There is no doubt about it, we are very fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful places in the country.

Away from the hustle and bustle of the big towns, there is mile upon mile of stunning Hampshire countryside to explore.

But sadly, lockdown and the stay at home law has meant that people across the region have not been able to visit some of their favourite spots in recent months, save for those immediately on our doorstep when getting our daily exercise.

Earlier this week, the Prime Minister's announcement on his roadmap to easing lockdown measures gave everyone a chance to imagine life being normal again.

Whether you will be the first person to explore your favourite beauty spot, when it's legally allowed, or if you're more cautious and will wait a little longer, hopefully we will be in a position to be able to explore the beautiful countryside on our doorstep soon enough.

At The Gazette, we've decided to look at some of our favourite beauty spots across North Hampshire that we can't wait to go to again.

1. The Vyne

The Vyne is now run by the National Trust, and whilst the gardens have remained open during lockdown for those that have booked ahead, the 17th-century house has remained closed.

The grounds, located in Sherborne St John, are cloaked in ancient woodland, and have a wetland area where common redshanks and swans make their nests.

There’s Murano glass, tapestries, paintings and fine period furniture to examine, and you’ll hear stories of illustrious guests like Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII and Jane Austen.

The Vyne, Sherborne St John

The Vyne, Sherborne St John

2. West Down Nature Reserve

West Down is located near Chilbolton and lies where the River Anton meets the River Test.

It is just a stone's throw from Longstock Park Water Gardens, and this area is a hotspot for trout fishing.

In the heart of the Test Valley, this is most definitely one of the most beautiful places in North Hampshire.

Longstock (Photo: Debbie Thompson)

Longstock (Photo: Debbie Thompson)

3. Hartley Wintney

The stunning village of Hartley Wintney is around eight miles from Basingstoke.

Not only are their open green spaces running to the heart of the village, but there is also a lovely high street that contains lots of independent shops.

It's been a tough year for the retail and hospitality sector, so when life is closer to normality again, we can't wait to go and support one of our region's high streets.

It's close to Hazeley Heath, a rich reserve of wildlife with walking trails that make a great way to spend some time in nature.

Hartley Wintney (Photo: Pam Denton)

Hartley Wintney (Photo: Pam Denton)

4. Beacon Hill

Located near Ashmansworth, Beacon Hill has some of the best views in all of North Hampshire. From the top of the 261-metre high summit, you can see for miles around, whether that be over to Highclere Castle or the stunning countryside that surrounds Andover and Whitchurch.

On the slopes of Beacon Hill, there is even an Iron Age Hill Fort to explore, and its located on a 80-hectare Site of Special Scientific Interest.

It's also located just off the A34, making it an ideal place to get to.

Beacon Hill (Photo: Christine Marsh)

Beacon Hill (Photo: Christine Marsh)

5. Basingstoke Canal

The 31-mile canal contains many beautiful walks. Although it no longer stretches into Basingstoke, you can pick up the trail from Greywell, North Warnborough, Odiham, Church Crookham or Fleet, just to name a few.

In the summer, it makes for a great place for kayaking, but until the temperatures warm up, the tow path is perfect for a Sunday afternoon stroll.

There are plenty of interesting places to explore on the way, including the village of Odiham and King John's Castle.

The Basingstoke Canal stretches all the way to West Byfleet in Surrey, where it connects to the River Wey.

Basingstoke Canal (Photo: Sue Guy)

Basingstoke Canal (Photo: Sue Guy)