The Test Way is a 44-mile long distance walking route that will take you from its dramatic start, high on the chalk downs at Inkpen, to follow much of the course of the River Test to Eling where its tidal waters flow into Southampton Water. Without doubt, the Test is one of Hampshire’s finest chalk streams, world famous for its superb trout fishing.
The Way has been divided into eight sections, each providing a really good day out. Choose between water meadows or tidal marshes, riverbank picnics or cosy pubs, steep hills with exhilarating views or cool, peaceful woodland.
The route passes through some of the most picturesque villages in Hampshire, strewn with listed buildings, historic churches and houses. There are many places such as Romsey, Stockbridge and Totton where you can stop along the way for refreshment, visit antiques shops, sample local crafts and foods or even to stay for a night or two. We have listed a selection of refreshments in the more rural parts at the end of each section.
The crystal-clear waters of the little streams, or bournes, are ideal for watercress growers, and the numerous water meadows and tidal marshes are thick with wildlife, flora and fauna. As the route criss-crosses backwards and forwards over the river, you may spot some of the many rare birds and plants that can be found here, such as kingfishers, marsh harriers and little grebe, green-winged orchids and butterbur.
Overall Distance: 44 miles.
The eight sections:
1) Inkpen to Hurstbourne Tarrant – 8 miles (3-4 hours walk)
2) Hurstbourne Tarrant to St Mary Bourne - 3 miles ( 1-2 hours walk)
3) St Mary Bourne to Longparish - 5.5 miles (2-3 hours walk)
4) Longparish to West Down, Chilbolton - 5 miles (2 hours walk)
5) West Down, Chilbolton to Stockbridge - 3 miles (1-2 hours walk)
6) Stockbridge to Mottisfont - 5.5 miles (2-3 hours walk)
7) Mottisfont to Romsey - 5 miles (2 hours walk)
8) Romsey to Eling - 9 miles (3-4 hours)
Places of interest: Market town of Stockbridge, Mottisfont Abbey, Market town of Romsey and Eling Tide Mill.
Places to eat: George and Dragon pub and Mayfly pub.
The route can been downloaded below (PDF).
Map & Directions
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