boutique shops, antique shops, tea shops, coffee shops and traditional pubs make Wickham village a great destination for shopping, lunch, dinner and walks for the whole family and it is surrounded by history and beautiful Georgian architecture.
So what exactly can you do in Wickham? Here are my TOP 5 things to do!
Shops for gifts, cards, fashion, children’s clothes, toys, homewares, shabby chic, etc…
Find that special gift, spoil yourself or even just browse… with so many shops dotted around the village centre it is a lovely walk in between them, and as its a village most people give you a ‘hello’ on the way, lovely! Wickham also has two small shopping centers, both with cafe’s too so you can shop and fuel yourself under one roof!
At Christmas the village is lit up all around the square and they have an enormous Christmas tree. The decorations in the shops and the window displays look beautiful.
There is a chocolate shop too! One whole shop dedicated to chocolate. Do I seriously need to say more?
There has been some new shops opened in Warwick Lane find out more about this here.
2. Antiques Shops
Shops stock furniture, jewellery, military memorabilia, medals, coins, stamps, glass, crystal, china and more!
Do you collect things? Do you look for things of value? Do you like buying unique things? If you answered yes to just one of those… you like antique shops!
Wickham has at least four and if you look just a little further afield you will find many more! Anything from furniture, jewellery, military, medals, coins, stamps, glass, crystal and many more things. Literally a treasure trove of shops!
Notably Chesapeake Mill is an old mill that has been converted to sell antiques and Warwick Lane Shopping Centre has 4 units inside that sells antiques and collectibles.
3. Places to eat… and coffee or course!
Get lunch covered with a choice of coffee shops, tea rooms, cafes, pubs and restaurants.
If you are a foodie like me, just take a look around the village to find what suits you. The village bakery sells freshly made, Lillys Tea Room is a popular spot, Bay Tree Tea Rooms is ideal for homemade food and Wickham coffeehouse has freshly prepared paninis… and coffee (obviously).
For pub grub, I’d recommend the Square Cow, where they put a twist on the traditional pub food and Greens Restaurant for a quiet sit down meal.
Wickham also boasts two Indian restaurants, so take your pick.
Walk, cycle, run or ride, the Meon Valley Trail is fantastic for all!
You may think that it all ends with the large market square, but it doesn’t! For a short break, wander to the water-meadows and follow the river to the bridge where the river falls over the cascade. It’s idyllic in the summer and gorgeous in the snow.
If you wan’t to venture further, crossing the water-meadows bridge and walking up the steps to the ‘old railway’ where you can head left or right for a lovely flat walk through the trees.
Heading left (North) takes you up to Station Car Park, a 5 minute walk on foot following the river and crossing the bridge for a wonderful view of the 900 year St. Nicholas Church.
The walk forms part of the Meon Valley Trail and take about 6 hours to walk or 2 hours to cycle, but allow time to return as its a non-circular route. Download the leaflet here. I personally love biking this route and you can stop at a couple pubs on the way too! Cycling the Meon Valley Trail link.
5. History Walks
The buildings and area has so much history, learn about it as you walk around the village.
If you fancy keeping it local, take a walk around Wickham and find the many information boards dotted around the village with historical information about the buildings and areas or interest.
The Wickham History Society can account for 2000 years of history in the local area and organise guided walks of Wickham Village including the QR History Boards.
Villages need YOU!
Please don’t forget that villages need your support and you can help by stopping in to use the cozy little coffee shops and boutiques that some of them have.
We wan’t to keep our vibrant village and their shops, so we thank all of you who use them so very much. Village shops tend to be small and independent business and rely on visitors and locals alike to provide their services and products.