This page describes the Test Way.
The Test Way follows much of the lower course of the River Test. The test enters Southampton Water near the start of the the route. The route is mostly northerly and finally ends at Inkpen overlooking the Kennet Valley and Berkshire.
River Test: - near King’s Somborne; also the junction of the Test Way and the Clarendon Way/Monarch’s Way.
Description of the path
The Test Way largely follows the River Test - one of the major chalk streams of southern England, often glassy clear and where in the lower reaches fat trout play.
At Longparish the Test heads off east to its source just east of Overton and the path turns north to the "Hampshire highlands". Though the mid 19thC Ordnance Survey maps show the name “River Test” running north up the Bourne valley through Hurstbourne Tarrant
The geology affects the landscape all the way from recent sandy gravel deposits of the New Forest in the south to the chalk country north of Romsey.
The geology in turn has influenced human intervention and therefore historical developments in this landscape.
Many of the places can trace origins back a thousand years or more in the Test Valley and ancient ways such as the Portway [Roman Road] are crossed.
Passage places south to north are: Eling, Totton, Nursling, Romsey, Mottisfont, Horsebridge, Stockbridge, Leckford, Chilbolton, Wherwell, Middleton[Longparish], Harewood Forest, St Mary Bourne, Hurstbourne Tarrant, Linkenholt and Inkpen.
Test Way Stats
|Terminus||Eling Wharf||Eling, Southampton Water|
|Lowest point||Eling Wharf||0m [amsl]|
|Highest point||Inkpen||285m [amsl]|
2. Stages Completed
The stages below are ordered south to north (at the top). The distance is taken from gps track data.
|Grim's Ditch - Inkpen Hill||8.0 km||hilly|
|St Mary Bourne - Grim's Ditch||9.8 km||moderate|
|Middleton - St Mary Bourne||9.4 km||moderate|
|Wherwell - Middleton||7.7 km||moderate|
|Stockbridge - Wherwell||7.1 km||flat|
|Horsebridge - Stockbridge||4.9 km||flat|
|Mottisfont - Horsebridge||5.0 km||flat|
|Romsey - Mottisfont||8.8 km||flat|
|Totton - Romsey||11.8 km||moderate|
|Eling Wharf - Totton||2.7 km||flat|
3. Percent and total distance walked to date
|100% completed||KM, HM||75.2 km||2006-2013||both directions|
Points of Interest
Getting there - access
In the south Totton and Romsey are connected by rail or bus and these can be used to wlak in one direction.
Parts of the path in the extreme northern area are quite remote and are not well served by public transport and a car is essential.
For the majority of the walk the stages were completed in short sections by taking the car and walking “out and back” - hence the short stage lengths above.
Start: 08 October 2006
End: 29 March 2013
References & Links:
|Date||Reference or link|
|20141208||Test Way [wikipedia]|
|20141208||Test Way [Hampshire Co Co]|
|20141208||Test Way leaflet [Hampshire Co Co]|
Updated KJM 08 December 2014