BOAT: Ash Green Lane East/Drovers Way

Location: Ash Green Ln E, Ash, Surrey GU12, UK
  • Overall Rating: 4
  • Location: Ash Green, Surrey.
  • OS Explorer Map 145, 'Guildford & Farnham, Godalming & Farnborough'.
  • Starting OS Grid Reference: SU912418
  • Starting GPS Co-ordinates: N51 24' 00" W000 69' 50"
  • Finishing OS Grid Reference: SU902497
  • Finishing GPS Co-ordinates: N51 23' 90" W000 70' 90"
  • To see: Ash Green Station.
  • ALWAYS follow the Greenlane Code!
NB: Drovers Way is subject to a TRO between 30th September-1st May each year, and access is blocked by locked gates between these dates. Further, as of February 2013 a permanent TRO is proposed for Drovers Way, and soon it may well be closed to 4-wheeled motorised traffic. For more info, go here.

Ash Green Lane East
There are a real concentration of byways in this area, but unfortunately not all of them are open to motor vehicles. These two, however, are most certainly worth a visit (the proviso above notwithstanding). Ash Green Lane East starts westwards from Pound Farm Lane at the imposing Pound Farm House, forming the driveway that serves it. A small duck pond (not necessarily affiliated with the Conservative Party) lies opposite the house. The gravel surface of the drive soon ends and the earthy/gravel mixed surface of the byway proper begins where the lane plunges into woodland. The foliage never encroaches on the lane however: this green lane is well kept and wide in all places.

Drovers Way
After a pleasant drive past Whitegate Copse, at about 3/4 of its total length shown on the Ordinance Survey map the surface changes back to asphalt and becomes a residential street. It's a pretty straight byway, and it continues on its course as far as White Lane, where it ends. Continuing over the crossroads is unfortunately pointless as Ash Green Lane West is subject to a TRO and is closed to all motorised vehicles.

When the asphalt reclaims its crown, Drovers Way leaves Ash Green Lane East to the north. This lane looks initially like a gentle, curving lane on the map but is anything but! Twisting and turning its way through the trees and on a heavily rutted earth surface, this byway must be an ordeal to drive in wet weather. No wonder there is a seasonal TRO on it! Our Land Rover grounded out on the raised area in the middle of the ruts on a number of occasions, and the tight turns around mature trees occasionally offer a considerable obstacle, so if you choose to drive it take this lane dead slow and use care. On crossing the railway bridge the green lane presents a choice: left is a short metalled run back towards Ash Green Road, whilst right takes you back off the tarmac on a slightly longer stretch of earthen byway that follows a drainage ditch and again joins Ash Green Road. We recommend the eastern fork, for what its worth.

The now disused but incredibly quaint Ash Green Halt on the dismantled Tongham to Aldershot Gas Works Railway can be found just to the north of the eastern end of the byway. It's a private residence so you can't gain access, but it is so well kept it's certainly worth a look at for those interested in railwayana. To Surrey County Council these are Byways 521 (Drovers Way) and Byway 518 (Ash Green Lane East). For the purposes of convenience these two conjoined byways are subject to one article.

View Ash Green Lane East/Drovers Way in a larger map

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