The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Hampshire Edition

Wouldn't you though?

Hampshire's very own Summerdown Mint produces a gorgeous line of bath soaks, hand and body lotions, candles, reed diffusers, mint creams... and more (if you're tempted, read on for a cheeky Mother's Day Giveaway).

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Swallows and Amazons Stays

25 Feb 2017

Beach holidays in Britain always come with that anxious niggle – will it tank down for the whole week? Well, how about an inland lake or river holiday as an alternative? The landlocked Muddy editors (*sob*) have scoured their counties for some stonking rental properties with their own little piece of liquid heaven to tempt you through spring and summer.

STAY IN… BERKSHIRE

River Arts Club, Maidenhead

Who needs the coast when you can have the mighty Thames?

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Chic Sleeps at Rathfinny Wine Estate

22 Feb 2017

It’s been a long winter so let’s be honest, a short-break would not go amiss.  The brilliant Debbie, aka. Ms Muddy Sussex, found this stunning winery across the Hants/Sussex borders in the sprawling South Downs. Have you popped over to Muddy Sussex yet? Oh, but you must! Over to you Debbie…

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Ever keeled over on a settee hugging a bottle of Pinot Noir? No, me neither <cough>.

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New! Muddy’s Best Reads

21 Feb 2017

Need a new book to get stuck into? Muddy, as ever, is here to help. Taking being a bookworm to a whole new level is Muddy’s Kerry Potter. She gets 300 – yes, THREE HUNDRED shiny new tomes delivered to her house every month as she’s also books editor at a glossy mag (won’t somebody think of her postman and his lumbago?). So who better to do a monthly round-up of her favourite new releases?

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Top Five Things to Do in Hants

21 Feb 2017

Half-term planning’s done and dusted, no time to draw breath though Muddy Readers things to do, things to see…

 

Gangsta Granny, Anvil Arts, Basingstoke, Thur 23 – Sun 26 Feb

Friday nights with Granny means only one thing for Ben: cabbage soup, cabbage pie and cabbage cake. Boring! But, oh how very wrong he is. David Walliams’ best-selling children’s book (yes, he of Little Britain fame)  has been adapted for stage to huge acclaim.

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Muddy Walks: The Mill Trail, Whitchurch

18 Feb 2017

Finally, spring is doing its things: there’s warmth in the sun, carpets of snowdrops, and children in the park after school.

Time for a good leg-stretch then.  The Mill Trail in Whitchurch, North Hampshire, is an easy, circular hour-and-a-half. Flat, push-chair friendly with kissing gates all the way and a rope-swing en-route, it hugs the River Test — Hampshire’s most famous chalk-stream — then flattens out through rolling farmland ending in Bere Mill.

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Wine with Guts: Caviste showcases Australia’s finest wines

14 Feb 2017

OK, time to dump the jammy Jacob’s Creek associations, turns out that Oz produces some mighty fine wine. Forgive the negativity — I’m married to a Kiwi so a touch of Antipodean rivalry goes with the territory, but my, my it seems that Caviste is about to turn my prejudices WAY down-under; sorry, but that was too easy.

If you haven’t come across this Overton-based wine merchant, then pop down (the Co op, a.k.a.

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Muddy Walks: St Mary Bourne

14 Feb 2017

We live in the countryside, many of us have dogs — walking is in our DNA, but my gosh sometimes it’s a struggle especially when you factor in busy roads, parking and deeply reluctant mini-Mudlets (see this post on Geocaching).

With this in mind, can I recommend an easy circuit in St Mary Bourne, North Hampshire? A manageable part of Hampshire’s Test Way, it’s a reasonably easy, pushchair-friendly circular route with off-street parking, a children’s playground and a pub that backs onto one of Hampshire’s famous chalk-streams.

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Half Term Survival Guide

13 Feb 2017

Hands up who’s tired of grey, February skies? My children would agree. All this SATs pressure and limited daylight means only one thing, endless sofa bouncing. So before the little dears trash every inch of the house, get them outside quick. Need pointers? Read on.

 

Tree Climbing, Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Romsey, Mon 20 Feb

Get those classroom-bound kids outside, after a day climbing trees they’ll be fit as fiddles and bouncing with confidence.

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How To Do London Fashion Week (if you’re not Anna Wintour)

11 Feb 2017

London Fashion Week used to be a case of ‘if your name’s not down, you’re not coming in’ but these days the biannual round of fashion shows are a much more democratic affair. While you’re still unlikely to find yourself snuggled up front row next to the editor of French Vogue (wearing sunglasses indoors and a ‘whatever’ expression mandatory), there are plenty of other ways to get involved. With the AW17 collections being showcased in the capital from 17-21 February, Muddy’s Kerry Potter – a glossy mag journo escapee and veteran LFW attendee – has some ideas for soaking up the fashion vibes, even if your FROW ticket got (*cough*) lost in the post.

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Wouldn’t You Though?

9 Feb 2017

Half-term is just round the corner and we’re all Cornwall-dreaming, right? What better way to get us in the mood than homeware inspired by Poldark’s county.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Hampshire Edition