UCR: Huckswood/Cowdown Lane

Location: Rowlands Castle, Hampshire, UK
  • Overall Rating: 3
  • Location: Chalton, Hampshire and on into West Sussex.
  • OS Explorer Map 120, 'Chichester'.
  • Starting OS Grid Reference: SU739155
  • Starting GPS Co-ordinates: N50 93' 50" W000 94' 90"
  • Finishing OS Grid Reference: SU763156
  • Finishing GPS Co-ordinates: N50 93' 50" W000 91' 60"
  • To see: Roman building.
  • ALWAYS follow the Greenlane Code!
Oh, were that it was like this for its entire length...
Quite a stressful green lane, this one, if you value your paintwork! We drove it from the western end, in Chalton, Hampshire. It all starts easily enough: the surface of compacted earth is solid enough and the hedgerows that border the byway keep themselves to themselves. The greenlane heads uphill and after a short distance another private lane (sealed with a metal barrier) diverges to the north. On this track, although there is nothing to be seen above the surface, there is archaeological evidence of a recorded Romano-British settlement. You know, just for info. Read more here.

The byway continues uphill past a disused chalk quarry, and on passing it the hedgrerows close in dramatically. It really does get tight: this greenlane dramatically needs a clearance program. Dents shouldn't be a factor but scratches all over the paintwork are unavoidable. You have been warned.

The byway levels out and eventually passes over the border between Hampshire and West Sussex. And at this border the status of the UCR technically changes to a 'soft lane' (no idea what that term means) whgilst the name changes from Huckswood Lane to Cowdown Lane. On the OS map it looks like am 'Other road, drive, or track (fenced)' but it is most certainly not a road (or fenced)! Vehicular rights are also not exactly black and white, but it is signposted (if memory serves) as a soft road so that implies it's fine to drive it.

The byway carries on almost due east and is soon crossed by a bridleway, the junction with which provides a momentary respite from tree-dodging before the foliage closes in with gusto and stays that way. Eventually, after what seems an age of squealing bodywork, the byway bursts out into the open air when it reaches Cowdown Farm. It progresses through the farm buildings and ends on the B2146 just north of Compton, West Sussex. Phew, it's over!

Total distance: 2.46 km (1.5 mi)
Total time: 16:40
Moving time: 15:39
Average speed: 8.83 km/h (5.5 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 9.41 km/h (5.8 mi/h)
Max speed: 18.00 km/h (11.2 mi/h)
Average pace: 6.79 min/km (10.9 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 6.38 min/km (10.3 min/mi)
Fastest pace: 3.33 min/km (5.4 min/mile)
Max elevation: 165 m (541 ft)
Min elevation: 119 m (389 ft)
Elevation gain: 74 m (243 ft)
Max grade: 0 %
Min grade: 0 %
Recorded: 06/06/2013 18:25

...but it's not. See? And it gets worse still, we promise.

View South Lane in a larger map

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