COVID-19 has obviously meant the enforced but temporary closure of The Brick House Cheriton. People the world over have been impacted by the Corona-virus pandemic, many with devastating effects and saddening losses.
As I write this blog in early June I can reflect on the comparatively fortunate position we’ve been in, which despite being unable to run our business and meet many lovely guests during the past three months, has certainly not been as bad as many have experienced. Located here in the South Downs National Park we have had more time to ourselves this Spring (which was actually more like an early Summer) to get out and run, hike, cycle and enjoy our beautiful environment. While I sit here writing, a busy woodpecker is constantly flying back and forth across the garden to collect food for a hungry nest-full of young chicks, high up in an old Ash tree.
We’re anticipating news any day now that will give us an indication of when we’ll be able to open up again and to understand what official guidelines we’ll need to follow in order to ensure the safety of our guests at The Brick House Cheriton. We are hoping the local pubs will reopen in early July and that we will follow shortly after.
Once open, we plan to implement a few process changes in how breakfast is served, but those should not impact the enjoyment of your stay with us. We also have plans for deep cleaning between guest stays, which may impact the number of days we are able to make rooms available. Based on our experience of guests staying with us over the past few years, I have every confidence you will be understanding and bear with us at this difficult time. Above all we will be most happy to have guests staying with us once again.
Are you planning an adventure in The South Downs this year? We can support you from our location close to Winchester, with many miles of tracks, paths and quiet country roads to explore. On foot – running or walking, by bike - on tracks or sticking to the tarmac. We’ll help you plan routes to suit your needs, considering distance, elevation, and likely trail conditions. Get in touch now to discuss guided or self-guided adventures and accommodation options.
After a bit of a false start and so much rain in the past couple of weeks, it seems that the clouds are beginning to clear and we will have summer at last. Bookings have been good, but we do still have some availability for our double en-suite rooms. So if you're thinking about a sunny getaway to the South Downs, email email@example.com to check availability.
We're very keen to welcome fellow runners to The Brick House Cheriton.
This winter has provided many fabulous days for running in the South Downs National Park, on tracks and trails accessible right from our door. As well a some a little further afield. This week in particular, it feels like spring has arrived early. Here's hoping we don't get a beast from the east this March.
If you're in training for any events this year, be it a 5 or 10k race, a marathon or an ultra, (such as Race to the King which passes a mile or so from here) the Brick House Cheriton is an ideal training base. Not only can we provide spacious rooms with comfortable king size beds and en suite shower, but you can be sure of a healthy breakfast to set you up for the day.
Run from the door, self guided, guided or supported by us, over just about any distance you choose. Alternatively, you can drive or take the frequent bus service to a start point and run back across the South Downs to Cheriton. We've created some fabulous routes which you can download to Strava or ViewRanger apps, so you shouldn't get lost.
And if running is not your thing, our trails make lovely walks too.
Get in touch soon.
If you love experiences, but prefer to be inside where it is warm during the cold winter months, then try this one:
Join us for a day at The Brick House Cheriton, home of the South Downs Sourdough Bakery School and get hands on with sourdough bread making. Our very own artisan baker, Mark will guide you through the process with tips, techniques and lots of practical advice.
You'll take home your creations, in the form of a 100% Sourdough Rye loaf and a Wholemeal loaf made with stone ground wheat flour from the watermill in Winchester. You will also start your own sourdough starter, so you can continue your sourdough journey at home over the following days, weeks and months.
We have a few places remaining on courses on 9 February and 16 March so get in touch soon. Or contact us to explore alternative dates to suit you (minimum of two places required).
We also offer bed and breakfast accommodation, ideal if you live further afield and want to use this opportunity to bake bread and visit the South Downs.
We've been enjoying the mild winter this year with plenty of opportunities to get out on mountain bikes. With such a varied network of tracks and trails to explore we're never bored. From our base in the South Downs National Park local rides take in stretches of the South Downs Way which runs along the ridge above Cheriton, and dropping off to visit pubs, cafes and coffee shops which are never too far away. There's a new way-marked trail from Alresford that has opened recently -The Watercress Way is a circular 26 mile route https://www.thewatercressway.org.uk/
much of which is off road or on quiet country roads.
At The Brick House Cheriton we not only offer fabulous accommodation and delicious breakfasts, we can also advise you on a vast selection of route choices or guide you on rides to suit your requirements. Secure cycle storage is available too.
And if off road cycling isn't your thing, there are miles of quiet roads for road cyclists and abundant footpaths for walkers and runners.
Get in touch soon to plan your visit.
It's been a while arriving but it seems Spring is finally with us. The forecast for the forthcoming May bank holiday weekend looks good. At The Brick House Cheriton we're looking forward to welcoming guests who are cycling and walking The South Downs Way.
The bluebells have thrust themselves out of the ground in the last week or so, creating a carpet of blue beneath a bright green canopy of beech leaflets. This is always such a special time but this year the flora seems to be racing to catch up, after being held back by cold temperatures for so long.
One of our favourite walks from The Brick House takes in Joan's Acre and the Dutton Estate, South of Hinton Ampner House and Gardens. A delightful walk at any time of year, the bluebells at this time make it quite magical.
If the sight of a carpet of blue amongst tall Beech trees is what you're seeking, then there are an abundance of opportunities within easy reach of The Brick House Cheriton. Let us help you plan some spectacular woodland walks in and around the South Downs National Park, get in touch today.
Walking in The South Downs is such a pleasure at any time of year, and although it has been wet underfoot recently we have already had some beautiful winter walking opportunities this year. Now with a cold spell forecast for the next couple of weeks, the wet will be locked in as ice and we can expect blue sky days for some exhilarating walks. Just imagine the crisp air, the frosted hedgerows and the frequently changing views of the South Downs.
Regardless of whether your idea of a good winter walk involves any of the long distance paths that criss-cross The South Downs, or perhaps a circular route finishing in a welcoming local pub, now's the time to get your boots on.
At The Brick House Cheriton we can provide you with excellent Bed and Breakfast, as the base for your walking adventures. Also, we've maps, guides and recommendations to support your plans. Ask us about our guided walking package too.
Whether your winter walk is a good excuse to visit a couple of welcoming pubs, or to fulfil an ambition to complete the South Downs Way / Hangers Way / Monarch's Way / Wayfarer's Walk / Itchen Way (just to mention a few) get in touch and start your adventure with us.
The Brick House B&B Cheriton
phone: 01962 771334
mobile: 07908 757255
The Brick House, Cheriton, Hampshire. SO24 0PR
The Tour de France is well underway now and although not visiting our shores in 2017 there will be considerable interest in the event from British cyclists. And just as Wimbledon encourages uptake of tennis at this time of year there seem to be more cyclists passing the front door of the Brick House this month. And what a fabulous time can be had on the peaceful roads and lanes of the South Downs. For off-road enthusiasts there are also miles of dry (at present) trails over the chalk down lands and occasional downhill delights on single track. We can suggest routes to take-in hills if climbs or descents are your thing, or more gentle routes with views of the Downs and the Hampshire Hangers (dramatic steep sided valleys). You're never too far from a pub or tea / coffee shop either.
So, if you come and stay with us, you can set off after a satisfying breakfast, follow well thought out routes (using paper or downloaded maps) designed to suit your cycling ambitions. You'll visit some beautiful parts of Hampshire, West Sussex and the South Downs including some delightful pubs or cafes, before returning to Cheriton. This really is a fabulous area for cyclists. Get in touch to book today!
We're well into festivals of all types in the Winchester area. With the Alresford Watercress festival, and Alresford music festival already behind us, we've also had Winchester's CycleFest as well as a Festival of Gin but those were just for starters!
Underway now is the new Grange Opera Festival at the Grange, Northington. This weekend sees family friendly Winchestival at the North Walls recreation centre. And at the end of the month it is the Winchester Hat Fair - the UK’s longest running festival of outdoor arts. July will bring the Winchester Festival combining music, talks, drama and visual arts at venues across the historic city of Winchester.
With Graze, Boomtown and the Wickham Festival's all taking place in August popular music lovers will be spoilt for choice.
Take a look at the Visit Winchester micro site at http://www.festivalsinwinchester.co.uk/ for more details of all these events and some I have probable omitted. So much to do and enjoy around here!