BOAT: Ham Farm Lane

Location: Well Ln, Alton, Hampshire GU34, UK
  • Overall Rating: 3
  • Location: Bentworth, Hampshire.
  • OS Explorer Map 144, 'Basingstoke, Alton and Whitchurch'.
  • Starting OS Grid Reference: SU684410
  • Starting GPS Co-ordinates: N51 16' 50" W001 02' 30"
  • Finishing OS Grid Reference: SU668406  
  • Finishing GPS Co-ordinates: N51 16' 10" W001 04' 60"
  • To see: Watercress LineAlton, The Sun pub, Lasham air field/museum.
  • ALWAYS follow the Greenlane Code!
Ham Farm Lane (if you know it's correct name, please comment below!), at its eastern end, starts at Mole End Cottage just off the A339 and looks at first glance it is the driveway to the same. It is not, however, and as soon as you have crossed the grass outside the cottage the byway starts proper as it plunges through a hedgerow. The foliage has closed in to an extent, but it looks like only a summer's growth and is easily brushed aside. Light scratches may well appear on your body work though!

The surface is pretty easy going to start with on the gentle climb uphill, consisting of gravel/shingle laying on top of a muddy surface. Eventually, as Wadgett's Copse passes by, the surface deteriorates slightly into rutted mud with the occasional large, deep and soft-bottomed puddle. After very wet weather we had to get out at one point and measure the depth of the worst puddle we encountered with a stick, and on coming to the conclusion that it was not going to swallow us whole we pushed on. On passing Cockreads Copse the lane becomes more firm, however, and it ends shortly after at Ham Farm, just east of the village of Bentworth.

When you're done, you could go and visit Alton instead, and perhaps take a trip on the awesome Watercress Line steam railway. Otherwise you could do far, far worse than 'hauling ass' (to quote a popular American slang phrase) down to The Sun pub, which lies very nearby to the south of the byway: think roaring fires, excellent guest ales and decent grub in a friendly, ancient pub. Lasham Airfield and aviation museum lies just to the north of this lane.

This is Hampshire County Council's Byway 25.

View Ham Farm Lane in a larger map

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