BOAT/UCR: Buckland Lane

Location: Buckland Lane, Surrey KT20, UK
  • Overall Rating: 4
  • Location: Walton-on-the-Hill, Surrey.
  • OS Explorer Map 146, 'Dorking, Box Hill, & Reigate'.
  • Starting OS Grid Reference: TQ220535 
  • Starting GPS Co-ordinates: N51 26' 70" W000 25' 30"
  • Finishing OS Grid Reference:  TQ227519
  • Finishing GPS Co-ordinates: N51 25' 30" W000 24' 30"
  • To see: the view.
  • ALWAYS follow the Greenlane Code!
Update 29/03/2015: This byway is subject to a TRO until further notice, as per signs at either end of the byway. We shall see if it ever re-opens!

STOP PRESS! 04/11/2013: This byway is apparently blocked by a tree felled by the recent storms. According to Paul Evans (who we are gratefully indebted to), "Buckland Lane, Walton on Hill is currently blocked by a fallen tree at the top." (via Twitter). Avoid this byway until it is confirmed that the tree has been removed.

Conditions on the BOAT differ...
Whether you elect to tackle this lane from either its northern or southern end will decide whether you enjoy a steep climb or descent! We opted for the northern end and therefore took the descent.

Starting at a large roundabout built to serve the B2032 and the huge 'Walton Oaks' Pfizer building (yes, the very same that make Viagra...). The byway leaves the Pfizer access road to the right, on a tarmac surface that quickly deteriorates with potholes, until the tarmac ends completely abeam Bothey Cottage. The BOAT segment then continues on a firm earthen surface that clearly sees a lot of action by farm vehicles and tractor tyre tracks and filled-in potholes are everywhere. On reaching a crossroads with a bridleway, make sure you travel straight ahead to keep it legal.

The fields that border each side of the byway soon end, and when they do the green lane suddenly plunges into woodland where the total width of the track narrows substantially. The surface deteriorates as the ruts become deeper and the byway begins a steep descent into the Mole Valley. In exceedingly wet conditions this descent may be a challenge; one that isn't helped by the ruts which make missing some of the overhanging trees a chore. However, in our Defender 110 there was enough room to eek out a path, and I'm confident that larger vehicles could also find a path successfully.

...to that on the UCR.
As the lane descends it passes a SSSI on the left that has been fenced off to prevent illegal off-roaders from damaging this valuable natural haven, though why the fools would ever want to drive in there in the first place is beyond me. Stay out and report anyone you see trying to gain access to the police.

Just after the SSSI the byway technically changes from a BOAT to a UCR. At around the same point, the shrub that borders the track has closed in to a certain degree. It is still possible to comfortably drive the lane but some scratches on the screaming paintwork are a cast-iron-guarantee. Somewhat uniquely in our experience the byway is situated on the top of an embankment that is considerably higher than the fields that flank it, offering incredible views of the North Downs and the Mole Valley (see pic below).  The green lane continues winding its way along the top of the embankment and ends where it meets a country road called Lawrence Lane.

A great byway with incredible views, if offers just a little bit of a challenge but it misses out on a full 5 as it is in need of clearance on its southern (UCR) half.

To Surrey County Council this is Banstead Byway 8.


View Buckland Lane in a larger map

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Closed UFN by surrey cc as road unstable

James Brown said...

Thanks for the update. Could you please expand any further? Are there signs posted or a barrier erected? I can't seem to find any official documentation detailing its closure!

Anonymous said...

Closed from March 2015 for 16 months due to unsafe subsidence causing vehicles to fall off the edge of the embanked section. SCC notices posted at both ends of the closure.

James Brown said...

Thank you kindly, I shall update this entry.

simon hill said...

Still closed to vehicles but we mountain bike down it regularly - few logs and tress, but it's not that bad. Someone's removed the sign at the top...it's very narrow and overgrown at the southern end of the lane.

James Brown said...

Thanks for the update, Simon!

Post a Comment

Please keep it clean!