Petersfield is a market town, located 17 miles (27 km) north of Portsmouth, on the A3 road. The town is situated on the northern slopes of the South Downs and is twinned with Barentin in France, and Warendorf in Germany
An ancient market town originally built as a Norman ‘new town’ at the end of the 11th Century, Petersfield is named after the Anglican parish church, St Peter's, a Norman church in the town centre, The Square. Other churches include the Methodist church; the Catholic Church, St Laurence's; the United Reformed Church; and the Salvation Army.
Petersfield has two museums, numerous restaurants and bars whilst the market square hosts regular markets throughout the week. Petersfield Festival Hall is the venue for many plays and concerts during the year and the town has a number of clubs and teams for most sports. There are various sports venues, including the Taro Centre; a leisure centre containing swimming pools, squash courts, a gymnasium and other facilities. The town also has tennis courts (both public and members only), an open-air pool, and many playing fields and local golf courses. Petersfield Town F.C. plays in the Wessex League.
Petersfield is well known for its selection of excellent state and independent schools. The local state schools are The Petersfield Infant School and Herne Junior School whilst the secondary school is The Petersfield School, usually referred to as 'TPS'. The town and the surrounding villages are also home to several independent schools. Churcher's College is located in Petersfield, Ditcham Park School is situated just outside the town, and Bedales School is located in the neighbouring village of Steep.
The town has its own railway station on the Portsmouth Direct Line, the mainline rail link connecting Portsmouth and London. Petersfield has a population of approximately 13,000.