UCR/BOAT: Pickaxe Lane/Beech Hangers Lane

Location: Froyle Rd, Alton, Hampshire GU34, UK
  • Overall Rating: 3
  • Location: Golden Pot, Hampshire.
  • OS Explorer Map 144, 'Basingstoke, Alton and Whitchurch'.
  • Starting OS Grid Reference: SU720444 or SU722443
  • Starting GPS Co-ordinates: N51 19' 50" W000 97' 10" or N51 19' 30" W000 96' 80"
  • Finishing OS Grid Reference: SU721435  
  • Finishing GPS Co-ordinates: N51 18' 60" W000 97' 00"
  • To see: Roman road, Watercress Line, Alton.
  • ALWAYS follow the Greenlane Code!
Since these two short byways merge into one they will hereby be treated as a single entry on this website.

It's basically up to you where you start from when driving this lane! May we humbly suggest, however, that in the name of a quality green laning experience that you ignore Pickaxe Lane altogether and instead start your drive from the eastern entrance to the BOAT (Beech Hangers Lane).

Pickaxe Lane: well, there's very little to say about it as it is the tarmaced driveway leading to Swaines Hill Manor Farm that happens to be classified as a UCR. As such it holds no real interest to the green laning community and is included here solely for completeness.

Beech Hangers Lane, however, is a pleasant, easy byway that hacks a path through woodland. (I exaggerate: encroaching foliage is never an issue.) It's surface is rendered uneven in places by tree roots in places (pictured left), and at the southern end a big earthen 'lump' (for want of a better word) has been put in the way no doubt to discourage fly tipping filth from plying their nefarious trade. It is easily overcome however.

Leaving Sowcroft Lane in a westerly direction, the lane quickly turns to the south and then resumes a slow, gradual sweeping turn back westwards and downhill before meeting and merging with Pickaxe Lane. The byway the turns south and takes a straight track through a wooden fence on the boundary of Dicket's Plantation, ending on Froyle Road via the aforementioned 'lump'. It's quite a blind turning out onto Froyle Road, so take care.

The course of a Roman road crosses the eastern entrance to the byway, but there is absolutely nothing to see above ground. Go and visit Alton instead, perhaps for a trip on the Watercress Line steam railway. This is Hampshire County Council's Byway 11 and 13, combined as one entry for logic and convenience.


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