Ever since we started Arblaster & Clarke Wine Tours in 1986, we have been based in this lovely corner of East Hampshire, England, which is part of the new South Downs National Park. The highest hill of the South Downs is just south of Petersfield and the beautiful, heavily wooded Hampshire hangars are just outside the town.
For the first few years we were based in the ‘Arts & Crafts’ village of Steep in the historic Tudor house ‘Restalls’. It has its own section the Arts & Crafts movement’s bible, “Small English County Houses of Today” as the only restoration featured in the book. (published circa 1905). It was the home of the arts & crarft movement architect Unswoth and the gardens were designed by Inigo Triggs. Steep is also famous for Bedales school, the classic English country pub ‘The Harrow’ and its Norman Church.
The poet Edward Thomas and the sci-fi author John Wyndam both lived in the village of Steep. Tim’s experimental Pinot Noir vineyard was known as “Clos des Triffids” in his honour. Wyndam’s “Day of the Triffids” was written in Steep and was supposedly inspired by the trees at night overhanging the sunken lane between “The Harrow” and his house. The whole area is sometimes referred to as “Jane Austen Country”. Jane Austen lived for part of her life near Alton, some 8 miles away and is buried in Winchester Cathedral.
After we moved from Steep, we were based in the nearby village of West Liss for around 10 years. Our office here dated back at least 200 years, and possibly to the late medieval period. West Liss too has its old country pub, ‘The Spread Eagle’, that was just on the other side of the Green from the office, which was useful.
Our new office, Cedar Court, is located in the market town of Petersfield, just a short walk away from the High Street. We have more space here, however we occupy only part of the building on the first floor. The remainder of the building is occupied by our Tenants who include Landscape Architect, a computer system designer, Petersfield Physiotherapists and another travel firm.
The site has been associated with tour operating for many years and the specialist division of a large tour operator was based here. Prior to our purchase it was called ‘Meon House’. The name of course had to be changed. The original name of the old Georgian house was ‘Cedarcote’ – hence ‘Cedar Court’. Part of the building is listed as a building of historic importance grade 2. The Cedar of Lebanon in the garden is listed too.
Petersfield is a little over an hour from London down the A3 and is on the Waterloo to Portsmouth mainline. You are welcome to come and visit us, but please check that the person you want to see will be available and not off winetouring!
Arblaster & Clarke Wine Tours
5 College Street
Hampshire, GU31 4AE
We really believe holidays are important, and strive to give you a pleasurable experience from the moment you first call us. Our full-time ‘in house team’ are experts in the areas they manage and share a passion for great wine and food – wherever it is to be found.
If you choose to book your holiday with us, you meet the people who personally put together every aspect of the holiday. It is likely that the person who answers the phone, will have set up the tour, know the hotels, have tasted the wines, written the itinerary and then joins you on the tour.
To find us
Petersfield is in Hampshire and just off the A3, the main London – Portsmouth road.
: From London follow the A3 signposted Portsmouth. On route you will pass through Surrey, by-passing Guildford before the Devils Punch Bowl at Hindhead. Continue along the A3 signposted Portsmouth, Petersfield.
At the only roundabout on the A3 take the 2nd exit straight ahead and continue along the A3 towards Petersfield. Several miles on from here, at the sign post for Midhurst/Petersfield exit onto the slip road. You will have joined the A272.
At the roundabout take the second turning off – to Petersfield on the B2070. You will pass Churchers College on your left before joining a one way system. Continue on the one way system taking the right hand lane and following the road round to the right.
On your left you will see the ‘White Hart’ pub. Arblaster and Clarke Wine Tour offices are directly opposite. There is a giant Cedar tree right out the front. – You can’t miss us! If you get to the ‘Good Intent’, you’ve gone to far – turn right and go round the one-way system again!
You can park your car around the back in our visitors car parking space. To get to the car park take the first small right hand turn alongside the building. If you miss this turning don’t worry follow the one way system round to the right (like a roundabout) and you will soon be back where you started.
The journey from London should take a little over one hour. If our car park is full please use the Waitrose car park opposite us or the Old Town Hall car park. Both are only a couple of minutes walk away.
: We are just over an hour from London. Take a train from Waterloo on the Portsmouth Harbour line which runs every 15 mins and all trains stop at Petersfield.
When you arrive, walk straight out of the ticket office, across the road (mini roundabout) and carry straight down Lavant Street, you will need to go straight over at the crossroads to the bottom of the street, where there is a T junction. Cross the road and turn left. Soon after turn right into Waitrose car park. Walk straight through the car park heading towards the exit over the other side (ignoring the left turning) onto College Street. Immediately in front of you is Cedar Court (with the purple A&C sign on the front of the building).
Walking from Petersfield Station takes approximately 10 minutes.