BOAT: Snailing Lane

Location: Hawkley, Hampshire, UK
  • Overall Rating: 4
  • Location: Hawkley, Hampshire.
  • OS Explorer Map 133, 'Haslemere & Petersfield'.
  • Starting OS Grid Reference: SU761292
  • Starting GPS Co-ordinates: N51 05' 80" W000 91' 40"
  • Finishing OS Grid Reference: SU754287
  • Finishing GPS Co-ordinates: N51 05' 30" W000 92' 50"
  • To see: Hawkley Inn.
  • ALWAYS follow the Greenlane Code!
Update 28/05/15: Apparently (see comments below) the hole in this byway has reached a depth of 6'. Avoid, because it's ridiculous.

NB: This is a very hard, technical lane. If you have even the slightest doubt about your capabilities or that of your vehicle, DO NOT drive it, as you WILL get stuck here.

We're not lying: it really is a mess.
This is a short byway, yes, but do not let that deceive you! It's is damn hard going. Starting from its northern end, where the metalled section of Snailing Lane meets on a curve with Upland Lane at Primmers Cottage, the byway itself is very easy going initially. On a south-westerly course the green lane lulls one into a false sense of security as the earthen surface is solid and unrutted, the foliage is well kept and its a dead straight track.

However, on reaching the mid point of the lane the surface takes a real turn for the worse. I am not exagerating when I write here that there are a series of gigantic 'bomb-holes' in the surface of the green lane, with the worst being the last (when travelling westbound as we were). See the picture below with your intrepid explorer assessing the best course of action: for scale he is 6' tall precisely. To make it worse, if one tries to circumvent the largest hole (you may pass with difficulty to the south) a partially fallen tree blocks progress, presenting a further obstacle and a wonderful opportunity to damage one's vehicle. If we had entered the hole we would not have gotten out without assistance either from a winch or a friendly farmer's tractor, and bearing in mind this was in a dry spell and there was not so much as a puddle to be found (even so the surface was still very soft). May providence preserve us in wet weather! To this end I propose that users of this website adhere to a voluntary restriction order so it doesn't get any worse: don't drive it in winter, or during or after a spell of wet weather.

Once through (should you be lucky) the lane continues as easy going as it started, and soon ends on Hawkley Road, just south of the very pleasant village of Hawkley. Phew! Go and get yourself an excellent, well earned ale in the Hawkley Inn, a great country pub.

To Hampshire County Council this is Hawkley Byway 25. This byway is also featured in Land Rover Owner International magazine's November 2012 issue as byway number 14.

Here's the worst of it, in the dry.
Total distance: 0.89 km (0.6 mi)
Total time: 24:25
Moving time: 19:59
Average speed: 2.19 km/h (1.4 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 2.67 km/h (1.7 mi/h)
Max speed: 12.60 km/h (7.8 mi/h)
Average pace: 27.43 min/km (44.2 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 22.46 min/km (36.2 min/mi)
Fastest pace: 4.76 min/km (7.7 min/mile)
Max elevation: 149 m (490 ft)
Min elevation: 128 m (420 ft)
Elevation gain: 21 m (69 ft)
Max grade: 0 %
Min grade: 0 %
Recorded: 02/07/2013 15:47

View Snailing Lane in a larger map


Anonymous said...

rode this lane on 26/5/15,4x4 have now dug out a 6 foot hole.Had to keep to the edge to get past,lucky not to fall in it.

Dempo said...

Noted with thanks, and post updated!

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