Distance: 29 miles Difficulty: Medium
This stunning river valley is surrounded by lush green fields, a real gem to cycle in.
We decided to start this route at Romsey railway station. It is on the main Eastleigh to Salisbury line. This is a circular route so we finished back here in less than 4 hours with a pit stop en route in Stockbridge. We used road bikes for this bike ride, but as it is paved and sort of bike will suffice.
Romsey is a small market town less than 10 miles from Southampton, and through this quaint town runs the River Test. The Test flows all the way to Southampton where it meets Southampton Water and eventually the Solent. The Test Valley is stunning in beauty and on this particular ride in May, the countryside was full of life and the vivid greens were almost as vivid as the colours seen on our Austrian route last year.
We set off for the village of Braishfield crossing the Andover Canal, and setting into the countryside.
As we headed north we took the Furzedown Road and this is the major climb of the route, at 6 miles in we reached our peak of 450ft. We were then rewarded with some stunning views of the valley as we then descended into Kings Somborne. This is tiny village on the edges of the Test.
From here we continued to Stockbridge, and we made our pit stop here in this small cute town.
After heading from Stockbridge we headed north again to the Wallops area via Danebury Hill Iron Age Fort. This fort ages about 2500 years ago and was occupied for some 500 years. After skirting past this we head south west along the airfield of Middle Wallop towards Nether Wallop and then onto Broughton. All the time we are now descending as we head back towards the river valley.
At a distance of 21 miles we reach the river again and now head towards the Mottisfont area, where the abbey is. This is a National Trust building and is definitely worth a visit, I think they used to hold open air concerts here in the summer evenings.
From here we head back to Romsey and to where we started.
More details of this wonderful area can be found at the local councils website.