Alton is an historic North Hampshire town, situated at the entrance to the South Downs National Park, boasting an extensive range of national high street chain stores and unique, independent local shops. There is short stay free parking on the High Street spaces and longer stay pay and display in a number of well positioned car parks with good accessibility to the shops.
Whether you want to watch the world go by over a cup of coffee, browse for quirky gifts or buy your day-to-day essentials, Alton has shops to cater for all your requirements.
Historically the town was well known for its markets and still holds the regular Tuesday market each week in the main High Street. In addition, the second Saturday of the month offers local produce from Hampshire Farmers’ Markets alongside the local Lions Craft Market held in the Square.
Many shops are in historic buildings, and if you look a bit harder, you can sneak a look behind the brick façades to see the old-world timber-framed buildings.In the Market Square, a visit to Prezzo will allow you to look up into the back part of the old High Street bakery building. Or if you visit Bottega dei Sapori, the Italian coffee shop in the High Street, you can sit in their hidden garden and admire the timber buildings lining the back of Crown Hill.
There are many other hidden gems around the town if you have the time to explore, or you could join the Town Guides who meet on the third Saturday of the month outside the Curtis Museum at 11am offering an escorted walking tour around Alton.
You’ll find the Curtis Museum and Allen Gallery both have local gifts to buy, along with a number of other lifestyle shops in the town centre. Alton also boasts a wide range of supermarkets including Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencers,Waitrose, Iceland, Tesco Express, Co-op and Aldi - or for those who prefer a more traditional approach to shopping there is a greengrocer, butcher, traditional hardware shop, florist, toy shop, sweet shop, newsagents and post office.
The main High Street also offers a number of well-known household brand names which sit alongside a number of unique boutique shops selling objets d’art, jewellery, rare books, vintage and designer clothes, decorative pieces, crafts and paintings.