Rule-of-Six and Track-and-Trace:
Outdoors – Please read the rules on the SWC website and split into groups of no larger than 6 immediately and stay within those groups all day. I will take the contact details of anyone that I don’t have those details of yet, but else there will be no detailed briefing at the start of the walk, so please come prepared or don’t come at all. That means: read the walk posting and take in the information given there about walk options and lunch/tea options and bring written walk directions and/or a route map (whether printed or digital).
Indoors - Please read the set of rules (which are just a summary of the laws as they apply at the moment) on the lunch pubs’ website (linked below) to see what’s expected behaviour these days in pubs and cafés!
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 & Warminster train from Waterloo (CJ 09.27), changing at Salisbury for Romsey (arrives 10.42; departs 10.56 from platform 6), arrives Mottisfont & Dunbridge 11.14.
Alternatively, if you want to beat the group by 9 minutes: 09.05 Bournemouth 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 11.05.
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, see the pdf or the webpage for details.
Tea: Romsey has an abundance of good quality cafes, bistros, pubs and restaurants. See pages 2, 9 and 10 of the pdf for details.
For walk directions, summary, map, height profile, and gpx/kml files click here. T=swc.58