It has good railway connections to London, Portsmouth and Brighton, being served by Havant railway station. The A27 road runs past its Southern side, beyond which lies Langstone, and then Hayling Island. To the north lies Leigh Park, a large council estate suburb which lies within Havant's boundaries, and beyond that Staunton Country Park. To the east is Emsworth, another small town, whilst to the west lies Bedhampton and Portsdown Hill. The A3(M) motorway passes to the west. The old centre of the town dates from Roman times, but the town has grown a lot since World War II, currently forming a conurbation with Langstone, Bedhampton, Leigh Park, Denvilles and Warblington.
The old centre of the town is on a classic crossroad configuration, with the four streets being named North Street, East Street, South Street and West Street, and St Faith's church at the crossing. At least one axis (and evidence suggests both) is a known Roman road.
There are several natural springs in the area, including one a short distance South-west of the church on West Street at the end of Homewell. This used to be the home of the premier parchment making facility in Southern England which later became a glove making factory and leather processing plant.
The main shopping centre is called Meridian Shopping (formerly known as The Meridian Centre), as well as a pedestrianised section of West Street. The old town hall now houses Havant Arts Centre. Havant is home to the local community radio station, Angel Radio which specialises in music and memories of the pre-60s era.
Much of Havant was destroyed by fire in 1760, leaving only the church and the adjacent late 16th or early 17th century cottages. The cottages are now known collectively as "The Old House at Home", and are now used as a pub. It is claimed that the two main beams in the lounge bar were recovered from the Spanish Armada, and that the "Bear Post" within once had the last dancing bear in England tethered to it. The oldest undisturbed part of St Faiths church date from the early 13th century; some of the foundations however are believed to date from Roman times.
Havant also has one of the more favoured colleges within the Portsmouth district, Havant College, located just to the north of the town centre (until the mid 1970s Havant County Grammar School). This success is partly due to the transport connections Havant has, including bus, train and roads, allowing students to commute from nearby towns. The college performs consistently well at AS/A-level with an impressive pass mark of over 99%, which encourages this, especially since several nearby areas either lack a state sector sixth form (e.g. Petersfield, or the local college significantly underperforms by comparison (e.g. Fareham).
The town's senior non-league football side are Havant & Waterlooville F.C., On January 16 2008 they reached the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time in their history, beating Swansea City 4-2 in a third-round replay, setting up a 4th round match against Liverpool at Anfield, which they went on to lose 5-2, scoring twice in the first half. The town is represented by Havant RFC for rugby and Havant HC are three times winners of the National Hockey League (England). The latter contributed several players to the British Olympic gold medal winning side of 1988. Havant Hockey Club also contributed two players to the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. The astroturf was provided by the National Lottery Fund.
Football: ..BUT HAVANT ARE LIVING THE DREAM; ROMANCE? FORGET IT LIVERPOOL V HAVANT Spotlight on the Fairy-Tale Tie of the FA Cup Fourth Round
Jan 26, 2008; Byline: Mike WALTERS ACCEPT no imitations and beware of copycats - the Kop were first to give visiting goalkeepers a warm...
Heaven for Havant as They Crash Four; Skipper All at Sea: Swansea Skipper Garry Monk Turns the Ball into His Own Net for Havant's Opening Goal Last Night
Jan 17, 2008; Byline: NEIL ASHTON THEY sit 12th in the Blue Square South and yet non-league havant &Waterlooville are standing shoulder...
Now It's the Haves against the Havant; Glory Boys: Havant Celebrate Victory (Left) and Baptiste Scores Their Third Goal
Jan 17, 2008; Byline: NEIL ASHTON 1959 saw Liverpool knocked out by non-League Worcester City 2-1. THEY sit 12th in the Blue Square South and...