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.
- Temporarily closed
- Restricted use
Walk through the pretty hamlet of Forton on the banks of the Test. You then re-enter the lovely Harewood Forest on Second World War concrete tracks, used to conceal vehicles from snooping enemy aircraft. Leave the woods and walk along pleasant old farm lanes back into the valley to Wherwell.
The route runs behind the village, but much more scenic is a walk down the main street. Cross the different branches of the river via footbridges, past Chilbolton Common with its vast variety of flora and fauna. Skirting Chilbolton and its Observatory you will reach West Down.