Walking the Test Way
The Test Way is a 44-mile long distance walking route that will take you from its dramatic start, high on the chalk downs at Inkpen, to follow much of the course of the River Test to Eling where its tidal waters flow into Southampton Water. Without doubt, the Test is one of Hampshire’s finest chalk streams, world famous for its superb trout fishing. The Test Way has been divided into eight sections, each providing a really good day out. Choose between water meadows or tidal marshes, riverbank picnics or cosy pubs, steep hills with exhilarating views or a cool peaceful woodland.
The route passes through some of the most picturesque villages in Hampshire, strewn with listed buildings, historic churches and houses. There are many places such as Romsey, Stockbridge and Totton where you can stop along the way for refreshments, visit antiques shops, sample local crafts and foods or even to stay for a night or two. Listed in this guide is a selection of accommodation, places for refreshments and attractions worth a visit along the way.
The crystal-clear waters of the little streams, or bournes, are ideal for watercress growers, and the numerous water meadows and tidal marshes are thick with wildlife, flora and fauna. As the route criss-crosses backwards and forwards over the river, you may spot some of the many rare birds and plants that can be found here, such as kingfishers, marsh harriers and little grebe, green-winged orchids and butterbur.
The walk has been broken down into shorter sections below and please note that this website does not provide navigation details.
The Test Way route is shown on the following Ordnance Survey maps:
Explorer maps at 1:25,000 scale:
OL158 Newbury & Hungerford (required for part 1)
OL131 Romsey, Andover & Test Valley (required for parts 1-7)
OL22 New Forest (required for parts 7-8)
Check bus and train routes before heading off as they are subject to change.
Please ensure you follow the Countryside Code.