Walk the Test another way

In July, the Leisure Club Manager and owners at Audley Stanbridge Earls pledged to walk 10 miles (20,000 steps) along The Test Way in Hampshire, to help raise money for their favourite charity.

Mr Finney, an avid walker (who once completed the Coast To Coast walk stretching over 190 miles) and property owner at the Romsey retirement village, joined Melissa and Dana on Day 1 of the walk. Here he shares his experience.

What is 'Walk The Test'?

An annual charity event organised by the Rotary Club of Romsey, ‘Walk the Test’ encourages walkers to sign up to one of the walks which vary in length (5, 8, 11, 16 or 25.5 miles) whilst raising money for their favourite charity.

Participants have raised an incredible £950,000 for charity since its inception. Now in it’s 17th year, despite the walk not officially going ahead this year due to Government restrictions, it didn’t stop the organisers creating an innovative new walk...Walk the Test Another Way, allowing budding walkers to pledge a distance and safely walk and fundraise for their favourite charity individually.

Mr Finney shares his personal account of the walk and its highlights...

The Test Way is a 44 mile walk commencing dramatically high on the chalk downs at Inkpen.

It follows much of the course of the River Test to Eling where its tidal waters flow into Southampton Water. The 'Walk the Test Way' covers a small section of the Test Way which runs close by to Stanbridge Earls and took place on a very sunny and hot day in July.

We walked from the retirement village into the centre of Romsey and back.

If you would like to follow the same route we did, here are some of the sights you can expect to enjoy:

On leaving Stanbridge Earls, take a peek over the fence into the pig field to look at the spectacle as many hundreds of crows, rooks, jackdaws and seagulls scavenge amongst the sows and piglets.

The walk then takes you towards Roke Manor and passes alongside a working quarry where gulls wheel in the sky.

Shortly after Roke Manor you enter woodland which is full of bluebells in the spring. After passing a delightful hidden valley you enter Squab Wood, where you join an undulating path through the mixed woodland, which is home to many magnificent beech trees.

This path is dry in summer but very interesting in winter as the natural small streams find their way to the River Test.

On leaving Squab Wood the path crosses a grassland flood plain where buzzards can be seen overhead and cattle quietly graze.

As you leave the grassland the path passes through Sadlers Mill which straddles one of the branches of the River Test.

At this point in the walk we entered Romsey and walked around Memorial Park, stopping at the War Horse Memorial Statue before retracing our steps back home to Stanbridge Earls.

To donate, please visit our JustGiving page.

Thank you to Mr Finney for sharing his story.

Own your retirement

At Audley Stanbridge Earls

Located minutes from the quaint market town of Romsey, the luxury Hampshire retirement village at Audley Stanbridge Earls is nestled in 32 acres of natural woodland and surrounded by the beautiful Hampshire Countryside. If you enjoy walking, there are endless trails and walking routes on your doorstep including the winding routes of the Test Way along the picturesque River Test.

Read more owner stories.