Route: Rowlands Castle to Oakhanger and Liphook

Approximate distance: 54 miles

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A 54 mile ride with about 4,200 feet of climbing, starting from Rowlands Castle, to Oakhanger and Liphook.

The ride starts in Rowlands Castle then heads to Petersfield via Finchdean and Buriton, then towards Oakhanger via Steep, Mill Lane to Hawkley, Blackmoor. From Oakhanger the route is through Bordon and out towards Headley. Note the route takes you along Mill Chase Road in Bordon, after a “no through road” sign eventually you will see a “no entry sign”. It is probably best to mount the pavement at this point as there is a dropped kerb (use your own discretion as to whether you keep riding or dismount), after about 200 yards there is a ford which can be crossed by means of a bridge on the left side. Near the ford is a rather picturesque mill so you could stop to have a look. The road and pavement around the ford is very wet so I advise caution, especially if there is a chance of ice.

After Headley the route is through Arford, along Churt Road for about 2 miles before the right turn to Hammer Lane, this climbs up a short distance then there is a left turn on to Whitmore Vale. This road is extremely picturesque, especially in the autumn and there are some expensive looking secluded properties dotted along the way. The route is mostly uphill along this section, but save some energy as you will eventually get to a tee junction where you turn right into Whitmoor Vale Road, which is a very steep challenging climb and goes all the way up to Grayshott. Note that as you approach the end of Whitmoor Vale the road slopes steeply down at a warning sign for ice, at the bottom of the slope is a small ford, your should try to cross this on the right side of the road, where the water is shallowest.

After Grayshott the route starts to head back, via Hammer Vale to Liphook, Milland and South Harting.

In normal (non-lockdown) times there is a convenient elevenses stop at the Chocolate Frog at Oakhanger and lunch can be had at the Prince of Wales in Hammer Vale. In lockdown times the best bet for lunch is probably Liphook, where there is Sainsbury’s.