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A Spring Walking Tour of Walpole, New Hampshire

All week we’ve had incredibly beautiful spring weather and I had the unexpected pleasure of walking through the very town I live in with my camera in hand! I was meeting up with Laura Mahoney who is photographing every single community in New Hampshire for her project called In true innkeeper form I offered to give Laura a personal tour of our charming New England village and being an aspiring photographer myself I brought my camera along. Laura will be posting her photos of Walpole on her site later this month, but I thought I’d share mine in the meantime. It was such a beautiful day it was hard not to take a good photo!

For those of you who have never been to Walpole before, you’re in for a treat. For those of you who have moved away for one reason or another you’ll be glad to know Walpole’s charm and beauty are still alive and well.

Walpole is a thriving picturesque New England village with numerous white Colonial and Greek Revival homes surrounding a large grassy common. Nestled in the southwest corner of New Hampshire in the Connecticut River Valley, the village is surrounded by fertile farmlands and hillsides supporting numerous diverse agricultural enterprises as well as magnificent views across the river into Vermont. This Monadnock Region community is home to 3,500 residents and has changed little in more than 100 years. It’s charming beauty has drawn literary and visual artists for centuries and many notables still work and make their home here today. Enjoy the photo tour of our community or better yet, come stay with us and I’ll tour you around myself!

After showing Laura briefly around our pasture based farm and our knock view across into Vermont we headed over to Alyson’s Orchard where I knew the apricots were in bloom. Alyson’s Orchard is gorgeous literally at any time of year, but what an amazing sight to behold when the trees are in blossom! And the smell of the apricot blooms… nothing short of intoxicating!

I was happy to see so many honey bees hard at work. They were so laden with pollen I was amazed they could still fly. If the frost stays away it looks like 2013 will be a productive fruit year! Alyson’s grows not only a long list of apples, including many heirloom varieties, but peaches, pears, plums, nectarines, grapes, sweet cherries, sour cherries, blueberries and more.

Next we headed to visit Virginia Carter at the Walpole Mountain View Winery for more stunning views. There’s not a lot going on in the vineyard this time of year, but this view is one of the best around anywhere during foliage season! Virginia makes some great wines crafted entirely from her own grapes and I highly suggest visiting for a tasting. The vineyard is open for tastings Friday evenings, Saturday and Sunday afternoons Memorial Day until Christmas. Better yet, book one of our wine packages and make a weekend out of it!

On our way into downtown Walpole we passed the Hooper Golf Course. Once a working farm, the beautiful landscape of green rolling hills and stone walls was transformed into a classic golf course in 1927 by golf course designer Wayne Stiles. The Hooper Golf Course is still recognized as one of America’s top 9 hole golf courses today.

Situated in the Connecticut River Valley along the border of Vermont Walpole is blessed with rich farmland and a wide variety of agricultural enterprises. Far from a “high rise community, the town hall and the church steeple are the tallest structures to be seen.

The following is a series of pictures I took as Laura and I walked around our quaint New England village.

View looking north up Main Street, downtown Walpole, NH. Click to see full image.

Walpole Unitarian Church at the corner of Main and Union Streets.

Continuing up Main Street with a row of magnificent homes.

The former Walpole Academy now home to the Walpole Historical Society Museum.

L.A. Burdick Chocolates creates some of the world’s finest handmade chocolate right here in Walpole. This building houses their cafe with outdoor seating, a fine restaurant, and a retail chocolate shop.

Walpole Grocery – a great place to get provisions to fuel you through your tour of Walpole. Especially known for their great cheese selection including many locally made.

Susie’s special sandwiches make a great lunch “to go”. The curried chicken salad is one of my favorites!

Several unique, independently owned businesses operate in Walpole. Shown here is the Walpole Village Salon in the foreground followed by the Walpole Artisans Cooperative and Country Fresh Flowers. A great local costume shop, Costume Ladies is just out of view.

Ruggles and Hunt – a fun shopping experience with something for everyone.

Walpole Village Tavern, a great hang out for burgers and drafts and Murray’s Restaurant, a Walpole fixture for more than 30 years.

Walpole Veterans Memorial on the town common.

The Walpole Town Hall, home of our town offices as well as many town community events including town meetings, Grange meetings, craft fairs, the Walpole Players theater productions and winter farmers’ markets.

Former Catholic Church now home to Grace Bible Fellowship.

Historic homes lining Walpole’s town common.

Walpole Congregational Church.

View down the length of the common. Our town common is the site of many of Walpole’s community events including Sunday band concerts every Sunday during July and August, Walpole’s Farmers’ Market, live nativity celebration Christmas Eve and numerous other activities throughout the year.

A beautiful Sycamore tree on the south end of the town common near the Congregational Church.

Beautiful homes just off the town common.

More beautiful homes just off the town common.

These photos were basically just of downtown Walpole. There are so many additional great places to visit in Walpole – conservation areas and hiking trails, farm stands, cheese makers, to name a few. Keep up to date with us on this blog and follow us on Facebook and we’ll include more photos at a later date. Have a favorite place you’ve visited in Walpole? We’d love to hear what it is.

Hope to see you in Walpole soon!

Jackie Caserta, Innkeeper

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