Saturday Walkers Club

Dean to Mottisfont Walk

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).

Walk Options

A Shortcut reduces the walk by 5.1 km (3.2 mi), the ascent/descent by 111m and the rating to 6/10.
Bus 16 (Stockbridge to Winchester) stops in King’s Somborne, the very late lunch stop, but only on schooldays, mid-afternoon.
You can start from Mottisfont & Dunbridge, reverse-walk the route to just before Broughton (map-led) and combine it with the shortcut for a Mottisfont & Dunbridge Circular (25.5 km, 380m ascent, 7/10 rating), lunch would be in King’s Somborne or Houghton. This makes sense in wet periods, as the morning route is more mud-prone.
Both long and short versions of this walk can be combined with the afternoon route of SWC 58 (Mottisfont & Dunbridge to Romsey) to form an epic Dean to Romsey walk.
You can also start in Salisbury and follow the waymarked Clarendon Way to where it crosses the walk route just before Broughton (map led, adds 9 km).
Or make a two-day trip of it by staying at The Mill Arms Inn in Dunbridge and explore Mottisfont Abbey & Gardens and walk – all or part of – SWC 58 on the second day.


The Black Horse The Village, West Tytherley, Salisbury, Hampshire, SP5 1NF (01794 340 308). Open Tue 18.00-23.00, Wed-Sat 12.00-15.00 and 18.00-23.00 and Sun 12.00-19.00. Food served Tue 18.00-21.00, Wed-Sat 12.00-14.30 and 18.00-21.00 and Sun 12.00-15.00. Located 5.4 km (3.4 mi) into the walk
The Greyhound Inn The High Street, Broughton, Stockbridge, Hampshire, SO20 8AA (01794 301 992). Open Mon-Sat 12.00-23.00 and Sun 12.00-22.30. Food served 12.00-14.30 and 18.00-21.30. Located 11.4 km (7.1 mi) into the walk and serving authentic Thai cuisine after a recent refurbishment.
The Tally Ho! Inn The High Street, Broughton, Stockbridge, Hampshire, SO20 8AA (01794 301 280). Open Mon-Thu 12.00-23.00, Fri-Sat 12.00-24.00 and Sun 12.00-22.30. Food served 12.00-14.00 and 18.00-21.00 Mon-Fri, 12.00-15.00 and 18.00-21.00 Sat and 12.00-15.00 Sun. Located 11.4 km (7.1 mi) into the walk.
The Boot Inn Houghton, Stockbridge, Hampshire, SO20 6LH (01794 388 310). Open Mon-Fri 11.00-15.00 and 18.00-23.00, Sat 11.00-23.00 and Sun 11.00-22.30. Food served Mon-Sat 12.00-14.00 and 18.30-21.00 Tue-Sat and 12.00-16.00 Sun. Located 1.2 km off-route, 16.3 km (10.1 mi) into the full walk.
The Crown Inn Romsey Road, King’s Somborne, Stockbridge, Hampshire, SO20 6PW (01794 388 360). Open Mon-Thu 12.00-15.00 and 17.30-23.00, Fri-Sat 12.00-15.00 and 17.30-24.00 and Sun 12.00-21.30. Food served 12.00-14.30 and 18.00-21.00 Mon-Sat and 12.00-19.00 Sun. Located 17.7 km (11.1 mi) into the full walk.


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.
At Mottisfont Abbey & Gardens (ticketed entry, free for National Trust members) Romsey, Hampshire, SO51 0LP (01794 340 757). The Old Kitchen, Coach House Café, Stables Ice Cream and Walled Garden Kiosk. Open 10.00-17.00 daily (except 24/25 December). Located 1.6 km (1.0 mi) from the end of all walk options.


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Out: (not a train station)

Back: (not a train station)

By Car

Start: SP5 1JF | Directions at 4pm

Finish: SO51 0LH | [Directions] at 10am


Start walking Large print Using GPS data

National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234



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Walk Directions  

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