A Test Valley Sally
13 people attending
12 places left
Starting from and returning to the attractive market town of Romsey, we'll walk along some of the Test Way and follow footpaths and quiet lanes through a gentle and cosy landscape of fields, villages, water meadows, woodlands and genteel suburbs. We'll also have time to look around Romsey, including its magnificent Norman abbey. All this is just an hour and a half from London Waterloo.
The River Test is one of the country's finest chalk streams, famous for its trout fishing. Much of the river can be experienced along the Test Way, a 44 mile long-distance trail that runs from the river's source, high on the chalk downs at Ashe, to Eling where its tidal waters flow into Southampton Water.
The 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. Many wild birds can be spotted along the Test such as kingfishers, marsh harriers and little grebes.
Romsey is a pleasant and prosperous market town in which medieval, tudor, Georgian and Victorian buildings cluster around a square. King John's House, which is a museum, is 750 years old, and for Simon Jenkins in England's Thousand Best Churches, Romsey Abbey is one of the two finest churches in Hampshire. The exterior is dull but the interior is impressive: 'one of England's grandest Norman churches', which possesses 'phenomenal variety' and 'a rich gallery of art of all ages'. Don't miss the wizened hand of a medieval abbess emerging from her coffin.
Dogs are welcome to join us on this event but we do ask the following:
Please appreciate the fact that not everyone is a dog owner or lover- especially when we stop to eat
Please ensure you adhere to the Countryside Code at all times - see (Keeping Dogs Under Effective Control)
If your dog is uncontrolled and strays in open land frightening other animals or livestock, the leader is supported by the OutdoorLads board of trustees to ask you to leave the event as this is not acceptable behaviour.
What to bring
For your comfort and safety please be prepared for the anticipated weather and the terrain of the walk - keep in mind the following:
Boots: Hiking boots that are both waterproof and breathable, and provide good ankle support, are important as soon as you encounter any mud. Cross trainers may suffice in good weather and flat routes.
Socks: Proper walking socks keep your feet dry, and help prevent blisters.
Walking trousers: (ideally water resistant) will be more comfortable than Jeans which are heavy and cold when wet. From April to October shorts are usually a better bet.
Waterproof over-trousers: essential in any significant rainfall. Breathable ones are best.
Layered clothing: allows you to quickly adapt to changes in the weather as well as body temperature. E.g. a base layer or a cotton T-Shirt; a mid layer like a micro fleece, or a rugby type thick shirt, and in cooler weather an outer layer consisting of a windproof jacket or a thick fleece.
Waterproof Jacket: essential when hiking in all but the calmest of weather. You get what you pay for with these. Breathable fabrics are advisable.
Hat: essential in summer to prevent sunburn and heatstroke.
Small Rucksack: One that is comfortable to wear is essential so that you can use your arms freely. Place valuables in water proof bags inside.
Sunglassses: April- Sept: comfortable sunglasses enhance your pleasure and keep insects out of the eye
Water: even in winter one can loose a litre or more of fluid by perspiration. If you fail to make this up you'll get dehydrated which can lead to headaches and other problems. A hydration bladder is easier to use than bottled water, but higher maintenance.
Food: a packed lunch will be required unless otherwise stated. In addition carry energy bars or similar to counter 'sugar lows'.
Medicines: If you have allergies, are diabetic, or have minor ailments don't forget these!
Suncream: a high-factor for high summer as the walk is exposed, offering little shade.
Food & drink
Bring a packed lunch and water.