Haslemere black down heather (c) Flickr MAClarke21
Haslemere is a typically English, quaint market town that dates as far back as 1221. Boasting unrivalled scenery and located just over an hour’s drive away from London along the A3, the town provides the perfect opportunity for a Zipcar country escape.  

With Marley Common – a mix of open heath and woodland – within easy reach, Haslemere and its environs are popular with ramblers who come to walk its picturesque, National Trust-owned paths. With much care, Marley Common has been restored to the scenic haven for Great British walks that it once was before WWII, when it was used as an army training ground and was swept through by fires.
 
Haslemere walk (c) Flickr Francesco Pighi
 
Nowadays, Haslemere’s wide High Street is filled with independent shops, a few cosy pubs, and plenty of restaurants. Read on for local rambles and lunch suggestions well worth the Zipcar journey. 
 
For an haute-cuisine dining experience in Haslemere, Lythe Hill Restaurant (Petworth Road, Haslemere, Surrey, GU27 3BQ, 01428 651251, http://www.lythehill.co.uk/restaurant.asp) ¬– set in a pretty, 15th-century Tudor country house – is a great option. Nestled in 22 acres of countryside, the Two AA Rosette restaurant also doubles up as a hotel and spa. Complementing the inn’s very British surroundings, the cuisine takes on traditional dishes with well-placed modern touches, using local ingredients where possible. Although prices are on the steep side, the accomplished cooking, pretty views, and elegant interior are ideal for those seeking a memorable meal.
 
White Horse Hotel exterior (c) thewhitehorsehotel
 
One of the town’s favourite pubs, The White Horse (22 High Street, Haslemere, GU27 2HJ, 01428 611276, http://www.thewhitehorsehaslemere.co.uk) is the perfect place for visitors to gather their energy and fuel up with a hearty meal before a long walk. The building, which dates back to the 19th-century, has been revamped into a rustic yet modern inn. Post perambulators are also welcome to stretch out and recover next to its fireplaces. The pub’s menu is brimming with dishes that display a contemporary take on great British pub grub, and are crafted around seasonal ingredients. With meat and vegetarian platters to share, as well as more traditional cider and tarragon battered cod, you’ll be more than ready to ramble.
 
White Horse Hotel food (c) thewhitehorsehotel
 
Shottermill to Marley Common and Cognor Wood Walk
 
With your hunger subsided and energy levels high, zip just 1.5 miles up the road to The Mill Tavern. From there, you’ll begin your walk, which will take you through the National Trust grounds of Marley Common (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/black-down/things-to-see-and-do/article-...). 
 
Haslemere walk (c) thinkstock/istock
 
Past the swan and geese-filled millponds of Shottermill, you’ll find Marley Common lined with beech tree woodlands and grazed on by Belted Galloway cattle (keep your dogs on their leads, if you do choose to bring them along). Continue to walk through a chestnut coppice and summer meadow, where nature is at its finest. At its end you’ll have walked the 3.5 miles and be back at the Mill Tavern where your Zipcar will be waiting. 
 
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