BOAT: Stephen's Lane

Location: Froxfield, Hampshire, UK
  • Overall Rating: 3
  • Location: High Cross, Hampshire.
  • OS Explorer Map 133, 'Haslemere & Petersfield'.
  • Starting OS Grid Reference: SU709274
  • Starting GPS Co-ordinates: N51 04' 20" W000 99' 00"
  • Finishing OS Grid Reference: SU706268
  • Finishing GPS Co-ordinates: N51 03' 60" W000 99' 50"
  • To see: tumulus.
  • ALWAYS follow the Greenlane Code!
Just a trickle...
This unnamed byway (helpfully called 'Track' on Hampshire County Council's definitive map) has been christened 'Stephen's Lane' by us after the small area of woodland found at its southern end. If you know of a more appropriate name for it, please comment below! (Who Stephen was we don't know...)

We started at its northern end. Striking out in a southerly direction as the light was starting to fade we found this well-maintained byway to offer a thin surface of mud and loam with an underlying hard layer of flint and occasional rubble, making the going good and easy with no chance of us causing new ruts in the wet. We mention the moisture here because when we drove this byway in December 2013 we had all been living through the wettest winter since records began in the late 1700's, and therefore greenlaning was a really bad idea in almost every instance with floodwater and fallen trees sometimes barring the way. However, your intrepid explorers simply had to go and survey the record-breaking scene so we selected a number of byways to drive on that day that we knew had a very solid, decent surface immune from the threat of damage by our wheels. As we mentioned, this was one of them.

That said, at the nadir of the green lane's descent (around half-way along), there was (as shown in the photo) quite simply the biggest and deepest amount of standing water I've ever seen on a byway. It was basically a temporary lake! This part always holds its water and there is always just a little puddle or something for a good while after rain, but wow. But... we didn't buy the snorkel and wading kit for aesthetics, so after depth- and surface-checking with a large stick we forged a path through and climbed out towards the end of the lane on Privett Road, near the aforementioned Stephen's Copse'. Relatively unassuming in the dry, this track came into its own during our visit and so scored higher than it otherwise would have.

A tumulus and a long earthwork feature of uncertain origin can be found just to the west of the green lane for those with an historical interest.

To Hampshire County Council this is Byway 49. This byway is also featured in Land Rover Owner International magazine's November 2012 issue as byway number 20.

Total distance: 0.69 km (0.4 mi)
Total time: 04:07
Moving time: 03:50
Average speed: 10.07 km/h (6.3 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 10.83 km/h (6.7 mi/h)
Max speed: 13.95 km/h (8.7 mi/h)
Average pace: 5:58 min/km (9:36 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 5:32 min/km (8:55 min/mi)
Fastest pace: 4:18 min/km (6:55 min/mi)
Max elevation: 240 m (788 ft)
Min elevation: 228 m (749 ft)
Elevation gain: 9 m (28 ft)
Max grade: 7 %
Min grade: -8 %
Recorded: 30/12 15:58

View Stephen's Lane in a larger map

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