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
Still using the old railway line, the path passes through Stockbridge Common. The common is a quiet world of reedbeds and waterfowl. Here, the Clarendon Way crosses the valley just before you reach the ancient crossing point of Horsebridge.
Pass the John of Gaunt pub before continuing past one of the few remaining old railway stations. This station is now privately owned. On to Lower Brook, cross the meadows and finish this section on grass tracks at the famous Mottisfont Abbey. This is a National Trust property whose walled kitchen garden holds the national collection of old-fashioned roses.