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Overview

Smack in the heart of shooting country, just two minutes' drive from the A31 between Farnham and Alton, the Anchor is an idyllic country inn surrounded by sweeping fields in all directions - this is one of Hampshire's best kept secrets and once you visit you will want to keep it that way!

Huge lead planters stand guard at either side of the Snug and Saloon Bar doors of the spruced up exterior of the 16th-century building. Be prepared to be 'wowed' by the cosy interior, for the original bars sport sagging, head-cracking low oak beams, glowing log fires, rugs on wooden floors, and the walls are crammed with old prints and photographs.

With papers and magazines to peruse, unreserved tables, stools at the bar, and local ales on handpump, it is still very much a pub and one that wants to welcome local drinkers. Seamlessly blending with the beamed bars, the impressive dining room extension offers slightly more formal surroundings, with tables laid up with gleaming cutlery and glasses, and candleabras.

The menu champions traditional and seasonal British fare, and there's a spacious garden terrace for al fresco wining and dining with views across fields. Literary-themed country-chic bedrooms are very comfortable.

Rooms from

5 doubles £100


Good to know

  • All major credit cards accepted
  • Private & alfresco dining
  • Disabled access
  • Parking available
  • Dog stay £15

Scenic and serene
An idyllic country inn surrounded by sweeping fields in all directions and perfect for spending time outdoors in the South Downs National Park.

A touch of culture
A good base for exploring historic sites such as the home of 18th-century writer Jane Austen and the medieval city of Winchester.

Rooms

The five eclectic bedrooms, decorated in a cottage chic style, feature Tudor-style beams, sleigh beds and charming antique pieces - perfect for a peaceful few days away.

Each is named after a literary great of the past and includes a stacked book shelf, creating the perfect setting in which to curl up with something to read, a cup of tea and homemade biscuits, or pamper yourself with our handmade Noble Isle bathing products in your en suite power shower.

For the ultimate country escape, don't miss the chance to stay in our Rupert Brooke suite, named after the acclaimed British war poet, which has floor-to-ceiling French windows and a private terrace offering fabulous views of Hampshire's beautiful countryside.

Restaurant & bar

For a quiet drink, linger in the cosy bar where you'll find chunky, low timbered ceilings, plenty of inviting cubby holes (including a 14th century wood-panelled snug) and a delicious range of regional ales and craft spirits.

For food lovers, the restaurant offers award-winning traditional and seasonal British fare - think locally shot partridge, Severn and Wye smoked salmon and Dorset veal, for example - and tempting Sunday roasts. If the weather's nice, take advantage of it and in their sunny garden terrace to enjoy a spot of al fresco dining.

Private dining

For banquet-style feasts, intimate candlelit dinner parties or boardroom-style business meetings, the private 'State Room', featuring a long wooden table seating up to 30 people, is ideal. The walls are lined with paintings of historic British writers, poets and other proud patrons, creating a distinguished old world feel. The room, which overlooks the garden, even has its own private terrace should you feel the urge for a cigar or two.

Things to do

Set on a quiet country road and surrounded by fields, the Anchor Inn is the perfect place to get away from it all. It's a great base for exploring the nearby South Downs National Park, which features ancient woodlands, swooping chalk downs and more than 700 miles of bridleways and footpaths, including the South Downs Way.

Closer to the inn, slip on your wellies for a country stroll or take a vintage train ride on the Watercress Line - trains depart to Alresford from nearby Alton - and admire the scenery from your carriage.

Tree lovers should head to Winkworth Arboretum, managed by the National Trust, which is home to more than 1,000 species of trees and shrubs, and is a must-see during bluebell season. A little further afield you will find Micheldever Wood, which offers year-round beauty.

Getting here

Directions

Nearest train station: Bentley
Taxi from station: about 5min
Drive: Winchester 31min; Guildford 31min; Southampton; London 1hr 23min

Address

Lower Froyle, Alton, Hampshire GU34 4NA

Prices & availability