BOAT: Ragmore Lane

Location: Tunworth Rd, Mapledurwell, Hampshire RG25 2, UK
  • Overall Rating: 5
  • Location: Mapledurwell, Hampshire.
  • OS Explorer Map 144, 'Basingstoke, Alton and Whitchurch, Odiham, Overton and Hook'.
  • Starting OS Grid Reference: SU682500
  • Starting GPS Co-ordinates: N51 14' 43.30" W001 01' 28.11"
  • Finishing OS Grid Reference: SU713496
  • Finishing GPS Co-ordinates: N51 14' 33.04" W000 58' 54.06"
  • To see: Basingstoke, Civil War earthworks at Basing House and Oliver's Battery, source of the River Loddon, the course of a Roman road.
  • ALWAYS follow the Greenlane Code!
NB: This lane is part of the Five Lanes End network. Please read the entries for all three lanes. 

Short of a ford, this lane has it all! Driving it in an easterly direction from an un-named country road, near a house called Ragmore (hence my naming of the road: if anyone knows it's real name, please comment below!), this BOAT plunges into hedgerow (see left) that follows the field boundary. Be sure to take the correct entrance (they're very close indeed), as I'm sure the residents of Ragmore won't appreciate you crashing up their driveway! The undergrowth isn't particularly tight here and consists of little more than overhanging beech and yew trees, but those worried about their paintwork should take this into account. The surface along it's whole length is almost entirely leaf mould or earth, and there are relatively few ruts, so like all earthen lanes the going is easy unless it's recently been very wet.

After 500m or so, the lane enters a beautiful patch of beech woodland, and where it bears from north- to south-east the course of a Roman road crosses the lane. There's nothing to see above ground however. Unfortunately, at this point we found evidence of some brainless moron illegally straying from the track (see right), up the side of the bank that borders the lane. Why the idiot thought it was acceptable to do this is beyond me, and cannot be condemned firmly enough by both us and, I'm sure, the rest of the green-laning community. After all, I doubt you'd just drive straight across somebody's front garden, so how's it different here?

Very 'Lord Of The Rings'!
Rant over, apologies. Emerging from the copse, this lane runs along the edge of beautiful, lush and undulating pasture (anyone who's ever used Windows XP will have a good idea what I'm on about...). Make sure you use the right track here. Stick to the northern-most route and you can't go far wrong; the alternatives are not part of the BOAT and lead into a hedge.

Continuing eastwards, eventually the lane hits it's key feature (and the reason it scores a '5'!). At Five Lanes End both Down Lane and White Lane intersect Ragmore Lane in a very pleasant beech glade. Here you can continue in any direction (25 different possible combinations of greenlaning are at your disposal therefore!). Ragmore Lane itself crests the brow of a 125m AMSL hill just east of this point, and then begins a slow descent along field boundaries lined with high-hedgerows (see left) until it is crossed by Upton Grey Road (a metalled country road). You can choose (more options!) at this point to finish the lane here or carry on downhill for another 400m or so to emerge onto Bidden Road, where the lane finally ends. Here, near Bidden Water, a Roman coin hoard was found.

This lane, on Saturdays at least, seems to be popular with bike riders, joggers, ramblers and dog walkers, and a part of it parallels the route of the Three Castles Path. If you encounter anyone, drive accordingly.

View Ragmore Lane in a larger map

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