Chilbolton Cow Common and the River Test


Follow the disused Spratt and Winkle Line alongside the beautiful River Test, famous for trout fishing. Visit the Chilbolton Cow Common and the pretty village on the return to enjoy this SSSI and the flora and fauna this unique habitat offers.


8.2km (156m)
Easy (2hr 5min)
Average time
2hr 5min
Plentiful & Free
Route Advice

  • Dog friendly
  • Parking
  • Cafe
  • Pub
  • Multiple pubs
  • Refreshments kiosk
  • Shop
  • Village
  • River walk
  • Potential livestock
  • Swimming opportunity
  • Picnic area
  • Bird spotting
  • Starting AddressWest Down Nature Reserve, Near, Chilbolton, Stockbridge SO20 6AZ, UK

Did you know

This branch of the Sprat and Winkle Line ran between Andover and Southampton and was opened in 1865. It was hoped that it would link the Manchester to Southampton line but long distance traffic was disappointing and this section near Fullerton was eventually closed.

The Cow Common, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, is home to over 100 different plants and grasses, as well as many wild birds.

Nearby, lies the former RAF Chilbolton. Used in the Second World War, predominately by parachutists, there are many photos and memorabilia on show in the bar of the Abbots Mitre.

Route Score


Chocolate box thatch cottages nestle in the beautiful Test Valley.


The cow common can be busy during summer weekends but the walk is generally very peaceful.


Field edges can be muddy in winter


Route Notes

Further parking can be found at West Down Car Park.

Dogs should be kept on a lead on the Common as there is often free-roaming livestock.

The fuel stop

  • Fuel Type Pub
  • Location on Route Approx 7km in
  • Address Abbots Mitre, Village Street, Chilbolton, Stockbridge, UK