In the picturesque landscape of the Test Valley in west Hampshire, the River Test meanders through ancient woodlands, tranquil water meadows and rolling chalk hills.
Thatched cottages and welcoming pubs in Test Valley's picturesque villages add to the area's charm and there are attractions for all ages, such as The Hawk Conservancy Trust, the rose gardens at Mottisfont and Whitchurch Silk Mill.
Enjoy the countryside
Opportunities for walking, horse riding and cycling are abundant in the Test Valley with highlights being the 44-mile Test Way and the annual Test Valley Tour.
Test Valley is most famous for its fly fishing and the clear chalk streams of the Test and its tributaries yield up an abundance of brown trout, grayling and salmon.
There are also many beautiful churches in the Test Valley which can be explored on a countryside walk.
Download this handy guide and explore the architecture and history of the parish churches of the Test Valley.
Market Towns and Villages
Its peaceful rural setting is dotted with pretty villages, lovely countryside and the market towns of Andover and Romsey.
Don't forget to visit lovely Stockbridge, once noted for the sheep and cattle driven through the town on the way to Wales, which now boasts attractive independent boutiques, art galleries and tea rooms. It is also home to the Houghton Club, the oldest fishing club in England.
The Wallops are attractive villages skirting a small chalk stream and one of them, Middle Wallop, is home to a World War II airfield and the Museum of Army Flying.
Many visitors also flock to the small church of St Margaret's in East Wellow near Romsey, where Florence Nightingale was buried.
Florence's family owned nearby Embley Park, now a school, and at the church you can see artefacts relating to her life.
Back for summer 2015, there is a free bus service available which will take the public from Romsey train station to Longstock Park in Stockbridge via Mottisfont and Sir Harold Hillier Gardens.
The service will be available every Sunday and bank holiday between May and September 2015. Look up the bus timetable on the Three Rivers Rail website.
Food and Drink
Test Valley in the west of Hampshire possibly has more pubs and restaurants than any other area of the county.
The clear chalk streams of the River Test are famous for the Test Valley trout and there are many producers of quality local food in this area. From locally-produced wines and real ale to oak-smoked trout, cheeses, meats and vegetables, there’s something to tantalize the taste buds.
Many of Test Valley’s tea rooms, inns and restaurants serve locally-sourced produce and the many independent shops and delicatessens also sell speciality and gourmet food.
Stockbridge has become a magnet for lovers of good food and its high Street was voted ‘Best Foodie Street’ in the 2010 Google Street View Awards. Visit the delicatessen, traditional butchers and grocers, tea rooms, pubs and restaurants.
Weekly street markets can be found at Romsey and Andover, where you can stock up on locally-produced foods. The popular Hampshire Farmers’ Markets take place in Romsey once a month.
Find out more about local food and restaurants from the Test Valley Food Trail, promoted by Hampshire Fare.
The annual Romsey Agricultural and Horse Show, in September, celebrates the best of the British countryside and also features a tempting Food Zone. Here you’ll find over 80 stalls selling game, jams, chutneys, cheeses, pies, pastries, cakes, cider, beer, wine, fruit and vegetables, along with cookery demonstrations and hands-on activities.
Trout and About, which takes place in Stockbridge in August, celebrates the best of local produce, including the famous Test Valley smoked trout and many more specialist foods.
Situated on the River Test and surrounded by picturesque rolling countryside, Whitchurch is Hampshire’s smallest town. Early settlements here date from around 400BC, and there is also evidence of a Roman...
Andover is an attractive market town in the north of the beautiful Test Valley in Hampshire and has a rich heritage dating back to Saxon times. During the 18th century the town was an important stop-over...
The pretty Hampshire town of Stockbridge lies midway between Andover and Romsey in the stunning Test Valley. The lovely chalk streams of the upper River Test, famed for its excellent fly-fishing, flow...