Walking the Mill Trail from Whitchurch to Laverstoke in Hampshire
Updated: May 14
It was a beautiful day on Sunday and whilst I have walked part of this walk before I haven't walked the whole trail, so today was the day.
We started at the Silk Mill in Whitchurch. Whitchurch's Silk Mill preserves traditional heritage silk weaving skills, weaving on looms that date back to the 1890s, and they maintain a collection of historic machinery. This traditional craft ensures a high end product which you can buy in the shop and you can see weaving happen in the museum itself. There is also a riverside cafe, so if you end your walk here you can visit for refreshments.
Leaving the Silk Mill we head down the weir to reach the Fulling Mill then loop back walking alongside the River Test. The chalk river is crystal clear and teeming with trout. It's private fishing only here, however Test Trout is famous across the regions restaurants. At the end of this path you reach a road opposite the All Hallows Church back in Whitchurch Town. All Hallows is a beautiful church with a rich history and worth a visit if that interests you.
Heading through Whitchurch you walk along a path that leads from the town high on the chalk cliff, its worth taking this route out of the town as you get a wonderful view across the Hampshire country side. At the top of the town you head to a path that takes you up to Bere Mill.
Bere Mill also has a fascinating history but now surrounded by farmland it opens its gardens for various events over the year. Its well worth a visit, the water meadows and the garden itself is beautiful. There is also a butchery that that sells its home-reared beef and lamb. After leaving Bere Mill, you walk up through the farmland heading towards Laverstoke. If you take the trail to the right you will be taken to Freefolk to see a lovely semi-cirucular thatched terrace and head back on a loop back to St Nicholas Church, which is a 13th century church. However there has been a church on this site since the Domesday Book. Continue on the path and this you will reach the field you were on before you turned off to freefolk so continue through the gate onto Laverstoke.
At the end of this stretch you will reach the Bombay Sapphire distillery, this is the halfway point of the walk. I have written more about Bombay Sapphire in my blog, and worth a read if Gin is your thing!
At this point you then loop back and walk the other side of the river back to Whitchurch where there is one last mill to before you finish back in Whitchurch. You can finish your walk with a visit to a traditional pub, like the Kings Arms, or a lovely bijou restaurant, Denning's or a great coffee and cake in Kudos.
So much to do this is easily a whole day trip if you want it to be, and the scenery and history on this walk, makes this one pretty special.
If you would like to see the Silk Mill in action, visit https://whitchurchsilkmill.org.uk/
To see what events are running at Bere Mill or purchase some home-grown meat, visit https://beremillfarm.co.uk/
If you are interested in walking the Mill Trail, visit http://www.hants.gov.uk/rh/walking/mill-trail.pdf