Wednesday, 10 October 2018
We resumed the Test Way with Viv and Giles after a long break - the result of Viv having a hip replacement. We picked up the walk at Awbridge Village Hall where a massive maple was beginning to come into wonderful autumn colour.
We walked down the road and turned right into a track. We were enjoying a good old catch up and effortlessly overshot the point where we should have turned left. The signs were a bit lacking as well. We doubled back to find the turning and passed a gravel extraction site and then entered the rather lovely Squabb Wood.
Emerging from this we walked across fields, following the route of a circular walk around Romsey that we did two years ago. As we got closer, we had our one and only glimpse of the Norman Romsey Abbey. Here is a better picture from that earlier walk.
A little further on we reached the banks of the Test at Saddler's Mill.
One of the frustrations of the Test Valley Way was has been the limited sightings of the Test, but here at last we could see it in all its glory.
We turned away from Romsey along the strangely named Mainstone and took a left left along a track which marked the perimeter of Broadlands Park. We soon had quite a good view of the house. The building you see now dates from 1767 and was the work of Capability Brown and Henry Holland.
We headed due south, but at Moorcourt the trail doubled back and we found ourselves heading northeast. This did at least bring us right back to a a bridge which gave us another nice view of the river.
From here we left the Test Valley Way to reach the hamlet of Lee where we had left the car. Appropriately enough another fine tree enlivened the end of the walk.
Conditions: mild and sunny.
Distance: about 6.5 miles, although we walked nearer 8.
Maps: Explorer 131 (Romsey, Andover and Test Valley) and OL22 (New Forest)
Rating: three and half stars.