Remote West Hampshire: varied Woodlands, the scenic valleys of the Wallop Brook and the Dun and Test Rivers and Broughton Down Nature Reserve
|Length||27.4 km (17.1 mi), of which 6.9 km (4.3 mi) on tarmac or concrete. Cumulative ascent/descent: 496/510m. For a shorter walk, see below Walk options.|
|Toughness||8 out of 10. 6 ½ hours walking time. For the whole outing, including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 11 ½ hours.|
|Map||OS Landranger Map: 184 (Salisbury & The Plain) and 185 (Winchester & Basingstoke) OS Explorer Map: 131 (Romsey, Andover & Test Valley)|
This walk explores woods and rolling chalk hills in the Dun, Wallop Brook and Test Valleys of remote West Hampshire. Rising out of the Dun Valley through varied woods and along field boundaries and farm tracks (some tarmacked), the walk takes on a very different aspect upon approaching the steep sided chalk downs near Broughton, with splendid views north east across the Wallop Brook valley. After lunch in Broughton you follow the rim of the wide valley south easterly to cross the meadows of the Test River, Hampshire's longest and finest chalk stream. The Test – popular with swimmers in the summer – is a prominent feature of the afternoon, as its several arms are crossed twice.
In between you climb again, up to the hills along the easterly side of the Test valley, walk through some quiet woods and past scenic side valleys to then steeply descend back to the Test Meadows. The finish is through the NT-owned Mottisfont Estate, past Mottisfont Abbey, a historical priory, and its grounds, as well as the 12th century St. Andrews church, one of the few Grade I-listed churches (on a short diversion).
A shorter route, cutting out parts of the afternoon, is described (rated 6/10).
A Shortcut reduces the walk by 5.1 km (3.2 mi), the ascent/descent by 111m and the rating to 6/10.
The Mill Arms Inn Barley Hill, Dunbridge, Romsey, Hampshire, SO51 0LF (01794 340 401). Open Mon-Sat 10.00-23.00 and Sun 10.00-17.00. Food served Mon-Sat 12.00-15.00 (last orders) and 18.00-21.00 and Sun 12.00-16.00. The Mill Arms is a 19th century inn with flagstone floors, oak beams, open fire, conservatory and a three-tiered garden, 50m beyond the station.
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Out (not a train station)
Back (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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Full directions for this walk are in a PDF file (link above) which you can print, or download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from wwww.walkingclub.org.uk