Walking the Test Way
Part seven - Mottisfont to Romsey
Distance: 5 miles
Approx time: 2 hours
The Test Way now passes the church of St Andrew and crosses the River Dun just before it joins the Test. Lanes and tracks skirt around the village of Awbridge before entering Squabb Wood, reminiscent of the New Forest.
Emerge from the wood and see the 10th Century RomseyAbbey across the marshland. Then go past Sadlers Mill and its leaping salmon and down to the thriving medieval market town of Romsey.
The beautiful abbey at Romsey was founded by Edward the Elder in the 10th Century. It was a Benedictine monastery for nuns that in its early years had strong royal connections and attracted ladies from some of the wealthiest families in the land. In its latter years the monastery declined, and its nuns were often rebuked for 'scandals' such. as staying out all night! It survived the Dissolution and became the parish church.
If you have time when in Romsey take a guided tour of King John's House and discover the story of the medieval house and the people who have lived and worked there over nearly 800 years. Built by King John in circa 1230 as a Hunting Lodge with the New Forest nearby. It was later used as a guest house for the Abbey, and then the parish workhouse. There is also Miss Moody's Tudor Tea Room open for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea.
Romsey is also home to the Visitor Information Centre for Test Valley.
King John's House
Refreshments: Lots of cafes and pubs in the market town of Romsey.
.Accommodation: The Palmerston Rooms, Palmerston St, Romsey www.thepalmerstonrooms.com
The Cromwell Arms, Mainstone, Romsey www.thecromwellarms.com
Public Transport: Transport: There are direct buses from Romsey to Winchester and Salisbury. Mottisfont (Dunbridge) railway station has direct trains to Salisubry and romsey and onto London via Salisbury and Southampton.
Parking: Mottisfont, Romsey Rapids Sports Complex, Long stay pay and display car park, Southampton Road.