Walking the Test Way
Part eight - Romsey to Eling
Distance: 9 miles
Approx time: 3-4 hours
Just south of Romsey, the route passes the grand Pal ladian mansion of Broadlands- home of the late Lord Louis Mountbatten, the last serving Viceroy of India, and once the home of the prime minister, Lord Palmerston.
The Broadlands estate pre-pandemic was open for guided tours at certain times of the year and they also host events in the grounds. It is also where the HRH Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Philip spent the first three days of their honeymoon in 1947.
The path now hugs the western edge of the valley with its waves of wooded terraces beside you, before crossing the river and taking you through a wonderful nature reserve of reed beds and saltmarshes that are alive with rare birds and plants. Be aware that this area can be waterlogged at any time of the year. Cross the river for the last time before finishing the Way at Eling Wharf.
Totton and Eling have a history traceable back to the Bronze Age-a dagger from this period was discovered at Testwood Lakes. As the first point at which Southampton Water could be forded, a settlement has thrived here for thousands of years.
You could visit the Eling Tide Mill which has being standing for centuries harnessing the power of the tides in eling creek to grind wheat into flour. Today the Grade II listed tide mill (c. 1785), has beautiful riverside walks and a visitor centre and café.
More information: www.elingexperience.co.uk
This is the last point on the Test Way long distance walking route, you would have covered approximately 44 miles or more with detours to visit places of interest along the way.
Eling Tide Mill
Eling Tide Mill
Refreshments: Salmon Leap, Totton http://www.thesalmonleap-totton.foodndrink.uk/
.Accommodation: There are a selection of hotels in the Southampton area.
Public Transport: There are direct buses from Romsey to Winchester and Salisbury and regular buses from Southampton to Totton.
Parking: : Romsey Rapids Sports Complex, Long stay pay and display car park, Eling Car Park.