SWC Walk 265 Dean to Mottisfont & Dunbridge: Varied Woods, the Dun, Wallop Brook & Test Valleys and Broughton Down
Length: 27.4 km (17.1 mi) [shorter option: 22.4 km/13.9 mi, splits post-lunch]
Ascent/Descent: 500 m; Net Walking Time: ca. 6 ½ hours [short walk: 380m, 5 hrs]
Toughness: 8 out of 10 (short walk: 6 out of 10)
09.20 Exeter St. Davids train from Waterloo (09.27 CJ), changing at Salisbury for Chandlers Ford (arrives 10.42, usually platform 4; departs 10.56, usually platform 6), arrives Dean 11.08. Buy a cheap off-peak day return to Mottisfont & Dunbridge for £16 on the SWT-website or at the station ticket office (but not the machines) before midnight the night before.
Return from Mottisfont & Dunbridge at xx.56 via Salisbury (from 113 mins journey time) or at xx.14 via Southampton Central (126 mins journey time). Memo: the £16 ticket is only valid on SWT-trains, therefore ignore the Virgin Cross Country trains at So’ton Central (to Reading, connecting to Paddington!)
New Walk, we will take the opportunity to check the walk directions!
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 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).
The recommended lunch stop is The Tally Ho! Inn
(11.4 km/7.1 mi). There is also The Greyhound
next door, serving Thai food, as well as an earlier option and a couple of later options (on the full walk only) [see page 2 of the pdf for details].
The tea stop is The Mill Arms Inn
, meters from the station, or one of the options at Mottisfont Gardens, if walking the short walk.
, height profile
, walk directions
and gpx/kml files