BOAT: North Stroud Lane

Location: N Stroud Ln, South Downs National Park, Petersfield, Hampshire GU32, UK
  • Overall Rating: 4
  • Location: Stroud, Hampshire.
  • OS Explorer Map 133, 'Haslemere & Petersfield, Midhurst & Selborne'.
  • Starting OS Grid Reference: SU719234
  • Starting GPS Co-ordinates: N51 00' 50" W000  97' 70"
  • Finishing OS Grid Reference: SU705225
  • Finishing GPS Co-ordinates: N50 99' 20" W000 99' 70"
  • To see: Petersfield and Petersfield HeathButser Hill, site of a Roman villa, the Seven Stars pub.
  • ALWAYS follow the Greenlane Code!
Further update 27/04/2015: According to Mr Tubbs (see comment, below) apparently another fallen tree is blocking access. It is, however relatively simple to bypass as long as you are not travelling alone!

Update: This is a difficult lane! And as of February 2014 it has been further complicated by the stump of a fallen tree (see comment below). It is now unlikely that you will pass without damage to your vehicle.

North Stroud Lane is a byway that starts life looking like any other normal tarmac road, acting as a driveway providing access to a number of houses and, ultimately, the remote North Strood Farm. Running in a south-westerly direction, the lane slowly changes after the tarmac runs out, initially to a gravel surface. Amusingly, a crude hand-painted sign warns GPS users to turn back at this point, stating that it is not suitable for traffic! However, being in a Land Rover we need take no notice of such trifling nonsense!

Heading slowly downhill towards a stream that eventually feeds the River Rother (via Tilmore Brook), at its lowest point this lane can get very wet indeed, with a lot of standing water in the pot holes and ruts pock-marking the surface after it becomes earthen. Big deal, you say. Trust us: this would be challenging enough, but on climbing out again the surface becomes one of rough exposed rock that takes a fair bit of negotiation (at roughly the position indicated on the map). Worse still, the lane is sunken at this point and seems to have been hewn from the rock itself, as both sides of the lane are also bare rock. There is only just barely enough width to get a Defender through, and we were distinctly nervous whilst driving it! Should you drive this lane it is highly recommended that you use a spotter and take extreme care.

Once you're through, however, the rest of the lane is a relatively straightforward climb up towards the village of Ramsdean, where the lane unceremoniously bursts out of the undergrowth behind a barn. A thoroughly good, if challenging, the lane only misses out on a 5 due to it's difficulty and that foliage is tight in places, especially towards the southern end. Good luck, and don't cry to us if you dent it!

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 of Petersfield Heath, is certainly well worth checking out and maybe even a break for lunch. The site of the Roman villa lies in a field just to the east of the northern end of the lane, but there is absolutely nothing to see above ground. Instead, go and visit the Seven Stars pub in Stroud for great food.


View North Stroud Lane in a larger map

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fine for RR Classics too so don't worry. Drive it regularly as I live locally.

Anonymous said...

Was almost blocked by a large tree trunk 09/02/2014 (a tree which was previously completely blocking the lane). Trunk is in a narrow cutting part of the lane. Could get past with a lot of effort and use of the rock sliders. Anything with nice panels and body work i.e. not a defender, probably wouldn't want to get past. It is also fairly muddy and unstable around the tree which didn't help. Could do with clearing properly.

James Brown said...

Thanks for the invaluable feedback, folks! It's always most welcome. I've updated this entry with the information you have kindly supplied.

Anonymous said...

Went through today, stump is still part blocking the track however managed to get through. Still very tight but passable, this was with no sliders as well.

James Brown said...

Thanks for relating your experiences. Every little helps!

Greg Tubbs said...

Got through late last night, just a not, there's a snapped tree hanging across the early part of the lane. Had nothing to get it down with, so took two chaps to hold it out the way as we passed through.
Otherwise still challenging and a supremely fun lane.

James Brown said...

Thanks Greg, I've updated this entry with your observations. Much appreciated!

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