BOAT: Old Down Lane

Location: East Hampshire, Hampshire, UK
  • Overall Rating: 5
  • Location: West Meon Hut, Hampshire.
  • OS Explorer Map 132, 'Winchester, New Arlesford & East Meon'.
  • Starting OS Grid Reference: SU673250 
  • Starting GPS Co-ordinates: N51 02' 00" W001 04' 20"
  • Finishing OS Grid Reference:  SU667255
  • Finishing GPS Co-ordinates: N51 02' 50" W001 05' 10"
  • To see: Meon Valley Railway.
  • ALWAYS follow the Greenlane Code!
The best bit lies through the gate! (Don't turn right here.)
Although short, Old Down Lane is one of our favourite BOATs in this area. At its starting point at Old Down Farm, the lane heads north-west between hedges on an easy surface of grass and gravel. Eventually, on entering Great Copyhold Copse, the lane is blocked by a gate. It can get a little boggy here. Also, make damn sure you don't follow the ruts and turn right here to enter the copse by mistake: this is not part of the byway and you will be trespassing.

Pretty unremarkable thus far, pass through the gate taking care to leave it how you found it (it's usually closed). It's here that the lane scores full marks, as it travels uphill through a wide open field, which is pretty rare in our greenlaning experience (the only other lane we've found like this one thus far is Standfast Lane). Simply make a beeline, following the field boundary, for the easily visible gate in the northern hedge and that is unfortunately where the lane ends on a country road just shy of the A272 at the distinctive (and huge!) brick bridge that used to carry the Meon Valley Railway. Need I even mention (again...) that to leave the prescribed track is to trespass and therefore annoy the landowners and cause damage to their land: just don't do it. A great, straightforward and satisfying lane to drive.

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