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
Walking south from Romsey, you can glimpse the grand Palladian mansion of Broadlands through the trees. This was once home of the late Lord Louis Mountbatten. The path now hugs the western edge of the valley with its waves of wooded terraces beside you.
Crossing the river, the path takes you through a wonderful nature reserve of reedbeds and saltmarshes. Here you can see rare birds and plants. Take care though: this area can be waterlogged at any time of the year. Cross the river for the last time before finishing the Way at Eling Wharf