FORD: Mill Lane

Location: Mill Ln, Odiham, Hampshire RG29 1, UK
  • Overall Rating: 0
  • Location: Odiham, Hampshire.
  • OS Explorer Map 144, 'Basingstoke, Alton and Whitchurch, Odiham, Overton and Hook'.
  • OS Grid Reference: SU728520
  • GPS Co-ordinates: N51 26' 20" W000 95' 80"
  • To see: Odiham Castle.
  • ALWAYS follow the Greenlane Code!
Update: As of 01/08/2012 these fords are subject to a TRO and are therefore closed to all vehicles. You cannot access them as they are bollarded off. This post is now solely included for reference and as a record of our experiences when they were still open. You can check the list of current Hampshire TRO's here.

DANGER: there is a chance of your vehicle becoming stranded or damaged whilst driving this ford, even in the height of summer! Don't try it after heavy rains.
The first of TWO fords!
Before even thinking of driving this ford (as you should any other), assess its depth by wading in with a measuring stick. Assess the depth of the water, the force exerted by it (the faster the stream, the more likely your car is to be washed away), and the nature and quality of the ford surface. Weight this against how likely you are to damage the watercourse, whether there is any evidence of damage from vehicles that have gone before, and make an informed and sensible decision whether to attempt a crossing. If there is even the slightest doubt, turn back.

In this instance, the surface consists of a gravel surface providing a relatively easy passage via an awesome double ford through the River Whitewater. Take it slow enough to avoid damaging the ford and your vehicle, but just fast enough to create a bow wave and avoid stalling the engine.

When you're done, definitely check out the ruins of Odiham Castle which lie just to the west of the fords.

Updated 11/08/2012: the lane today, after the TRO has been enforced. (Photographs courtesy of N. De Lacey, with thanks.)

The northern end. 
The southern end.
View Mill Lane in a larger map

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