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Testwood Lakes

The Testwood Lakes site, near Southampton, is a valuable water resource for Hampshire and a haven for wildlife. We manage this area in partnership with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.

Facilities & access

  • Visitor centre Visitor centre
  • Parking Parking
  • Wheelchair access Wheelchair access
  • Toilet facilities Toilet facilities
  • Fishing Fishing
  • Bird hides Bird hides

Testwood Lakes

The three lakes at Testwood

The Testwood Lakes site was created in 2002 and is made up of three areas – Little Testwood Lake, Testwood Lake and Meadow Lake.

Little Testwood Lake is a reservoir which is able to store 270 million litres of water. This is pumped from the River Test when water flows are high enough. Meanwhile, Testwood Lake is a natural feature for wildlife and Meadow Lake is the main conservation area.

The Testwood Lakes Centre

The centre is open to the public in the summer between 1pm and 4pm and in the winter between 12pm and 3pm. 

It's home to a permanent exhibition on water, wildlife and conservation. You can also learn about the 3,000-year-old remains that we uncovered when the site was created.

The centre also runs events for schools and community groups throughout the year.

Explore the local wildlife at Testwood

The nature reserve at Testwood Lakes is a great place to escape into nature with your family all year round.

Catch a glimpse of the local wetland birds from the two accessible bird hides. Look out for lapwings and oystercatchers in the spring and great white egrets and teals in the winter.

If you're taking a stroll around the lakes, information boards along the way will tell you about plants and animals that live in the area.

What to do while you're there

Take a walk around the lakes on one of the many gravel path routes. The area is mostly flat with some slopes so it's a great place for an easy-going afternoon. You can hike all the way around Testwood Lake (allow an hour) or Little Testwood Lake (allow 30 minutes).

For anglers, fishing is available at Testwood Lakes from June 16 to March 14 during daylight hours only. Please note you will need a permit.

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust also run events for schools and community groups throughout the year which are linked to the National Curriculum. Courses for adults also include flintknapping, bird identification, bushcraft and living willow sculpture.

A person fishing by the edge of a lake
Facilities Getting to Testwood
Activities Image

The Testwood Lakes Centre is open to the public in the summer (Apr-Sep) between 1pm and 4pm and in the winter (Oct-Mar) between 12pm and 3pm.

You can hire an all-terrain wheelchair from the Centre, please call ahead of your visit to make sure it's available.

Toilet facilities are available inside the Testwood Lakes Centre when it is open.

If you'd like to book an education session at the Testwood Lakes Centre, please email testwoodlakes@hiwwt.org.uk.

There are two accessible bird hides in the Testwood Lakes Nature Reserve.

From junction 2 of the M27, take the A326 Fawley/Totton road and take the first exit towards Totton (A36). At the first roundabout, turn left into Brunel Road. Testwood Lakes is about 300m down on the left-hand side.

There is pedestrian access from Hill Street, Brunel Road and a public footpath running from Salisbury Road (A36) to Mill Lane. Please be aware some footpaths are prone to flooding.

Totton station is about 1.5 miles from the lakes, with trains running every hour from Southampton.

Catch the Bluestar No. 12 or Wilts & Dorset X7 from Southhampton and get off at Testwood Crescent. The lakes are about a quarter of a mile away.

The car parks are open every day from 8am to 6pm in the summer and from 8am to 4pm during the winter. There is a 1.9m height barrier that staff may be able to remove if you call ahead.

Getting to the lakes

The car parks are open every day from 8am - 6pm in the summer (Apr-Sep) and from 8am - 4pm during the winter (Oct-Mar).

An illustrated outline of a location marker with a 'P' in the middle

Testwood Lakes Brunel Road Totton Southampton SO40 3WX

For centre staff, call 02380 667929