The small market town of Alton is located in the English county of Hampshire. Founded along the Roman road that ran from Chichester to Silchester the town of Alton was settled around the source of the River Wey. By the time the Doomsday Book was printed in 1086 Alton was listed as having the most valuable markets on record.
The Alton Abbey is a popular stop for most visitors. In relation to the age of the city, Alton Abbey is fairly young having only been in existence since 1895. The current building was not constructed for another 6 years and the church itself wasn't dedicated until 1930. That being said this beautiful structure is still in use today by the people of Alton and the surrounding areas as a place of worship. A family of monks lives at the abbey and are willing to help any of those in need. Visitors can tour the gardens or use the retreat house for a spiritual retreat, study days or just a simple quiet time. The guest master will gladly help you set up any retreat you may need in advance of your arrival.
Once you have toured the spiritual abbey, it is time to learn about the history of the area. A visit to the Curtis Museum can help with that. Located in Alton, the Curtis museum explores the history of Hampshire area. Exhibits include Roman Pottery, Saxon burials, prehistoric tools, the tale of Fanny Adams, The Battle of Alton 1643. There is also a gallery of Childhood that has a variety of antique toys.
For those that are interested in the brewing of beer can take a tour of a working brewery. Formerly known as the Bass Brewery the Coors Brewery has been in Alton since 1777. Today groups can tour the spacious company during the week. If you plan on catching a beer tour, however, you do need to call first to set up the tour, groups only.
If you are interested in getting out of the town of Alton for a short time then take a quick drive up to Chawton. Here you can visit the Jane Austen House. This is the home that she lived in during the most prolific time of her life. Some say the home is haunted with her ghost. While that may or may not be true visitors can see some of her items and how she lived her days in this historic site.
And who can say no to a train ride. If you are visiting the Alton area be sure to take the Watercress line to Alresford. This short 10 mile trek stops along four different stations. At each station visitors can get out and tour the station and see the sites at each station. Fans of the Thomas the Tank Engine series should be sure to pay close attention at Ropley station. Here there is a play ground for energetic children which also give them an excellent view of some tracks below. If they look carefully they may actually get to see Thomas and his Friends.
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