Out and about: trot from medieval town to the heart of the country

March 21, 2018

With spring (finally!) here, it’s time to enjoy the best of both worlds: exploring town and country in Hampshire.

Throughout March and April, we’re running ‘trot from town to country’ getaway breaks at THE PIG-in the wall, with dinner at THE PIG in Brockenhurst. 

To help you make the most of your trip, we’ve put together our highlights of Southampton’s medieval history to explore before we whisk you away in our Land Rover to enjoy a three-course feast in the forest.

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Start at the gateway to a new world 

Arriving at our urban litter-mate THE PIG-in the wall in Southampton, the first thing you’ll notice is the stretch of medieval wall on either side of our building.

Built into history, our city hideaway is nestled right in the middle of the medieval Western Esplanade. Before extensive land reclamation increased the size of Southampton, Western Esplanade fronted right onto the water. 

To the right of THE PIG-in the wall (as you face it) you’ll find the city’s Westgate, built in 1338. This historic gateway was used by passengers and sailors of the Mayflower, heading to Plymouth before starting their famous voyage to America in 1620.

Along the medieval walls, you’ll find a number of plaques, memorials and signs leading you on a trail along Southampton’s historic walls. More information on self-guided walks in the city can be found here

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Walk the walls 

As you leave THE PIG-in the wall, on your right-hand side, you’ll see the William Nycoll Tower, most likely named after one of the two William Nycolls – a father and son who both held the title of Mayor of Southampton in the early 15th century. The tower is expected to have been built after 1377 and would have been used as a lookout for firing artillery. 

As you continue to walk, you’ll discover sights from Southampton’s past, such as the Tudor House and medieval Merchant’s House, the ruins of Holyrood Church, and the city’s famous Bargate.

Go back in time at THE PIG-in the wall 

Our boutique hotel and deli bar was originally built as a private residence around 1820 and was owned by the Countess Elizabeth Craven, an author and playwright – although she never actually lived here.

After a period of travelling through Italy, eastern Europe and the near east, Elizabeth settled back in Southampton with a German prince and was titled as the Margravine of Anspach. 

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The Margravine lived at another house on the city’s West Quay, which burned down in 1870. The ‘Anspach Place’ sign on our hotel is a lasting reminder of the building’s first owner.

In 1866, the building became a public house named the Royal Standard. Today, THE PIG-in the wall is Grade II listed as a building of special interest.

Take a trip to the forest

After you’ve explored the medieval history of Southampton (and maybe had time for some shopping, too), it’s time to hop in our Land Rover for a three-course dinner for two at THE PIG in Brockenhurst.

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Like the rest of the litter, the menu at our PIG in the forest focuses heavily on the seasons, and what’s growing in our kitchen garden. It’s simple British garden food, influenced by our forest and coast surroundings.

Quaff and trough to your heart’s content, and don’t forget to pay a visit to the kitchen garden to see where our fresh ingredients come from.

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Settle down for the night

Once you’ve enjoyed the best of our kitchen garden and are ready to turn in, our Land Rover will arrive to return you to Southampton. Sink into a comfy bed at THE PIG-in the wall and wake up the next day ready to tuck into breakfast in our deli. 

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Don’t miss out on our ‘trot from town to country’ offer – find availability here.

If you’re visiting any of THE PIGs over the next few months, make sure to share your photos with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – and share your snaps with #thepighotel and #piggythings