Walk the Test Way 2013
Route Details and Points of Interest
Please print a copy of this page for your reference on the Walk.
The walk is well signposted with the logo "TW" on a green arrow. To assist you on the walk we have erected additional signs along the route. You will also find signs indicating the mileage to the finish point at Romsey Memorial Park.
- Be safe – plan ahead and follow signs. In particular walk in single file when by necessity you have to walk on, or across metalled roads.
- Generally, keep to the left of the path to allow oncoming walkers and faster overtaking walkers (trying to beat their previous time, perhaps) to pass without hindrance.
- Leave gates and property as you find them.
- Protect plants and animals and take your litter home.
- Keep dogs under close control.
- Consider other people.
Leaving the Walk Early:
Memorial Park Romsey. We have made arrangements for the cafe here to be open.
Additional bottles of water will be available, at Longparish, Wherwell and Stockbridge, near to the river crossings at Horsebridge, Lower Brook, and at Parsonage Farm, Awbridge. In addition many of our Marshals will have a small supply of water.
Points of Interest:
Through the villages of Longparish and Forton you will see wonderful thatched properties before crossing the A303 and entering Harewood Forest. After leaving the Forest and just before you drop down into Wherwell, you will have the most superb view of the Test valley.
Wherwell has to be one of the most attractive villages in the Test Valley, with a large number of thatched properties. The village was once renowned for its Abbey which lay alongside the present Victorian church. It was founded in 986AD by Queen Elfrida and relics of the Abbey remain. No time to stop today, but the whole village is worth a further visit!
As you leave Wherwell, and go across Chilbolton Common, you traverse an area of great natural beauty, a wild patch of grassland that has an international reputation with botanists, who have found over a hundred species of grasses and other plants growing there.
After leaving West Down and walking along the old railway track, you eventually skirt the village of Leckford. The entire village was bought by John Lewis in 1928, and the properties are all decorated in the familiar green so well known to us all, as we visit the various John Lewis and Waitrose stores within the partnership.
Stockbridge An attractive village at the start of the mid distance walk, this was first referred to in 1141. The main street is particularly wide, reflecting its earlier role as part of a drover’s road. It developed as a thriving market town in the 13th C, and is still bustling today.
The Clarendon Way a walk from Salisbury to Winchester crosses the Test Way just to the North of Horsebridge. Just before entering Horsebridge you will observe a disused Canal Lock, once part of the Southampton to Andover canal. Well that was the intent, but the ambitious plan was never completed! To the south of Horsebridge you can observe the old railway station, which served the old "Sprat and Winkle" line, which was closed in the 1960s.
After crossing the Test and shortly after the Oakley stream, you will be able to observe Mottisfont Abbey whose roots date back to the 11th century. The House was given to the National Trust in 1957 and is now famous for its superb walled rose garden. After walking through the village of Mottisfont, you will pass by St Andrew’s Church which is well worth a visit in the future.
Squabb Wood which is entered after crossing Old Salisbury Lane in Awbridge is a very attractive piece of woodland, very similar to the New Forest and is the home to oak, beech, birch and silver birch. "Squabb" is an Old English term for a young pigeon. Immediately after leaving this woodland you will cross marshes which to your left will present fine views of Romsey Abbey. You will cross the Test just once more at Saddlers Mill (built in 1748), before finishing the walk in the Romsey Memorial Park.
As the route criss-crosses not only the River Test but also the Oakley stream and the River Dun, you may spot some of the many rare birds and plants that can be found here, such as kingfisher, marsh harrier, little grebe, snipe, redshank, green winged orchid and butterbur.
Above all else enjoy yourselves!!