BOAT: Wayfarer's Walk (Part 2)

Location: Deane, Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK
  • Overall Rating: 3
  • Location: Deane, Hampshire.
  • OS Explorer Map 144, 'Basingstoke, Alton and Whitchurch, Odiham, Overton and Hook'.
  • Starting OS Grid Reference: SU572490
  • Starting GPS Co-ordinates: N51 14' 38.23" W001 13' 00.36"
  • Finishing OS Grid Reference: SU547497
  • Finishing GPS Co-ordinates: N51 14' 14.49" W001 11' 18.96"
  • To see: A tumulus in Bull's Bushes Copse, just east of the eastern end of the lane.
  • ALWAYS follow the Greenlane Code!
NB: This lane is one of many sections of the Wayfarer's Walk that enjoy vehicular access. For the other sections, click through for Part 1 and Part 3.

This BOAT featured in Issue 2 2011 of Land Rover Owner International magazine, as part of their article 'Hampshire's Finest' on page 76, so it's clearly rated as a good one! However, when we drove the lane in autumn 2008 we found it to be rutted and, in places, very overgrown. It may well have been cleared since we drove it back then (LRO don't mention the vegetation at least), but don't hold me to that!

This section of the Wayfarer's Walk begins south of the village of Oakley, just west of a large wood called Bull's Bush Copse. The going is initially good when travelling westbound, as the lane follows the field boundary on a relatively firm earthen surface. However, once the lane reaches the copse of Itchen Row on the northern side the vegetation closes right in. Our paintwork protested loudly as we pushed forwards. It is (was?) never so tight as to preclude passage, however those worried about scratches had better go elsewhere! On a positive note, at the time of year that we drove it, the lane boasted an impressive number of absolutely delicious blackberries; a really first class crop!

It is at this point that the lane, heading ever downhill towards the awesome brick railway overbridge that carries the Basingstoke-Winchester main line over the lane, becomes rutted. The ruts are quite deep in places, and while they were not too much of a problem for a Defender, once in the ruts it was impossible to get out of them. Coupled with the tight vegetation it was indeed pointless to try getting out of them, as there was nowhere to go.

After passing under the line the lane starts back uphill for a while, where the ruts and vegetation continue to restrict progress, though nowhere near as badly as to the south of the bridge. The lane finally opens right up and the ruts stop where it peaks at around 125m AMSL and just after passing a tiny copse on the southern side (where a footpath crosses the lane) starts a gentle descent down into the village of Deane, where it ends at Cheesedown Farm on a country road just south of the B3400.

This section of the Wayfarer's Walk would have scored a 4 if it was not so tight, however until it's cleared and repaired a 3 will have to do. Those worried about damage should avoid.

View Wayfarer's Walk (Part 2) in a larger map

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