A boomerang shaped trail that mixes the peace of villages like Alton with busier towns such as Basingtoke before tumbling through the beauty of the Test Valley, taking in the history of Hampshire before reaching Andover and Middle Wallop and their military links before finishing at the impressive Mottisfont Abbey near Romsey.
Alton is a friendly little market town built around a Saxon settlement. Visit the Curtis Museum or jump aboard the Watercress Line and steam down to Alresford. Nearby Chawton was home to Jane Austen and you can visit the Jane Austen Museum House where she lived and worked.
The village of North Warnborough near Odiham is home to both the Basingstoke Canal and the River Whitewater. The ruins of King John’s castle, built in 1207, sit in 20 acres of meadowland and are a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Basingstoke is Hampshire’s largest town where you can visit the Milestones Museum with its car collection, the Willis Museum which charts the town’s history from the Iron Age and the Sainsbury Gallery. Close by you will find the ruins of the Tudor manor Basing House destroyed during the Civil War and The Vyne, a Tudor mansion with chapel.
En route to Andover you will find Whitchurch, Hampshire’s smallest town, on the River Test surrounded by beautiful countryside where you can walk The Mill Trail along the river past five historic mills. Visit the nearby Bombay Sapphire distillery at Laverstoke Mill to discover the secrets of gin making.
A picturesque market town in the Test Valley, Andover has plenty to entertain. Visit Andover Museum, the Museum of the Iron Age, the Andover Time Ring or the Test Valley Tapestry. Nearby you can visit the Hawk Conservancy Trust, the Danbury Hill Fort, Highclere Castle and grounds designed by Capability Brown or walk the Test Way.
Part of the Wallops, the village of Middle Wallop is home to the Museum of Army Flying where you trace over 100 years of British Army aviation. There are more than 35 aircraft on display, a series of exhibitions and events are held throughout the year.
Mottisfont Abbey, near Romsey in the Test Valley is one of Hampshire’s premier attractions. You can visit the house and museum, take in the gardens – be sure to see the rose garden and admire the art collection. Explore the visitor centre, enjoy a picnic on the lawns and take a stroll by the river.