Test Way Walk
Travel through the Test Valley on this 44 mile walk through Hampshire and Berkshire.
The route starts at Lower Test Nature Reserve near Totton heading north towards Romsey along the river. Here the river runs parallel to the old Andover Canal which you can explore on the Romsey Canal Walk.
The route continues through Kimbridge and then onto the impressive National Trust owned Mottisfont Abbey. This 13th century Augustinian priory is surrounded by glorious grounds and is a major highlight on the trail.
The path continues through Stockbridge, Wherwell and the pretty village of St Mary Bourne with its delightful thatched houses. This section also passes Harewood Forest and Danebury Hill Fort near Stockbridge. It's worth taking a a short detour to climb the hill and enjoy some splendid views over the Test Valley.
The final section is a gradual climb through Hurtsbourne Tarrant and Linkenholt towards Inkpen Beacon and Walbury Hill in Berkshire where the trail finishes. At 297 m (974 ft) Walbury Hill is the highest point in Berkshire and South East England. At the summit you can enjoy great views over the county and explore the Iron Age Hill fort of Walbury Camp.
Test Way Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Test Way Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Test Way OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Test Way Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
On the route you could stop off at Mottisfont Abbey and enjoy refreshments in the National Trust tea rooms. Near here there's also the excellent Mill Arms in the village of Dunbridge. It's in a lovely spot and includes a new conservatory for looking out over the garden with two open fireplaces indoors for colder days. You can find the pub at Barley Hill, Dunbridge with a postcode of SO51 0LF for your sat navs. The pub above is also very dog friendly and will often provide water and biscuits for your canine friend.
In Longparish there's The Cricketers to consider. The attractive former coaching inn is in a nice location close to the river. They serve good quality, homemade food which you can enjoy in the lovely garden area. You can find them at postcode SP11 6PZ for your sat navs. The village itself is also worth exploring with picturesque thatched cottages, old mills, weirs and pretty lakes along the river.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
Near the start of the route you will pass the Testwood Lakes Nature Reserve. Here you'll find a variety of interesting wild flowers and woodland around the lakes. You can also look out for various wildfowl and waders on the water using the two bird hides. The reserve is located just to the west of the path, about a mile from the start point in Totton.
If you head east from the trail at St Mary Bourne you could visit the source of the river at Ashe, near Overton. The village also has some nice trails to Deane Park and a noteworthy 15th century pub to investigate.