BOAT: Landport Farm Drive

Location: Hamsey, East Sussex, UK
  • Overall Rating: 3
  • Location: Lewes, East Sussex.
  • OS Explorer Map 122, 'Brighton & Hove'
  • Starting OS Grid Reference: TQ40061213
  • Starting GPS Co-ordinates: N50 89' 20" W000 01' 00"
  • Finishing OS Grid Reference: TQ40611121
  • Finishing GPS Co-ordinates: N50 88' 30" W000 00' 30"
  • To see: LewesLewes Castle, Harveys Brewery, lots of pubs!
  • ALWAYS follow the Greenlane Code!
A fairly decent byway, this, just on the northern outskirts of Lewes. We started at the northern end of the byway, in Offham, leaving the sharp bend at St. Peters (Offham) church. The byway heads quite sharply downhill initially but soon twists and turns on its way down a far shallower decline and, whilst doing so, offers fantastic views over the marshes towards Malling Hill. This byway has a relatively muddy surface but, given the fact that the topsoil is relatively thin and there is a layer of underlying chalk, it is relatively well drained and the going is easy enough, if a little slippery in places. However, the odd bramble and briar has strayed onto the track so there is at least some chance of a scratch appearing on the paintwork; only a small chance though.

The greenlane continues its descent, running beside two man-made drainage ditches called Pellbrook Cut and, subsequently, Chalkpit Cut. There is quite a drop down onto the marshes, and were one to drive ridiculously enough to risk rolling their vehicle, the resulting 'uncommanded descent' would suck, so take it easy! At the nadir of the byway, nearly but not quite at the same level as the marsh, the green lane opens out into what was presumably once a small chalk pit (hence the name of the Cut?), and here there is evidence of some illegal offroading having occurred at the hand of the inevitable hands of filth. We  say this time and again, but shall restate it here just in case the message hasn't quite sunk in yet: DON'T DO IT! STAY ON THE BYWAY! To do otherwise is to tarnish the name of all responsible 4x4 drivers and will ultimately result in us getting banned from all greenlanes.

Continuing southwards, the byway starts to climb gently and passes Ousedale House (if southbound, take the left-hand, obvious fork), passes some allotments protected by a chain-link fence and then explodes out into a council estate, where it ends next to a children's play park. For a byway so close to town, it is almost (but not quite) a hidden gem! Were it longer, it would have scored higher than a 4.

The lovely and ancient town of Lewes is well worth exploring, and nearby to the byway lie Lewes Castle and the site of the nationally important Battle Of Lewes (1264). The museum in the castle has more information and is well worth checking out. The town also has a great many pubs, almost all of which are just awesome so we shan't recommend any particular one: try your luck! Ale aficionados can do far worse than have a tour of Harveys Brewery but, be warned: the waiting list for a tour is over two years long!.

To ESCC this is Hamsey Byway 23.


Unknown said...

Went down today. Nice muddy but In the middle a fallen tree almost stopped me but pulled most out the way and drove over the rest.

Dempo said...

Good on you for clearing it! Glad you had fun, Grant.

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