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National Trust sign for Stockbridge Common Marsh with walker and dog in field in background
Start of Stockbridge Common Marsh wildlife walk | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Stockbridge Common Marsh wildlife walk

Come and enjoy the wide open spaces of Stockbridge Common Marsh, which is situated alongside the River Test. The marsh offers access to the river's edge, in a valley which otherwise has little or no river frontage, and provides an ideal location for walking and picnicking.


This walk can experience high visitor numbers, and parking is limited. Please park responsibly, and if the area is too busy on your arrival please come back another time.

Total steps: 6

Total steps: 6

Start point

Lion's Den car park, grid ref: SU3565534647

Step 1

As you enter the car park you will see a set of gates directly in front of you. Enter the gates, cross the Test Way and proceed through the next set of gates onto the grassy peat-rich meadows of the common. A well-worn path will lead you straight towards a bridge with white railings.

Step 2

When you reach the bridge turn left and follow the river along the length of the common. (Note: If you turn right and cross the bridge, you will leave National Trust land and follow a path which takes you into the centre of Stockbridge village.)

A mating pair of Common Blue butterflies at Stockbridge Down, Hampshire
Common blue butterflies at Stockbridge Common Marsh | © National Trust Images/Catherine Hadler

Step 3

Continue along the river's edge. Trout, grayling and occasional salmon can be seen in the clear waters of the River Test. The characteristic chalk stream plant life and the fast running flows over gravels offer the perfect conditions for these fish to live. Many trout anglers visit the River Test from across the globe during the spring and summer, providing a vital source of income for the valley. Please note: fishing is not permitted within the National Trust boundary.

Step 4

After 1 mile (1.6km) or so, the path will bear left into the meadow. You'll see cattle and horses grazing within the meadows, which are used to graze the area sensitively for the benefit of wildlife.

Step 5

After a short distance of around 175yd (160m), you will come to the Common Marsh boundary fence. Go through the pedestrian gate and proceed left along the Test Way footpath and cycle route.

Two people walking across meadow by the side of a river
Walkers at Stockbridge Common Marsh, Hampshire | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Step 6

The path will lead you back to the Lion's Den car park, which is situated on your right after a mile (1.6km). It is here that you can either go directly to your car or alternatively, follow steps 1 and 2 again, this time crossing the bridge to walk into Stockbridge village.

End point

Lion's Den car park, grid ref: SU3565534647

Trail map

Map of Stockbridge Common Marsh wildlife walk, Hampshire
Map of Stockbridge Common Marsh wildlife walk, Hampshire | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Stockbridge Marsh, Cow Drove Hill Road, Stockbridge, Hampshire

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