Length: 22.2 km (13.9 mi) [much shorter options available]
Ascent/Descent: 310 m; Net Walking Time: ca. 5 hours
Toughness: 5 out of 10
09.20 Exeter St. David’s & Bristol Temple Meads train from Waterloo (CJ 09.27), changing at Salisbury for Chandlers Ford (arrives 10.42; departs 10.56, platform 6), arrives Mottisfont & Dunbridge 11.14.
Alternatively, if you want to beat the group by 10 minutes: 09.05 Weymouth train from Waterloo (CJ 09.12), changing at Southampton Airport [Parkway] for Salisbury (arrives 10.13; departs same platform 10.25; café across the overbridge), arrives Mottisfont & Dunbridge 11.04.
Return trains are at xx.07 via Southampton Airport [Parkway] (102 mins journey time) or at xx.21 via Salisbury (118 mins journey time).
Buy a Romsey return if travelling out via Salisbury, or a Mottisfont & Dunbridge return if travelling out via Southampton.
This walk explores woods and rolling chalk hills in the Dun and (Lower) Test Valleys of remote West Hampshire. An early highlight is the NT-owned (and ticketed) Mottisfont Abbey
, a historical priory and country estate, with an arm of the River Test, Hampshire's longest and finest chalk stream, running through the stunning grounds, which also include a famous walled rose garden, trompe-l’oeil murals from Rex Whistler, and several lunch options. Walk back past the 12th
century St. Andrew's church
, one of the few Grade I-listed churches, and follow the waymarked Mottisfont Estate Path
. The route incorporates all the important features of the estate, mainly varied ancient woodlands but also some managed for timber or coppicing, historical farmland and the Dun River Meadows. After lunch in Dunbridge
the route gets a little more undulating, as the Test River
is followed – mostly from a distance – all the way to Romsey, a picturesque market town
. You pass all its sights: Romsey Abbey
, a beautiful church the size of a cathedral, the War Memorial Park, the medieval King John’s House and Tudor Cottage
, some narrow historical lanes and an exhausting selection of tea and pub stops.
Three shorter options are described.
Tea: Romsey has an abundance of good quality cafes, bistros, pubs and restaurants. See page 2 and pages 9 and 10 of the pdf for details.
For walk directions
, height profile
, and gpx/kml files