BOAT: Worting Road Cemetery to Ibworth.

Location: Hook Ln, Wootton St Lawrence, Hampshire RG26 5, UK
  • Overall Rating: 4
  • Location: Worting Road Cemetery, Basingstoke, to Bailey Hall Farm, Ibworth, Hampshire.
  • OS Explorer Map 144, 'Basingstoke, Alton and Whitchurch, Odiham, Overton and Hook'.
  • Starting OS Grid Reference: SU617537
  • Starting GPS Co-ordinates: N51 16' 44.45" W001 07' 52.74"
  • Finishing OS Grid Reference: SU565545
  • Finishing GPS Co-ordinates: N51 17' 11.93" W001 11' 24.74"
  • To see: the scenery.
  • ALWAYS follow the Greenlane Code!
NB: The Eastern Section of this lane appears to be classified as a RUPP. If this is the case, it is closed due to the removal of access rights for vehicles to all RUPPs under the Natural Environment and Rural Communitites Act, 2006. To be safe (and to save your paintwork) join the lane on its Mid Section (see below). 

Although, short of a tumulus which seems to have been 'ploughed out' (we could find no evidence of it), this great BOAT has little of interest in it's immediate proximity. But it is no less of a pleasure to drive for that, and would score a 5 but for its heavily overgrown eastern section. The east-west track consists of three sections intersected by country roads, each section of which is detailed below. As each section runs for basically a third of the total length, this lane can be driven from a variety of starting points. Two other un-named northerly BOATs also join the lane, and as such there are a number of ways of tackling this lane. We drove the entire length of the lane from east to west.

Eastern Section: (NB: As stated above, this section is almost certainly now closed to motorised vehicles. Instead, join the lane from the hamlet of Whitedown at SU597539, N51 16' 53.50" W001 08' 41.27".)

The first, easternmost section starts life as a very short section of RUPP running south of Worting Road Cemetery. At this point access to the lane is  regulated by a height restriction (pictured above left), no doubt imposed due to heathen scum fly-tipping this lane. We had absolutely no trouble getting underneath, and even those with a 2" suspension lift or roofrack would have a fair bit of room to spare.

The surface at this end is mostly coarse gravel, later changing to dirt. However this section of the lane becomes very overgrown in places, although it never becomes completely impassable, and as such is best avoided for the sake of the paintwork. A far better place to start would be from it's intersection with the un-named country road at Whitedown Farm (SU 589 540). At this point, the first junction with another BOAT I have christened Whitedown Lane can be found, providing options.

Mid Section: The lane follows the contours westwards, just south of the hamlet of Upper Wootton, on a wide crushed chalk surface (pictured above right). After around 750m, at the junction with another very short northerly BOAT called Woodgarston Lane that leads into Upper Wootton, the lane passes into small beech copse (pictured left) and then continues to be tree-lined for a decent length. Here the chalk surface ends and the lane changes back to unrutted dirt. This is very pleasant to drive, especially when contrasted with the eastern section, as the going is very easy! Indeed, from here until it's western end the lane is very wide (for a greenlane!) and bordered on either side with tall beech trees and hedging, but it's certainly none the worse for that. Eventually Hook Lane crosses the track, ending this section.

Western Section: This, the shortest section of the lane, is also the most picturesque. After crossing Hook Lane the lane jinks slightly north-westwards and starts to climb  a gentle hill to around 172m amsl. When crossing the 165m contour line, the OS map shows a large tumulus just south of the track. Peas were being grown in the field during our visit, and as such any evidence of the tumulus, which must only survive as crop marks due to years under the plow, was impossible to find to our finely trained eyes! Continuing northwest, the lane passes through exceptionally beautiful countryside (pictured right), lined with hedgerows full of wild flowers, and eventually emerges just south of the hamlet of Ibworth where it becomes the tarmaced Ibworth Lane.

We recommend driving the mid- and western sections of this beautiful lane, as they are clearly the best without any fear of damage to your vehicle. With it's high hedges on either side, and the certain risk of scratching your vehicle, you would be missing very little by omitting to drive the eastern section.

View Worting Road Cemetery to Ibworth in a larger map

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