BOAT: Mead Lane/Milky Way

Location: Buriton, Hampshire, UK
  • Overall Rating: 4
  • Location: Buriton, Hampshire.
  • OS Explorer Map 120, 'Chichester'.
  • Starting OS Grid Reference: SU746203
  • Starting GPS Co-ordinates: N50 97' 80" W000 93' 80"
  • Finishing OS Grid Reference: SU749195
  • Finishing GPS Co-ordinates: N50 97' 10" W000 93' 30"
  • To see: Buriton.
  • ALWAYS follow the Greenlane Code!

A tough byway, this one! Starting from Pitcroft Lane, just east of the beautiful village of Buriton (well worth a visit in its own right) this greenlane proceeds on a surface of chalky earth. It's a little rutted in places and it is most certainly not smooth: we were bumping around all over the place! The byway passes along the eastern boundary of the grounds of the beautiful Buriton House (tastefully done large houses are getting rarer these days it seems...) in a hollow way and then begins a gentle climb up towards Cockshot Wood.

Just after entering Cockshot wood the byway turns through 90 degrees and heads almost due east, and here the gradient becomes considerably steeper. During the climb, at the time of year we drove the lane, the wild garlic (Allium ursinum) has gone crazy and the smell is almost too much. There is a literal sea of the stuff, and it's white flowers don't need a great leap of imagination to work out where one of its common names, Milky Way, came from.

However, this climb is also where the byway presents its biggest challenge. Whether through overuse or water damage (or both), there are some very large potholes around half-way up. They accounted for us: we could go no further with the status quo so we had to get out and recover as many sticks, branches and boulders as we could find (the ground being too hard to dig) and work hard filling in the holes with them, so that on the 6th attempt (!) our traction control hauled us through it. If one was driving this byway westbound there would be no problem as gravity would pull one through, but uphill it's a real task and in wet weather it may well be impossible. Therefore: do not drive this green lane eastbound unless it is dry and you are confident in both your abilities and those of your vehicle.

After a pleasant climb through beautiful woodland this lane ends without further ado on an unnamed country road just north of Coulters Dean Farm, a full 207' higher than when we started.

To Hampshire County Council these are Byways 18 and 19, combined here for convenience.

Total distance: 1.30 km (0.8 mi)
Total time: 24:46
Moving time: 24:34
Average speed: 3.14 km/h (1.9 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 3.16 km/h (2.0 mi/h)
Max speed: 12.60 km/h (7.8 mi/h)
Average pace: 19.13 min/km (30.8 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 18.97 min/km (30.5 min/mi)
Fastest pace: 4.76 min/km (7.7 min/mile)
Max elevation: 196 m (642 ft)
Min elevation: 133 m (435 ft)
Elevation gain: 73 m (238 ft)
Max grade: 0 %
Min grade: 0 %
Recorded: 06/06/2013 17:38

View Mead Lane/Milky Way in a larger map


Sam said...

Again drove this one in both directions just to make sure we enjoyed it enough! The steep section was rough and deeply rutted but perfectly firm and dry. LR Series 3 climbed with no trouble in 2nd Low, although the driver + passenger were well shaken. Thanks again for such a useful site!

Dempo said...

It is indeed a tricky one. I would seriously steer clear in the wet to avoid making it any worse, but that said, glad you enjoyed it!

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