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Things to do in Andover, Hampshire

The Lights Entertainment Centre Andover
The Lights Entertainment Centre © Mike Cattell via Flickr

Andover in Hampshire is situated on the River Anton, 13 miles northwest of Winchester it has just over 52,000 residents.

Founded in Saxon times, it was listed in the Domesday Book record of 1086AD as having six water mills that were used for processing wool.

Andover is in a prime location with the well-trod Harrow Way passing just north of the town.

It was an important staging post on the coaching route between London and Exeter.

Andover Market Place
Market Place © Mike Cattell via Flickr

Present Day Andover

At one time Andover even had its own canal which ran from Andover down to Redbridge and many local smuggling tales are based on the canal and its barge traffic.

In more recent times non-stop train services connect Andover with Waterloo, Basingstoke and Salisbury and public bus services also run to nearby towns.

The White Hart Andover
The White Hart © Mike Cattell via Flickr

Since 1961 the town's industry has boomed, making it a good place to live, work and play.

The Ministry of Defence at Andover provides employment for many at the local RAF base.

The main High Street has a good cross-section of chain stores and local shops providing for most shoppers' needs with a public car park behind the shops.

The town centre also has a host of old pubs and restaurants offering a range of dining options.

The Chantry Shopping Centre is a vibrant place to visit.

Downtown Andover
Downtown Andover © Rudi Riet via Flickr

Visitors to the area may wish to make the Tourist Information Centre on Bridge Street their first port of call to pick up maps and information on things to do in the Andover area.

Things to Do in Andover

With its centuries-old history, Andover had some interesting museums, such as Andover Museum and The Museum of the Iron Age.

The Museum of Army Flying celebrates the history of aviation in the local area and the Museum of Army Chaplaincy shows the influence that the army still has on local life.

Whitchurch Silk Museum is a restored working watermill from the Victorian era and crafters will appreciate the Fairground Craft and Design Centre which keeps alive local crafts.

The Andover Museum is a more traditional attraction with artefacts covering archaeology, natural history and the development of Andover over the centuries.

Families will enjoy the Iron Age Museum which shows the way of life in Andover before the arrival of the Romans.

Many of the primitive tools and artefacts in the collection come from excavations at the Danebury Hill Fort.

Andover is an ideal base for those who enjoy outdoor pursuits.

The Test Way is popular with hikers, running from Inkpen Beacon to Totton and providing various terrains, wildlife and scenery along the way.

Those who enjoy birdwatching will be fascinated with the Hawk Conservancy within the "Valley of Eagles".

Beacon Hill is also worth the effort of climbing. At the top is Burghclere, an old hillfort in near perfect condition.

One of the loveliest places to visit in Andover is Highclere Castle, the family seat of Lord and Lady Caernarfon.

The Arts are well represented in Andover with cinemas, theatres, a conference and arts centre with a lively calendar of events.

One of Andover's main claims to fame is that it features in Agatha Christie's thriller The ABC Murders, A being for Andover.

Footballers Nigel Spackman and Bill Rawlings both began their careers at Andover Football Club and equestrian Olympic silver medalist Lucinda Green was born in Andover.

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