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Holidays in Romsey

The jewel in the crown of Hampshire

UK | South Coast | Hampshire | Romsey
Romsey market square

The pretty market town of Romsey is nestled in glorious countryside seven miles north of Southampton and is one of the principal towns in the Test Valley.

It sits astride a river crossing at Middlebridge which was a stopping point on the way to King Henry VIII’s hunting grounds in the New Forest. Streams also criss-cross the town and the abundant trout attract fly fishermen from far and wide. By exploring the old town you will be able to trace where the streams intriguingly appear and disappear.

St Mary's Church in nearby Michelmersh

The town boasts many famous former residents including The Earl Mountbatten of Burma who is buried in the magnificent Romsey Abbey following his untimely death by the IRA. Florence Nightingale also lived on the outskirts of the town on a country estate known as Embley Park and is reputed to have found her calling from God while sitting under a giant cedar tree in the grounds. She is now buried in a family vault at St Margaret’s Church in East Wellow near Romsey.

Lord Palmerston, the 19th century prime minister lived at Broadlands, a large country estate which was also later home to Lord Mountbatten. This beautiful Palladian style manor house was remodelled in 1767 by Capability Brown and is well worth a visit. It is open from July to September and takes its name from the fabulous informal gardens leading down to the river Test. Throughout the summer Broadlands plays host to a range of concerts, craft shows and events.

Romsey Abbey dominates the town and is a fine example of Norman architecture, starting as a Benedictine Abbey. Bought by the town from Henry VIII, the abbey is full of fascinating history and throughout the year concerts and a variety of events are held here.

If you are starting to get a feel for the rich history of the area, you will enjoy King John’s House, which is tucked away down one of the oldest streets and celebrates 750 years of Romsey’s history. The museum houses a varied collection ranging from a fossilised mammoth tooth to medieval graffiti, and even a rare bone floor, and every week one specific object is highlighted with more information.

Nearby you will discover the Victorian home of the Moody family with a recreated shop, and you can even enjoy a scrumptious tea in Miss Moody’s Tudor Tea Room with bone china tea cups and delicious homemade scones, cakes and lunches.

"Nestled in glorious countryside seven miles north of Southampton..."

The romantic National Trust house Mottisfont Abbey is only a few miles from Romsey and originally started as an Augustinian priory in 1201. You will find something here for all the family to enjoy – whether it’s the stunning walled rose gardens and riverside walks, the Rex Whistler trompe l’oeil drawing room or the show rooms reflecting the fascinating characters who have lived here. Your four legged friend will also be welcome to enjoy the gardens and estate and throughout the year the National Trust hold special activities to entertain children. Treat yourself to the Coach House Café in the Stables for delicious seasonal refreshments.

Take a look at our selection of Romsey cottages for even more holiday inspiration.

While you’re there

Mottisfont Abbey

National Trust period house and riverside gardens which was home to Maud Russell in the 1930s, with many artists, writers and designers having stayed as her guests

King John's House

A heritage centre which encompasses three buildings and a wonderful tearoom

Romsey Abbey

Built in 1130, Romsey Abbey is best known as the final resting place of Lord Mountbatten of Burma

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