Hampshire is once again set to become a focal point of the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”.
From one of England’s favourite autumnal poems, to the spectacular autumnal gardens and parkland of an ‘18thcentury David Attenborough’ marking his 300th anniversary in 2020, Hampshire offers the perfect spot for celebrating nature’s seasonal show in the great outdoors.
Keats’ Ode To Autumn – inspired by the scenery the poet saw on a daily basis during a stay in Winchester, in 1819 – has helped to make Hampshire synonymous with a season famous for its falling leaves, spectacular colours, harvest festivals, cooling climate and darker nights.
Winchester, not only offers its visitors a base for autumnal walks directly from the city centre into the South Downs National Park, but also a chance to a follow in the footsteps of John on a walk outlined on the VisitHampshire website at https://www.visit-hampshire.co.uk/things-to-do/keats-walk-p1116801.
While last year marked the 200th anniversary of Keats’ Ode, Autumn officially began in the Northern Hemisphere this year on Tuesday, September 22 and will end on Monday, December 21.
Visitors drawn to Hampshire by Ode To Autumn will also have a chance to find out more about another world-famous author, Jane Austen, whose grave can be found inside Winchester Cathedral.
From Winchester, it’s a short drive to Chawton, and a chance to see Jane Austen’s House Museum and Chawton House.
Gilbert White’s House in nearby Selborne, meanwhile, is yet another strong autumnal attraction – and has been under the spotlight this year due to the 300th anniversary of the birth of the man regarded as the world’s first ecologist.
With restored gardens recreated using the notes Gilbert White kept in his ‘Garden Kalendar’, as well as ancient parkland, the site is also bordered by the Selborne hanger, a great beech clad hill, which turns spectacular shades of red and orange in autumn.
Boasting two National Parks, Hampshire as a whole can also offer plenty of seasonal food-and-drink options from its vineyards, to its cider making.
Autumnal breaks in Hampshire can be enjoyed throughout the county, and Visit Hampshire has a listing at http://www.visit-hampshire.co.uk/where-to-stay.
For all tourist information from Hampshire, visit http://www.visit-hampshire.co.uk