Romsey and the River Test

Romsey Abbey © Gillian Moy
The Test Way west of Roke Manor, nr Romsey © Peter Facey
Sadler's Mill © Ray Lambert

An enjoyable, mainly level walk in and around Romsey and beside the River Test. This varied walk starts in the attractive town centre, but then heads out into the countryside along towpaths, across fields and through woods - returning alongside the River Test, with views back to Romsey and the Abbey.

Leave the railway station car park, following the road out to meet the A3057 and turning left down Alma Road. Follow Alma Road to the T?junction, turning left into Winchester Road.

1. At the roundabout, turn left on a footpath signed to Timsbury and follow the towpath by the Andover Canal. Follow this under the railway and then road bridge to emerge in open meadowland. Continue alongside the canal for a further 1 km, to a joining of paths.

2. Ignoring the bridge over the canal to your right, turn left on a marked path, along the edge of a field. Head right at the corner of the field across bridges and follow the path through trees to meet the River Test. Turn left along the river bank, crossing to the opposite bank on a wooden bridge, and continue alongside the river to meet a track. Turn right on the track to meet the A3057. Turn right along the pavement, crossing the River Test again.

3. Immediately after crossing the bridge, turn right on a footpath on the wooded bank of the river. Follow this path to meet a track by a house. Turn left along the track to reach a pub by the main road, where you could stop for some refreshments! Ignoring (or leaving) the pub, cross the A3057 and head down the B3084, where care is needed as the road can be busy. Follow the road, cross the railway and bear left towards Roke Manor on Old Salisbury Lane.

4. Turn left after the entrance to the mannor, down a drive past Roke Manor Farm. At the manor, take the footpath off to the right, then bearing left around a field to meet the Test Way (signed).

5. Turn left through a gate and follow the Test Way into Squabb Wood. Continue along the path through woodland, crossing several bridges and stiles and ignoring other paths branching off. Passing some houses, leave the woods and continue on the Test Way across fields, crossing stiles and a footbridge to reach a farm. Pass the farm on the marked path to join a track to Saddler?s Mill. Follow the track to the left by the mill (leaving the Test Way) to meet the River Test.

6. Cross the River Test and follow the path, passing War Memorial Park, to join the The Meads road. Follow this road for about 0.3km, then turn left into The Abbey. This leads to Romsey Abbey, founded in 907.

7. Passing in front of the Abbey, join Church Place to the T?junction. Turn right down Church Street to the Market Square and bear left along The Hundred. Follow this road until you meet Alma Road on you left, down which you re?trace your earlier steps back to the station car park.

Romsey Abbey

Romsey Abbey was founded in 907, by Edward the Elder. However, most of the Abbey that we now see was built in the 12th century by the Bishop of Winchester, Henry de Blois. Opposite the Abbey is King John?s House dating from 1240 and further south lies Broadlands House, once home to Lord Mountbatten. The house and gardens, landscaped by Capability Brown, are open to the public during the summer.

Trail Location

The trail starts at the station car park in Romsey, with the station served by services from Southampton and Salisbury. If you are driving then there are several car parks in the town centre.

Hampshire Cottages

Beautiful Hampshire holiday cottages and self-catering accommodation perfectly located for walking and cycling the trails of this unique county

Readers' Comments

  • Tue 7 Aug 2018, 09:25
    Helen Talbot

    I did this walk on Sunday (5th August 2018) having walked it on two previous occasions, the last time 2 years ago. At the point where you meet Roke Manor, the path to follow on the right signposted the Test Way is completely overgrown with stinging nettles and brambles that are 2 ft high and the path is barely visible. If it hadn't been for the fact that I had walked it before I wouldn't have known where to go. As my friend and I were 2/3rds of the way round, we had no alternative but to go through, consequently we both became victim to having our legs covered in stings and scratches which is very unpleasant. As Dave points out, the road section is very dangerous indeed particularly where you have to cross the A3057 by the pub which incidentally is now closed and for sale.

  • Sat 16 Sep 2017, 20:58

    Don't do this walk - the road section has no footpath and is very dangerous. The point where you join the Test Way is not signposted in any way. In fact the landowner has gone out of his way to hide all evidence that any footpaths exist at all. After traipsing through thick woodland following my gps I eventually found a footpath, that is, after all the cages filled with pheasants. Pheasant feeders all throughout the wood and gunshot in the distance, it is clear walkers are not welcome. There are signs saying dogs will be shot. Avoid at all costs!