UCR: Elm Lane

Location: Elm Ln, Wisley, Surrey GU23 6, UK
  • Overall Rating: 2
  • Location: Bridge End, Ockham, Surrey.
  • OS Explorer Map 145, 'Guildford & Farnham, Godalming & Farnborough'.
  • Starting OS Grid Reference: TQ069580
  • Starting GPS Co-ordinates: N51 18' 40.52" W000 28' 00.73"
  • Finishing OS Grid Reference: TQ079581
  • Finishing GPS Co-ordinates: N51 18' 43.97" W000 27' 07.85"
  • To see: Wisley Airfield, Chatley Semaphore Tower on Wisley Common.
  • ALWAYS follow the Greenlane Code!
UPDATE 05/01/2017: Thanks to feedback from 'aroughcircle' (see comments, below) the surface of the BOAT section of this short byway has (I suppose inevitably, given its location) turned into a heavily rutted quagmire which will test greatly those without a lifted suspension. Be warned!

This short byway of two halves is part UCR, part BOAT. The UCR half begins with a sharp turn off of the southbound carriageway of the A3, and is just a normal metalled road so there's no point going into detail here. Around the halfway mark, Elm Lane changes into a BOAT and the surface changes into lightly rutted mud. There are quite a deep, albeit small, potholes in the track which quickly fill up with water, so if you value your suspension, take it easy! This is a great little lane, picturesque in summer due to the woodland it passes through, but only really worth taking if you are in the area anyway.

Wisley Common is worth a walk, as there are (amongst other things) a semaphore tower and a tumulus to investigate. Brilliant spot for a picnic, even if it is slightly marred by traffic noise from the M25 and A3, and aviation noise from the hold at Ockham. There's not much to see other than a runway, but if you drive this lane go (on foot) and check out Wisley Airfield (pictured right), the old Vicker's Aircraft Company flight testing airfield. All that remains is the substantial runway, apron, and taxiways, as almost all the buildings were demolished around 1980. Those with any background in flying will already know (those that don't, won't care!) that the Ockham VOR/DME station is situated on the south-east corner of the disused airfield. Amongst many others, the legendary Vickers VC10 underwent a portion of it's flight testing programme from here.

NB The Hautboy Inn in Ockham, architecturally an awesome building, has gone out of business at the time of writing. Instead, visit the Black Swan.

View Elm Lane in a larger map

2 comments:

aroughcircle said...

I drove part of this lane at the end of october, and drove the full length of it this morning.

It is heavily rutted, and you do need a tall car to get through without any damage (My bog standard Disco 3 on its off road height was fine at low speed, but there were a couple of close calls).

It's very muddy, and does currently have a pretty long muddy puddle, which due to the hidden ruts, meant that the water level was higher than the bottom of the door sills, even with the off road height, but it was easily manageable.

Apart from the ruts the lane is well kept, and is clear of foliage so if driven slowly, is non damaging.

James Eaton-Brown said...

Thanks for the update! I shall relate your findings in the post above.

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Please keep it clean!