Dairy Cottage was a former milking parlour for two house cows and we raised their calves for beef. We used to rear our own pigs, kept horses and hens.
We stopped milking cows in 1992 and converted the building into a self catering holiday cottage. Nowadays the enterprise is currently used for grazing cattle, pasture and laying hens. The extended family are involved in various ways with the running of the small-holding.
Dairy Cottage is situated between the Cathedral City of Winchester and the market towns of Alton and Petersfield. Nearby is the pretty town of Alresford where the River Arle flows into a lake constructed to provide fishing as well as a reservoir for the River Itchen navigation. Here one can take a pleasant stroll along the river past the old Fulling Mill and watch the trout swimming nonchalantly about the river amongst the ducks and moorhens.
Ropley is a 20min drive from the centre of Winchester and about 40mins from the New Forest and the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Here one can visit the Mary Rose, HMS Victory and HMS Warrior, the first iron-clad warship. Just ten minutes drive from Ropley is Jane Austen’s house in Chawton. The Watercress Line steam railway connects the towns of Alton and Alresford and stops at Ropley on the way through the picturesque countryside.
Many walks can be started from our gate – the countryside is crisscrossed with footpaths and bridle paths. Several miles can be trampled without the need of crossing any roads. Books of local walks are kept in the cottage together with a wide selection of other books and puzzles.
For the more adventurous, North of Ropley is Lasham airfield. This is the home to the many gliders which can be seen flying serenely above us. Gliding courses and trial membership are available from them.