BOAT: Grateley Drove/Green Drove

Location: Grately, Hampshire, UK
  • Overall Rating: 2
  • Location: Grateley, Hampshire.
  • OS Explorer Map 131, 'Romsey, Andover & Test Valley'.
  • Starting OS Grid Reference: SU284429
  • Starting GPS Co-ordinates: N51 05' 80" W001 59' 50"
  • Finishing OS Grid Reference: SU275425
  • Finishing GPS Co-ordinates: N51 18' 10" W001 60' 70"
  • To see: Hawk Conservancy, Quarley Hill, Roman road.
  • ALWAYS follow the Greenlane Code!
This is just about the western-most byway in Hampshire that is still worth bothering with! (Yes, we appreciate that the byways of Palestine are fractionally further west but, from the point of view of the green-laner, they are about as dis-interesting as they come so we are ignoring them!)

We drove from east to west. Starting from the junction between Skew Road and the metalled section of Grateley Drove, the byway leaves the tarmac and immediately enters a gypsy encampent. It is important to note that these people are not pikeys, but gypsies, the differentiation being that gypsies are the old-fashioned, decent sort of caravan dwellers that are, these days, the exception to the norm. Please pass with respect.

The greenlane continues on an earthen surface and very soon the hedgerow closes right in and, inevitably, the paintwork starts to protest at the damage it is enduring. On passing the bridleway at the half-way point, however, the hedges really close in. It's hard going, to be frank, even though the surface is pretty good. If you manage to push through and don't just give up, the byway ends back on the tarmac just south of Quarley Manor Farm. This little one's not worth the trouble.

The Iron Age univallate hillfort called Quarley Hill is just to the north-west. The course of the Portway Roman road, which ran from Silchester to Old Sarum, runs parallel to the south but there is nothing to see on this stretch of it. But what is most cerainly worth going to see is the Hawk Conservancy, a bird-of-prey centre that is just fantastic. It's nearby to the north-east.

To Hampshire County Council these are Byways 8 and 30, combined here for convenience.


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