UCR: Larkings Lane

Location: Heyshott, West Sussex, UK
  • Overall Rating: 3
  • Location: Cocking, West Sussex.
  • OS Explorer Map 120, 'Chichester'.
  • Starting OS Grid Reference: SU892175
  • Starting GPS Co-ordinates: N50 95' 10" W000 73' 10"
  • Finishing OS Grid Reference: SU900177
  • Finishing GPS Co-ordinates: N50 95' 20" W000 71' 90"
  • To see: the view!, Cocking railway station, The Unicorn pub, South Downs National Park.
  • ALWAYS follow the Greenlane Code!

This byway seems to lack any official name, so we have planted our flag in the name of Her Britannic Majesty and entitled it 'Larkings Lane' after the barn at its western end. The approach to this track is almost indistinguishable from the byway itself as the unnamed country lane running between Cocking and Heyshott is in such a state of disrepair as to be practically a green lane in itself! However, this byway is clearly signposted with a finger post reading 'Public Way'.

 Leaving the country lane on a bend and heading every so slightly up hill, this actively-used farm track is well kept: the hedgerows on either side are cut back sufficiently to never be a threat and the surface is, for the most part, well drained and alternates between gravel and compacted rubble.

Heading eastwards as we did, the green lane follows the field boundaries and is crossed by a footpath and two bridleways. All of which are used by farm machinery but carry no vehicular access for the likes of us, so don't be tempted to drive them (they don't go anywhere anyway!). On reaching the second bridleway our byway rounds a bend to the north and, after a pleasant tree-lined run ends abruptly in the village of Heyshott. A very easy-going lane and only really worth driving for the outstanding view it offers of Heyshott and Graffham Downs.

The former course of one of the trio of 'Midhurst Railways' (in this case the Chichester-Midhurst branch) can be found just west of Cocking, and the gorgeous T.H. Myers-designed station building there is still in existence, albeit as a private dwelling. They just don't build them like that these days! The village of Heyshott, at the end of the byway, is as charming as the hilariously-entitled village of Cocking at the beginning of the green lane, save for the shockingly vile, horrendous 1970's housing estate that has been smashed into the heart of the village. What the planning authorities were thinking is beyond rational thought... Lament it's creation over a fine ale in the Unicorn pub.

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