BOAT: White Dyke Road

Location: Hailsham, East Sussex, UK
NB: This byway is now subject to a seasonal TRO, closing it to all motorised traffic from 1st October every year for a period of 6 months. Hugely irresponsible usage of this byway in wet weather by the inevitable minority has brought this about, so it is hardly a surprise. Time will tell if it actually opens in the summer months!

Make no mistake: this greenlane, along with Marshfoot Lane and Snapsons Drove are the best byways in the entire of Sussex, and are a strong rival for the elite of those driven so far! Crossing the incredibly beautiful Pevensey Levels, lined with tall rushes growing in the ditches on either side of the lane, and offering some quite spellbinding views across the flat marshes, we were stoked by the time we'd finished driving this lane!

Starting at its eastern end, be warned: this lane crosses a marsh, and as such it can get very wet indeed. Unfortunately it has seen far too much use whilst it was wet, whether by farm machinery from White Dyke Farm and Horse Eye Farm, or from greenlaners, and a programme of repair is sorely needed (Update 13/01/2014: the inevitable TRO has now happened, see above) for the earthen surface at the eastern end. Honestly, the ruts here are so bad that my Land Rover 110 with standard suspension and tyres grounded out at several points. Anyone with a suspension lift or simply larger-than-standard wheels will be OK in most places, but those in a Freelander or equivalent vehicle stand no chance and it's best that you go elsewhere as the ruts are impossible to avoid. The area is also heavily grazed so be aware that you may meet with livestock whilst driving it. The moral: take it slow and easy!

Heading west over glorious, unspoilt countryside towards Hailsham (almost: litter seems to be a bit of a problem, which is sickening) the ruts eventually peter out. However, they are replaced by a very tight section where the hawthorn, willow and hazel bushes have got ahead of themselves and encroached onto the lane. Your paintwork will be scratched here: it is unavoidable, but this part is also a very short section.

After exiting the scrub the surface improves dramatically as it has received a coating of gravel and rubble. The going is subsequently very easy until the end of the lane at White Dyke Farm, where it becomes a metalled farm track. An awesome, beautiful lane.

Scratch the surface of this part of the world, and it will bleed history. So whilst you're here, go and check out (as a minimum!):
This is East Sussex County Council's Byway Hailsham 57.

Total Distance: 2.35 km (1.5 mi)
Total Time: 11:59
Moving Time: 11:21
Average Speed: 11.75 km/h (7.3 mi/h)
Average Moving Speed: 12.41 km/h (7.7 mi/h)
Max Speed: 24.37 km/h (15.1 mi/h)
Min Elevation: 41 m (136 ft)
Max Elevation: 53 m (173 ft)
Elevation Gain: 24 m (77 ft)
Max Grade: 3 %
Min Grade: -2 %

View White Dyke Road in a larger map

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