BOAT: Lythe Lane

Location: Lythe Ln, Hampshire GU32, UK
  • Overall Rating: 4
  • Location: Froxfield, Hampshire.
  • OS Explorer Map 133, 'Haslemere & Petersfield, Midhurst & Selborne'.
  • Starting OS Grid Reference: SU719251
  • Starting GPS Co-ordinates: N51 02' 10" W000  97' 70"
  • Finishing OS Grid Reference: SU724247
  • Finishing GPS Co-ordinates: N51 01' 70" W000 96' 90"
  • To see: a Roman bathPetersfield and Petersfield HeathButser Hill.
  • ALWAYS follow the Greenlane Code!

NB: this entry should be read in conjunction with that for Ridge Top Lane.

Steeper than it looks.
This byway is also featured in Land Rover Owner International magazine's November 2012 issue as byway number 7. This byway is one of the steepest we have thus far discovered! It descends the flank of Lythe Hanger, a ridge of high ground that overlooks Petersfield away to the east. However, those will HDC (i.e Discovery/Freelander) or a Defender's engine braking will find the gradient no challenge when travelling downhill (north-to-south). With a solid surface of flint over a bed of chalk, and pock-marked with shallow potholes that hold the water long after rains have passed, this lane is also a relatively easy drive despite its gradient. At no point does any foliage encroach and threaten the paintwork either.

Starting at its northern end, the lane begins where it leaves another greenlane called Ridge Top Lane. The greenlane winds steeply downhill through dense coppiced woodland, very occasionally affording stunning views through the trees and out east towards Petersfield and West Sussex. The lane ends at the bottom of the hill where it runs under tarmac for a distance and then joins Ridge Common Lane just north of the village of Stroud. This lane would score a full 5 if it was longer and when driven in conjunction with Ridge Top Lane it is indeed worthy of such a grade, but when taken in isolation a 4 will suffice.

Roman bath can be found just to the west of the northern end of lane, though there's not much to see other than lumps in the soil. Butser Hill, one of the highest points on the South Downs, lies a couple of miles to the south and offers spellbinding views in every direction over Hampshire and West Sussex. The great market town of Petersfield with its main attraction Petersfield Heath, is certainly well worth checking out and maybe even a break for lunch.

This byway is also featured in Land Rover Owner International magazine's November 2012 issue as byway number 21.

View Lythe Lane in a larger map

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