BOAT: Frog Lane

Location: Well Ln, Long Sutton, Hampshire RG29 1, UK
  • Overall Rating: 3
  • Location: Sutton Common, Hampshire.
  • OS Explorer Map 144, 'Basingstoke, Alton and Whitchurch, Odiham, Overton and Hook'.
  • Starting OS Grid Reference: SU741455
  • Starting GPS Co-ordinates: N51 12' 13.03" W000 56' 27.31"
  • Finishing OS Grid Reference: SU761464
  • Finishing GPS Co-ordinates: N51 12' 41.83" W000 54' 44.11"
  • To see: excellent blackberries in late summer/early autumn, tumuliRAF Odiham.
  • ALWAYS follow the Greenlane Code!
Frog Lane is an east-west BOAT that runs alongside a line of pylons and between field boundaries, out the back of Lord Wandsworth College, a mixed boarding school for 11-18 year olds. We've driven this lane in both directions, and I can honestly say that it is equally good when starting from either end. Our most recent trip started at it's western end. The brief break in the hedgerow on the northern side of the lane, coupled with the fact that you are high up on the side of a valley, affords an excellent view across to RAF Odiham.

Continuing eastwards on the dry dirt surface, after entering Sheephouse Copse the lane kinks slightly to the north, and the undergrowth starts to slowly close in. It remains tight in places, but by no means too tight, for the remainder of the lane. Some light scratches, nothing at all dramatic, should be the worst your paintwork will experience whilst driving this lane (pictured right). An unexpected benefit is that, if you time your visit to the lane just right, there are some quite exemplary blackberries to be had when they are in season.

Whilst in Sheephouse Copse, a useful landmark is provided where the pylons cross overhead and start to parallel the lane to the south (shown on the OS map). Around 200m further east of this, a footpath branches off to the left which heads into Lord Wandsworth College. It looks like a greenlane, but don't be fooled as it is blocked off by a large, immovable, t-shaped yellow barrier jutting out of the ground just back from the junction. More blackberries feature in the high hedges east of this point. For those interested in Neolithic/Bronze Age history, a couple of tumuli (barrows/burial mounds) can be seen just south of the lane in Sheephouse Copse (grid reference SU 751 455), reached by a footpath.

Another 300m further east and the lane kinks north again. From this point a Freelander may be likely to ground out as the lane becomes more seriously rutted and slightly more overgrown, and remains this way until it heads uphill again, plunging into a narrow strip of woodland where the surface changes to gravel and the undergrowth satisfies it's fetish for paint. Your intrepid explorers benevolently cleared a particularly evil fallen branch from the sunken lane in this copse (pictured above left). The going is then very easy until it emerges on to Well Lane, just to the south of Manor Farm in Well. For those wondering why the hamlet is called Well, the answer is provided above right.

View Frog Lane in a larger map

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