A glass of gin and tonic cooled with ice on a tray standing on the books

A glass of gin and tonic cooled with ice on a tray standing on the books ()

Nestled along the valley of the crystal-clear waters of the River Test, just a short distance from London lies quaint and historic Whitchurch, Hampshire. Home to literary legends, unique shops, breathtaking views and scenic trails, this little enclave is bursting with day trip opportunities.

Only around 200 chalk streams and rivers exist in the world, and 85 percent of them are in the UK. Emerging from chalk aquifers, the resulting purified waters are naturally filtered and clear. In fact, in this area of the country, the waters are commonly referred to as “gin clear,” and for good reason.

Just a few minutes down the road from the Whitchurch Silk Mill and nearby to the Watership Down Inn, visitors can tour the production hub and botanical greenhouses of Bombay Sapphire Gin.

From tours to tastings, cocktail masterclasses and cinema nights, the distillery offers a wide range of exciting visitor experiences, including a few special holiday-themed events.

Need another reason to add this unique stop to your day trip agenda? Bombay Sapphire grows its own botanicals in the on-site greenhouses and was awarded the Wildlife Habitat Council Certification in 2023 for its efforts to support local wildlife and biodiversity.

 If you find yourself in need of a bit of quiet and the crowds of London have left you desiring the picturesque countryside, a day out in Whitchurch and its surrounding areas just might be the tranquility you seek. Accessible via direct train from London’s Waterloo station or by car via the M3, M4, A34, and A303, the area’s attractions make for lovely stops on the way to Bath, Winchester, the New Forest, or the coast.

author picture
Tamala Malerk is a writer and editor with Stars and Stripes Europe. She has been with SSE since April 2022 writing articles all about travel, lifestyle, community news, military life and more. In May 2022, she earned her Ph.D. in History and promises it is much more relevant to this job than one might think.

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