Mottisfont to Romsey walk
Mottisfont Abbey Gardens, West Hampshire Chalk Downs, Dun & Test Valleys and the picturesque market town of Romsey
This walk, created in March 2016, is a re-imagining of the original Walk 3 in the very first edition of TOCW Book 1. It was replaced by another walk when the lunch place closed to the public.
|Length||22.2 km (13.9 mi), with 288/294m ascent/descent. For a shorter walk see below Walk Options.|
|Toughness||4 out of 10, with 5 hours net walking. For the whole outing, including trains, sights and meals, allow at last 10 hours.
Allow an extra hour if visiting Mottisfont Abbey Gardens.
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.
Disclaimer: There are several very mud-prone sections, and not just after heavy rainfall, especially in some of the woods and in the river meadows.
All walk options go to Mottisfont village first for a look at the Abbey Gardens and the 12C church and all have the same finish through Squabb Wood and the River Test Meadows into Romsey.
|Maps||OS Explorer: 131 (Romsey, Andover & Test Valley)
OS Landranger: 185 (Winchester & Basingstoke)
|Travel||Mottisfont & Dunbridge Station, map reference SU 318 261, is 112 km south west of Charing Cross and 25m above sea level; Romsey station, map reference 356 215, is 6 km south east of Dunbridge, 12 km north west of Southampton and 19m above sea level. Both are in West Hampshire. Both are on the Bristol Temple Meads to Southampton Central (via Salisbury) Wessex Main Line. Journey times from Waterloo are 111 or 119 minutes Mon-Sat (hourly service on each option: either changing at Salisbury or at Southampton Airport (Parkway)), and 114 or 131 minutes Sun (two-hourly service on each option: either changing at Salisbury or at Southampton Central). Journey times from Romsey to Waterloo are between 102 and 118 minutes Mon-Sat and between 109 and 133 minutes Sun. Buy a Romsey return.
Saturday Walkers' Club: Take the train nearest to 9.15, but a later one for Shortcuts I and II.
Mottisfont Abbey and Gardens (01794 340 757, ticketed entry, free for National Trust members). Mottisfont Abbey is located 1.6 km (1.0 mi) into the walk. Open 10.00-17.00 daily (except 24/25 December). There are four options: The Old Kitchen is located in the Victorian kitchens of the historic house. Choose from a varied lunch menu, all served on china. It is licensed and offers outdoor seating in summer. Coach House Café – located in the stables – is perfect for light lunches, snacks and treats, to eat in or take away, including cakes and drink. Everything is served on compostable or recyclable tableware. Stables Ice Cream and Walled Garden Kiosk are only open at peak times or on sunny days.
The Mill Arms (01794 340 401). The Mill Arms is located 11.1 km (6.9 mi) into the full walk and 7.0 km (4.4 mi) into the short walk, if using Shortcut III. It is an attractive 19th century Inn with flagstone floors, oak beams, open fire, conservatory and a three-tiered garden.
There are an exhausting number of places to chose from in Romsey, all are mentioned in the walk directions.
The recommended café is The Daisy Cake Company (01794 515 408).
After the walk, we would love to get your feedback
Out (not a train station)
Back (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
Oct-21 Thomas G
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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