BOAT: Nutcombe Lane

Location: Langrish, Hampshire, UK
  • Overall Rating: 3
  • Location: Froxfield Green, Hampshire.
  • OS Explorer Map 133, 'Haslemere & Petersfield'.
  • Starting OS Grid Reference: SU710223
  • Starting GPS Co-ordinates: N50 99' 60" W000 98' 90"
  • Finishing OS Grid Reference: SU715216
  • Finishing GPS Co-ordinates: N50 99' 00" W000 98' 30"
  • To see: not much.
  • ALWAYS follow the Greenlane Code!
NB: this is an challenging byway and you may not be able to complete it without damaging either your vehicle or the byway itself (or both1). Avoid unless you really do know what you are doing!

Innocuous thus far...
Make no mistake: this byway is a awkward b**t*rd! Like it's brother North Stroud Lane (which lies just to the north), it lulls one into a false sense of security before throwing up the most almighty obstacle just before the end!

We drove it from the north. Leaving Ramsdean Road at Rookery Farm, the going is relatively easy to start with. The surface is, for the first few yards, concrete as it serves as a driveway for a farm yard, but this soon ends on passing by. The surface then changes to earth with (initially) light ruts and plunges into woodland.

The going is easy enough and gently downhill, and very soon a footpath joins this byway as it takes a jink to the east. The declination increases here, and actually becomes relatively steep as it battles with Criddell Stream for dominance of passage. It can get very wet and soft here after heavy rains, and the steam itself has been known to flood the byway so we recommend that, should you want to actually drive this byway, that you only do so in summer and after a dry period to avoid damaging the surface as well as your vehicle.

On passing the stream, the byway enters Nutcombe Copse and begins to climb back up towards it's ending on Ramsdean Lane. However, before one gets that far there is an extremely tricky, technical section to pass. On the climb, the byway has carved something of a holloway out of the terrain with the result that, on the western side, a bank of four to five feet high has been carved out. Couple this with some absolutely vicious tree roots protruding from said bank, and that fact that the wildly undulating surface inevitably forces ones vehicle to lean towards the threats, means that there is a very good chance that a sizeable dent may appear on one's vehicle. On passing the 'cliff' there is an extremely harsh 'lump' to get over which also takes quite some negotiation. Use a spotter, take it slowly, and use appropriate caution. The picture below says a thousand words!

Once past that lot, the byway almost immediately returns to the concrete on a driveway serving New Barn and Holly Cottage, and ends soon after on Ramsdean Lane. Phew!

We named it Nutcombe Lane after the copse it passes through, but don't actually know if that is the correct name or not. If you know better, please comment below!

Tree roots and 'cliff' are on the left. Note the incline.
To Hampshire County Council, this is Byway 17. This byway is also featured in Land Rover Owner International magazine's November 2012 issue as byway number 24.

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