Review: A Hampshire staycation at the Garden Studio, Polhampton
What I loved about it:
The peaceful location, proximity to great walks and the cosy and stylish interior. And of course the lovely, friendly host Caroline!
Value for money (out of 10):
A tranquil Hampshire staycation
Nestled away near the village of Overton; The Garden Studio is a lovely place for a Hampshire staycation. It’s elevated above the rest of the garden, and so has the best view of Polhampton Lakes and the River Test. It’s set up for two people to enjoy comfortably, although the owner Caroline has also welcomed solo travellers. I was invited to stay, and here is my honest review – all words and photos are my own.
The Garden Studio is situated near Overton, which is easily accessible by car, being close to the M3. There is free parking at the gated property so you will feel safe and secure. Overton also has great train links and you could escape London and be here in an hour! You could walk or take a taxi from Overton station.
The property itself is in a small hamlet that was easy enough to find and immediately from the driveway you’ll find yourself on a bridleway. This provides you with quick access to several walks around the Hampshire countryside.
The village of Overton is just a mile away and very easy to walk to. You’ll find most things you need there including a Co-op, greengrocer, bakery, coffee shops, pubs and restaurants.
Accommodation and facilities
This is an Air BnB that sleeps two adults, and it’s also dog-friendly should you want to take your four-legged friends away with you. Caroline has done a clever job in using the furniture to create separate sleeping, working and living areas despite it being one large room. It has a real homely feel, with comfortable furniture and the decor is themed around the colours of the kingfisher – which you may spot as you explore the River Test!
There is everything you’d want for a short break away such as great WiFi, a smart TV, bluetooth DAB radio. If we’d stayed longer I definitely had my eye on a few books on the shelf. I love the personal touches too like the hand-picked flowers from the garden, and the G&T with my favourite Hampshire gin – River Test Distillery which is a lovely touch given it’s made from the same waters which flow next to this property.
The kitchen area is separate and has the amenities you need should you wish to cook for yourself. If you’re a coffee fan you’ll particularly appreciate the espresso maker and milk frother. Caroline provided us with some lovely produce such as fresh bread, Hampshire honey, homemade granola and orange juice which was really appreciated.
Things to do nearby
By choosing the Garden Studio for your Hampshire staycation, you’re staying within easy distance of many local attractions. One of my favourites is the Bombay Sapphire Distillery, just a couple of miles down the road. You could take a cocktail masterclass or simply do the distillery tour which includes a drink in the Mill Bar.
Another popular attraction is Highclere Castle, better known as Downton Abbey. I would recommend booking a visit here to include afternoon tea. You don’t have to be a fan of the TV series; it’s a beautiful stately home with perfectly landscaped grounds to explore.
National Trust members will be pleased to see some local places such as The Vyne which is just a few miles away, north of Basingstoke. There’s also Winchester City Mill, a working watermill where you can purchase flour milled on site.
There are plenty of towns and villages nearby which are worth a visit. Along the path of the River Test there is Whitchurch, which has a Silk Mill and some lovely walks. There’s also Stockbridge; a small town with some gorgeous boutique shops and great restaurants such as The Greyhound.
If you prefer not to drive anywhere, then this is also a great starting point for many country walks. There is a map and guide in the property to help you find some routes. I would personally recommend the Three Churches walk which takes in Jane Austen’s birthplace and childhood church.
I found the Garden Studio a pleasure to stay at; it was cosy, peaceful and such a great location. Caroline is a wonderful host and on hand to help whilst allowing you privacy to enjoy your stay. She is also training to become a landscape garden designer and would be proud to show you around the gardens.
I’ve included a list of handy links, including how to book this fabulous Hampshire staycation for yourself!