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Overview

Looking for cracking pub with rooms just off the A3, a handy stopover en route to the ferry, or to rest your head while tackling the South Downs Way, or a place to stay for Goodwood Races, then this 16th-century Sussex treasure should be high on your list of places to stay.

Set below the magnificent South Downs in sleepy South Harting, the White Hart has been rescued and refurbished by Upham Pubs and the rather plain, whitewashed exterior belies the true age of this rural village hostelry. Step inside to find a rustic and untouched interior, a series of cosy rambling rooms that ooze character and traditional charm - think, rugs on oak floors, aged beams and wall timbers, glowing log fires in big stone fireplaces, warm blue hues on wonky walls, and fat church candles and fresh flowers on old dining tables.

It's the place to hunker down with the daily papers and a pint of Upham Tipster after an invigorating downland hike - walks radiate from the front door. It's open early for great coffee, hearty breakfasts and there's always a cake or two on the bar.

Rooms from

8 doubles/twin: £100

Good to know

  • All credit cards taken
  • Alfresco dining
  • Parking available

Family favourite

Kids can expect a warm welcome; they have their own of fresh prepared food; Room 1 has rustic wooden bunk beds; and Room 7 has a tucked away single bed.

Dog-friendly

Do bring your canine chum as dogs are really welcome in the bar and in three of the bedrooms, all of which have wooden floors and easy access to the large garden.

Alfresco

Seek out the beautiful garden overlooking fields to the South Downs.

Rooms

Careful thought has been given to kitting out the bedrooms, ensuring they are dog and family friendly and they appeal to walkers, business folk and those escaping for a romantic night away.

Five rooms are hidden away in a tile-hung brick barn out back, still looking every inch an old barn with its big, blue-painted doors. Two special hideaways for families or couples (Rooms 1 & 7) are tucked away at the back of the ancient inn; one suite has a lofty vaulted ceiling room with head-cracking beams, a vast bed topped with the best linen and down and colourful throws, a deep sofa, and rustic bunk beds hidden behind a plank wall, which are adult-sized and great for family of walkers.

Room 7, housed in the former private dining room, is equally rustic, with wood floor, striking book wallpaper, two easy chairs and a tucked away single bed - perfect for families. Smart tiled bathrooms have contemporary fittings, bathrobes and Ren toiletries. Also, expect good teas, fresh coffee, freeview TVs, and a good information pack.

Restaurant & bar

The kitchen delivers good pub food, all fresh prepared from local and quality ingredients, with the seasonal menu successfully combining pub classic with more adventurous main course.

Walkers drop off the Downs at lunchtime to rest and refuel on Upham ale battered cod with hand-cut chips or a classic burger (chargrilled short rib with smoked cheese, smoked bacon, chips, relish and pickles), best savoured in the garden with a pint of Punter ale.

Share a baked camembert, studded with rosemary and garlic and served with onion jam, for starters and If you have room for a pudding, try the dark chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream. Delicious Sunday roasts, homemade breads and ice creams, tip-top beers, and a raft of boutique spirits and wines complete the pleasing picture.

Things to do

Experience some of our finest countryside between Winchester, first capital of England, and the white chalk cliffs of Eastbourne. If you are interested in great views, attractive wildlife, visible prehistory, fine pubs and pretty villages, or if you just fancy a challenge, the South Downs Way awaits you. Further south you can taste the salty tang of the sea on spectacular walks at Itchenor, Bosham, Climping and West Wittering.

Looking at Uppark House, near Petersfield, today, it seems hard to believe that this imposing Georgian house was badly damaged by fire in the 1980s. The childhood home of H.G. Wells, the house was restored by the National Trust and is one of the region's most popular visitor attractions.

Cowdray Park is recognised worldwide as the Home of British Polo. Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty within Viscount Cowdray's 16,500 acre estate, the game of polo has been played at Cowdray for nearly a century. On summer afternoons it's a relaxed way to enjoy an exciting game in a wonderful setting.

The Cowdray Farm Shop and Café is famous for its holistically reared lamb, beef and vension and sale of local produce. The café's outstanding food - from lunch to afternoon tea - is all homemade using traditional artisan techniques.

Getting here

Directions

Nearest railway station: Petersfield

Taxi from station:

Drive: Guildford min; Winchester min; Portsmouth min; London min

Address

The Street, West Harting, Petersfield, West Sussex GU31 5QB

Prices & availability