BOAT: Squires Hill Lane

Location: 1 Squires Hill Ln, Tilford, Farnham, Surrey GU10 2AD, UK
  • Overall Rating: 5
  • Location: Tilford, Hampshire.
  • OS Explorer Map 145, 'Guildford & Farnham, Godalming & Farnborough'.
  • Starting OS Grid Reference: SU876441
  • Starting GPS Co-ordinates: N51 18' 90" W000 74' 70"
  • Finishing OS Grid Reference: SU873454
  • Finishing GPS Co-ordinates: N51 20' 10" W000 75' 20"
  • To see: Waverley Abbey ruins, Tilford with it's two medieval bridges and historical oak trees, and the River WeyThe Barley Mow pub, pillboxes.
  • ALWAYS follow the Greenlane Code!
This is one of our favourite byways. I can't quite put my finger on why, but I guess it is just an easy-going greenlane which is a pleasure to drive and has a lot of awesome stuff well within striking distance after we're done. I guess short of a ford it has it all!

Starting at its southern end in the beautiful, almost prototypical village of Tilford with it's two medieval bridges and historical oak trees on the sizeable village green (complete with cricket pitch and country pub), this byway starts out on a westerly track and a metalled surface. It soon turns to the north, a path it maintains for the rest of it's length. On passing the cluster of dwellings, the largest of which proudly displays some quite epic topiary, the tarmac turns into a (mostly) unrutted surface of earth and leaf mould, although it can get a bit muddy in places in wet weather. The lane is also in pretty good nick with regards to foliage: some fallen trees were promptly chainsawed away last winter and other than the odd invasion by holly bushes there isn't much to trouble the paintwork.

Lined to begin with by pole and rail fencing and later by evergreen trees, there's not much of a view on offer but that doesn't detract from the experience. After an uphill stretch the byway crosses Sheephatch Lane, emerging around an evidently ancient barn and plunging back into Sheephatch Copse on the other side. The lane then begins to descend back down into the valley of the River Wey in a 'hollow way', which is old-speak for 'sunken lane'. Where a footpath merges from the east the byway takes a rather sharp turn to the west and then starts a long, sweeping curve down to its terminus on Waverley Lane, just easy of the gorgeous Waverleymill Bridge and weir. Well worth a drive.

Just to the west of the northern end of the lane are the ruins of Waverley Abbey, the first Cistercian abbey in England which was founded in 1128. The vast, ancient yew tree and its gnarled roots are worth checking out quite apart from the beautiful abbey ruins with the River Wey running past them. Also on the abbey grounds can be found some quite formidable pillboxes: a type 22 infantry box and a large filed gun emplacement, as well as innumerate tank traps which were shifted and dumped just next the the abbey. The compulsory post-lane tipple can be enjoyed in the aforementioned Barley Mow pub in Tilford (see above). Enjoy. 


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