About Alton

We will signpost you to some of the beautiful walks locally and introduce you to the many walking clubs and groups in Alton and the surrounding villages. The Alton area has some incredible history and many interesting places to visit, and is a gateway to the South Downs National Park. 

Walkers are Welcome membership will help to introduce Alton to a wider audience, who may not otherwise have known what the area has to offer. Membership will have practical benefits, as Walkers are Welcome aims to help towns and villages to 1) be attractive for walkers, with excellent information on local walks; 2) ensure that footpaths and facilities for walkers are maintained, improved and well signposted; 3) contribute to local tourism plans and regeneration strategies; 4) promote the health benefits of walking and increase participation; 5) encourage the use of public transport.

We hope you find the site informative. If you have any questions, please contact us using the link in the menu.
Picture: Memories of Alton Facebook Group
Alton high street

 

Alton and its Surroundings

Alton is mentioned in the Domesday Book as being a valuable market town. It was recorded in the Domesday Survey of 1086 as Aoltone. The Battle of Alton occurred in the town during the English Civil War and there are regular re-enactments playing out the scenes that took place in Alton. There are connections with Sweet Fanny Adams, a notorious 19th century murder case. Jane Austen and Gilbert White both lived in villages near Alton. The River Wey rises in Alton and flows through the town centre.

 

Markets

There is a weekly market in Alton on a Tuesday and a monthly Hampshire Farmers and Craft market on the second Saturday of every month in the High Street. Alton also has a town crier, Stan Whitcher, who is regularly seen at events and civic occasions.

Museums

The Curtis Museum displays the Alton Buckle dating from Anglo-Saxon times as well the history of the Battle of Alton in 1643, there’s a childhood gallery packed with toys dating back to the 18th Century and displays about local industries such as hop picking and more recent brewing history. The museum is wheelchair friendly and has a gift shop.

The Allen Gallery displays pottery, porcelain and tiles dating from 1250 to the present day and hosts other temporary art exhibitions throughout the year. There is a lovely garden to relax in after a walk and a café serving teas, coffees, cakes and ice creams.

Selborne

Visit Gilbert White’s House and Garden and The Oates Collection in nearby Selborne. There are numerous walks around Selborne, including a walk up the famous Zig-Zag path which was cut deep into the scarp above Selborne by Gilbert White and his brother in 1753.

Chawton

Jane Austen lived in Chawton for the last 8 years of her life and her home is open to the public. Her brother lived nearby at Chawton House which is also open to the public. Every June, Alton and Chawton host the Regency Festival celebrating Jane and her cultural heritage.
A bench in a park

Parks

Alton Public Gardens and Anstey Park both have a child’s play area with equipment for disabled children. The 15 acres of Flood Meadows are a perfect place to watch birds in their natural habitat and see the source of the River Way.

The Watercress Line

The Mid Hants Railway, known as the Watercress Line, is a working heritage steam railway. The many enthusiastic volunteers restore the steam engines to their former glory. The railway is located at platform 3 at Alton mainline station. The line travels 10 miles between Alton and Alresford with stations at Four Marks and Ropley. Events throughout the year include Thomas the Tank Engine, Ale and Gin trains, Santa specials and War on the Line events.