Trout fishermen should visit Stockbridge, an old coaching town on the river Test in West Hampshire. A footpath, the Test Way, leads along the river. 6 miles (10 km) downstream from Stockbridge you reach Mottisfont Abbey. This 13thcentury Augustinian foundation was converted into a manor house in Elizabethan times, and is set in superb gardens by the river.

A little further downstream is the little market town of Romsey with a rare intact medieval hall-house, known as King John’s House, which was probably part of the infirmary of Romsey Abbey. The abbey was built in 1120 and extended in the 12th and 13th centuries. The south aisle is decorated with an Anglo-Saxon relief of the Crucifixion. Just south of the town, in a park laid out by Capability Brown, is Broadlands, a Palladian mansion whose two most celebrated owners were Lord Palmerston (1784-1865), the Victorian statesman, and Earl Mountbatten, a member of the royal family who was murdered by Irish terrorists in 1980.

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