BOAT: Westers Lane

Location: B3349, South Warnborough, Hampshire RG29 1, UK
  • Overall Rating: 3
  • Location: South Warnborough, Hampshire.
  • OS Explorer Map 144, 'Basingstoke, Alton and Whitchurch, Odiham, Overton and Hook'.
  • Starting OS Grid Reference: SU719467
  • Starting GPS Co-ordinates: N51 12' 53.90" W000 58' 19.88"
  • Finishing OS Grid Reference: SU710442
  • Finishing GPS Co-ordinates: N51 11' 35.63" W000 59' 05.18"
  • To see: Humbly Grove Oilfield (no public access), Chichester-Silchester Roman road crosses the route.
  • ALWAYS follow the Greenlane Code!
This is quite an enjoyable lane, and worth driving as it's one of the longer drives in this area. The surface, especially at it's northern end, is mostly a prepared gravel surface, which changes to unrutted dirt around halfway down. There is relatively little overgrowth until after Humbly Grove, but you can choose to leave the lane at this point and therefore avoid damaging your paintwork. It's popular with walkers too, so give way should you encounter any.

Enter this BOAT by turning right (driving southbound) off of the B3349 just south of South Warnborough. The entrance is marked by a large barn. Make sure you take the correct, signposted track: it's the 'middle option' out of three (right heads into the barnyard, left looks convincing but is merely used to access a field). Travelling southbound the lane gently climbs it's way up the side of 30m hill, with a high hedgerow on the left and agricultural fields on the right. Just after cresting the hill, the lane passes into sparse woodland and over the route of the Chichester to Silchester Roman road, although no sign remains of it today, above ground at least. Around 150m after the crossing, another BOAT forks left from Westers Lane, and although signposted it is unfortunately impassable to vehicles due to a substantial fallen branch blocking the way, just below windscreen height (for a Defender anyway).

Therefore, the only option until the branch is cleared, is to continue southwards. After passing a house on the right (pictured left) the lane emerges onto a metalled lane running through Humbly Grove. Those worried about paintwork should finish here. If you elect to continue, the Westers Lane now forks into two, so make sure you choose the right track! The correct track is at '11 o'clock': hard right is a metalled road leading to Little Hoddington, straight ahead is another BOAT which is unfortunately a dead end (later it becomes a bridleway and is therefore not accessible to wheeled vehicles), and hard left the metalled road leads back to the B3349 at Blounce. The correct entrance is somewhat deceptive as it looks little wider than a footpath! It is, however, signposted.

This next section of the lane, heading almost due south after Humbly Grove, is very overgrown in places and as such there is no real value in driving it. Around two thirds of the way down the lane passes through Humbly Grove Oilfield (who would have thought there was black gold in Hampshire?!), which has been developed since 1984 to both produce oil and store natural gas. As it is in the middle of a sizeable patch of woodland, nothing can be seen from the track, but it's worth noting all the same! If you've braved the undergrowth and come this far, you can elect to end your run either by turning left down the oilfield access road, or continuing straight for another 400m of greenlaning, finishing off in Powntley Copse. Either way, you'll end up back on the B3349.

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