village and civil parish in Hampshire, United Kingdom

Odiham is an historic village of 4,400 people (2011) in Hampshire's Hart district. It is home to a 13th-century castle, and a more modern bat colony.

Odiham High Street

Get in edit

Rail edit

Odiham's nearest railway stations are at Hook and Winchfield (both 4 km away). Travel from these stations is either by taxi or by bus.

Road edit

Odiham is best accessed from Junction 5 of the M3 motorway (3 km). Other routes include the A289 from Farnham or the B3349 from Alton.

On foot edit

  • Three Castles Path. Walk the Three Castles Path a 60-mile (100-km) walk from Windsor to Winchester, which passes via Odiham. This walk is inspired by the journeys of King John between the two cities via the castle he built at Odiham in the time of Magna Carta, and passes through a variety of attractive scenery including parkland and forest, heath and downland, quiet streams and picturesque villages. For more information see the website, or get a hold of a copy of the book 'The Three Castles Path' by David Bounds and Dave Ramm (ISBN 1874258082).    

Get around edit

Odiham is small enough that one can explore it on foot.

See edit

Odiham Castle

1 Odiham Castle (King John's Castle). The ruins of a castle built by King John. The construction started in 1207 and ended in 1214. The castle's ruins are now designated as a grade I building and are maintained by the Hampshire County Council. King John may have decided on Odiham as a suitable site for a castle on his visit to the town in 1204. Construction began in 1207 and continued until 1214. In 1216, soon after it was finished, the castle suffered a two-week siege at the hands of the French, but it flourished during much of the 13th century, when it was home to the de Montfort family. Simon de Montfort married King John's daughter Eleanor in 1238, just two years after she had been granted the castle by her brother, King Henry III. This union would have made Odiham one of the most powerful households in the land and Simon was to become a leading figure in the baronial stand against Henry, until he paid with his life at the Battle of Evesham in 1265.    

All Saints Church

2 All Saints Church, +44 1256 703395. A historic church in Odiham, and the largest in the diocese. It was completed in the 13th century and has been designated as a Grade I listed building.    

3 Church of St Mary the Virgin, 7, The St, Greywell (lies a hundred yards or so south-east of the village of Greywell). A chapel of ease, it has been much changed over the centuries. A large part of the building dates from the 12th century. Around the Norman doorway are a dozen or more curious carvings of crosses similar to those which adorn the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. It is thought that these may be the signatures of men from Greywell who went to the Holy Land as part of the Crusade of Richard the Lionheart in the 1190s or of Edward I in 1270s.

  • Greywell Hill Park (immediately south of Butter Wood). Greywell Hill House, the seat of the Earl of Malmesbury.
  • Greywell Fen. Sites of Special Scientific Interest, which lies around the River Whitewater.

4 Greywell Tunnel. Special Scientific Interest, with its bat colony. The Basingstoke canal runs underneath part of the village through the 1 km long Greywell Tunnel, which is now no longer navigable due to a collapse which occurred in 1932. When first surveyed, the Basingstoke Canal was to have no tunnel. It was to have passed around the north side of Greywell Hill, however the Rt Hon Earl Tylney objected to the Parliamentary Bill that the proposed line of the canal as it would cut off some of his lands from Tylney Hall. So the line of the canal was altered to pass through the hill. The construction of the canal was started in October 1788 at Woodham in Surrey, at the same time, a start was made on the tunnel at Greywell. It was to be 1125 m long, and was one of the longest canal tunnels to be constructed in the south of England. The canal runs towards North Warnborough, passing the ruins of King John's castle. It was one of only three strongholds built by King John, to add to the 90 he already had at his disposal, and the site was chosen because it lay halfway between Windsor and Winchester.    

Do edit

  • Basingstoke Canal. The Basingstoke Canal extends through Odiham, and there are many walks around the canal. Both Odiham Castle and the Greywell Tunnel are easily accessible from the towpath. The canal is connected to the national network at its far end from Odiham.    

Buy edit

Eat edit

  • The George Hotel & Restaurant, 100 High Street, Odiham, +44 1256 702081.

1 Newlyns Farm Shop Café, North Warnborough, Hook RG29 1HA (J5 of A3 south on A287). +44 1256 704 128.

Drink edit

1 The Fox and Goose, The Street, Greywell, RG29 1DE, +44 1256 702062. M-Sa 11AM-11PM; Su noon-10:30PM. A family-run pub set in the heart of the village of Greywell and is a superb example of a 16th-century inn with a relaxed atmosphere. There is an excellent choice of real ales, branded beers, spirits and a good selection of wines to accompany its menu.

Sleep edit

1 The George Hotel & Restaurant, 100 High Street, Odiham, +44 1256 702081.  

Connect edit

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