A short distance from Winchester is the little town of Alresford. I had flown over it as a youngster but had never actually visited and, when our friends suggested it as a good place to meet up while we were visiting, we went with their suggestion. The center of the town is quite picturesque but some of the older parts of the town are just too like a postcard to be credible. The oldest buildings include some down by the river where the old mill was. As you walked along the path by the water, it was hard to believe that some of these buildings hadn’t been created by a set designer for a period drama. This was a theme for our whole visit with so many villages with postcard-like houses.
Imagine a stereotypical village in the Derbyshire Peak District – the sort of thing that might be snow covered on a Christmas card. The type of place that you think doesn’t really exist anymore other than in the minds of artists striving for some sort of tranquil setting for their work. Guess what – it does exist. Situated on the Chatsworth estate and right in the path of our hike is the village of Edensor. This is England so, of course, it isn’t pronounced the way it is spelt. It sounds more like Enzor.
As you walk down off the hills, you see the church spire in the distance so it isn’t hard to know where you are going. The village is small – a group of buildings off the main road through the estate. It appears to be a combination of converted large estate buildings and houses for the estate workers. Everything is built from stone and the lawns and roadsides are all beautifully maintained. I don’t know whether there are rules about how well you have to keep your garden or if it is just social pressure that does the trick but the place is immaculate.
We came in alongside the churchyard and walked down past some lovely houses. On one side appeared to be a converted stable block which was not accessible to the general public and on the other was a tea room but we did not check that out. This was just somewhere we were walking through en route to the main house at Chatsworth. I imagine on a sunny summer day Edensor is packed with people visiting. A slightly cloudy September makes for a far more peaceful visit.