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Pocket Guide: South Downs Curtis Museum Hotels

A must-visit if you are interested in prehistoric and ancient history, the Curtis Museum, in the historic Hampshire town of Alton, celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2015. It's close to several pleasant hotels in Alton, and benefits from regular direct rail links to central London, just over an hour away.

What to Visit at the Curtis Museum

This venue has an impressive Roman pottery collection and Anglo-Saxon artefacts, and is noted for its 'Jane Austen Trail', where you can learn about the life of one of Britain's' greatest writers of the Georgian era. The venue also illustrates Alton's role during the English Civil War, where the Battle of Alton of 1643 resulted in a major victory for the Parliamentarians. Open several days a week, the Curtis Museum also has a great souvenir shop and a beautiful collection of historic dolls and local arts and crafts items.

More About Alton

Alton, like many areas of the county, has been inhabited since the Iron Age, and was part of a busy trading route between Silchester and Chichester in Roman times. The town still organises a thriving weekly market and various other annual fairs and festivals, and is overlooked by charming St. Lawrence's Church, which has stood for well over 800 years.

Comfortable, Hospitable Hotels near the Curtis Museum

All hotels in Alton and the surrounding area provide decent-sized, elegantly decorated rooms, often with premium bedding and tea and coffee-making facilities. Almost all accommodation establishments in Hampshire also provide WiFi access, which is often available free of charge in all public areas and rooms.

Other Local Attractions

In nearby Chawton you can visit the enchanting Chawton House Library, which houses thousands of historic books, including the works of Jane Austen and other eminent authors. The house is a fine example of Elizabethan architecture and benefited from an extensive refurbishment in the 1990s and 2000s, opening as a library in 2003. The house was once the home of Edward Austen Knight, the brother of Jane Austen, who helped her to move to a cottage in the village where she spent her final years.