BOAT: Marshfoot Lane

Location: 149 Marshfoot Ln, Hailsham, East Sussex BN27 2RD, UK
  • Overall Rating: 5
  • Location: Hailsham, East Sussex.
  • OS Explorer Map 123, 'Eastbourne & Beachy Head, Newhaven, Seaford, Hailsham & Heathfield'.
  • Starting OS Grid Reference: TQ625097
  • Starting GPS Co-ordinates: N50 86' 40" E000 30' 80"
  • Finishing OS Grid Reference: TQ601097
  • Finishing GPS Co-ordinates: N50 86' 50" E000 27' 40"
  • To see: RAF PevenseyPevensey Castle, Pevensey village, Herstmonceux Castle and Science CentreNorman's Bay.
  • ALWAYS follow the Greenlane Code! 
For the third installment of greenlanes one must make no mistake when considering Marshfoot Lane, along with nearby White Dyke Road and Snapsons Drove, are the best greenlanes in the entire of Sussex, and are a strong rival to the elite of those we have driven so far! Crossing the incredibly beautiful Pevensey Levels, lined with tall rushes growing in Whelpley Sewer on the northern side of the lane (it's not really a sewer, more of a drainage ditch), and offering some quite spellbinding views across the flat marshes, we can highly recommend this byway!

Starting at the eastern end, then, the byway is protected by two large metal gates serving a sheep pen. Make sure you get the right gate here: there is another gate only a couple of yards to the north which opens onto a private farm track and is therefore out of bounds to us. Somewhat unhelpfully (or perhaps it was done on purpose to discourage over-use of this fragile byway) it is signposted as a bridleway, but on the council's definitive map is is shown as a byway. Watch the video below that a trail biker created for more information on that.

The byway strikes out west on a very open flat landscape and at this point the surface is pretty unrutted. Enjoy the openness while it lasts, however, as after a further steel gate the willow, blackthorn and hawthorn periodically close in and the greenlane becomes rutted and potholed. You are guaranteed to leave a couple of scratches on your paintwork, but it is by no means restrictive the bushes are soon passed.

Just after the half way point the lane meanders a bit and then curves sharply to the south and then almost immediately back onto a westerly path. On these bends you should ignore the steel gate (it leads into a field) but follow the curves and pass through through the rusty gate instead. On the other the hedgerows take over from the reeds for good (although they are well cut back) and the lane can become very wet indeed, even though the surface is for the most part pretty firm. The byway ends after passing some farm buildings through a final steel gate. A rewarding drive with great views, but we implore you to drive it in dry conditions only: too many visits in the winter months or after heavy rains and this lane will turn from a lightly-rutted gem into a quagmire, to the detriment of everyone's experience. Don't be one of the scum: conservation matters.

This is East Sussex County Council's Hailsham 36.

View Marshfoot Lane in a larger map

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