Beer tasting tips for beginners from some of Hampshire’s top brewers

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Learn some quick beginners’ tips for real ale and craft beer tasting with contributions from some of Hampshire’s top brewers.

Since the Government introduced a scheme to give tax breaks to smaller breweries in 2002, the number of breweries in the UK has almost tripled from around 500 to more than 1,400.

And with the average brewery producing eight varieties of beer, the Campaign for Real Ale estimates there are more than 11,000 different UK beers and ales on the market.… Read more

Sampling Dorset cider at the Sherborne Museum


Cider traditionally played a big part in rural life in Dorset. I went along to Sherborne Museum’s “Cider Saturday” to sample some cider and find out about the Sherborne-based cider producers who are helping to revive the Dorset cider industry.

Dorset isn’t as well known for its cider orchards as Somerset and Herefordshire.

But listen to a few songs by Sherborne-based folk group The Yetties and you’ll soon realise that cider traditionally played a big part in rural life in Dorset.… Read more

Where to see the autumn colours in Hampshire

Image credit: Rob Young

Here are 12 places you can see the autumn colours in Hampshire, including many places you can visit for free.

One of the things that makes the transition from long summer days to long winter nights more bearable is the burst of autumn colour we get to see in September, October and November.

And while the UK doesn’t naturally enjoy the multitude of colour seen in places like the US or Japan, where there are naturally more species of trees, you still can’t beat an autumn walk in an ancient forest or a tree-lined avenue as the leaves fall gently around you.… Read more

An introduction to shooting with the Gun Shop, Botley


Find out how I got on when I visited the Gun Shop in Botley for an introduction to shooting sports and to experience firing a shotgun for the first time.

Whether it’s the chance to spend hours in the countryside or the opportunity to kit myself out in all things tweed, I’ve always fancied having a go at shooting.

However, it’s always looked to me like a difficult sport to get into if you don’t have the connections.… Read more

5 unexpected benefits of the 5:2 Diet


The Fast Diet (5:2 Diet) doesn’t only help you lose weight. Read on to find out five unexpected benefits of the 5:2 diet.

After a break of about 18 months, I recently started doing the 5:2 Diet again.

You know the one – also known as the Fast Diet, it’s where you restrict the amount of calories you eat for two days of the week, and then eat what you want the rest of the time.… Read more