Test Way - Hurstbourne Tarrant to St Mary Bourne

A short history of the Test Way

The Test Way is a 44 mile long-distance walking route. The walk begins high on the chalk downs at Inkpen and follows much of the course of the River Test to Eling. Here the river's tidal waters flow into Southampton Water.

This is Hampshire's longest and finest chalk stream, world famous for its superb trout fishing. The Way has been divided into 8 sections, each providing a really good day-out. Choose between water meadows or tidal marshes, steep hills with exhilarating views or cool peaceful woodland. Or relax in a cosy pub or with a riverbank picnic. The route passes through some of the most picturesque villages in Hampshire, strewn with listed buildings, historic churches and houses. It is well sign posted and waymarked. Horse-riders and cyclists can also use some parts.


    • Route
    • Temporarily closed
    • Restricted use


In Hurstbourne Tarrant the path runs through the village. It then crosses the valley and heads steeply uphill to the copses of Wallop Hill Down. Look back from here for a postcard view of the village nestling below.

Descend past Stokehill Farm to St Mary Bourne which straggles alongside the course of the Bourne Rivulet. The 12th century church here contains several treasures. Look downstream for the huge nine-arch viaduct at Hurstbourne Priors and the many watercress beds.