Monday, 3 May 2010

Down Jackass Lane to Tandridge...

Andy at Jackass Lane. I've promised him that I will stand behind
Arse-Whip Avenue just as soon as we stumble across it.
The weather had improved on yesterday's torrential rain, but it was gloomy skies overhead and cold winds all the way to a new destination: Tandridge. We travelled down Gangers Hill, our 'portal' to new destinations, and then took a left fork down a steep hill. We crossed over the M25 slightly east of where we normally cross en route to the church at Godstone and then turned right on the A25 for about 500 yards before hanging a left into Jackass Lane.

At the end of Jackass Lane we'd arrived at what we both imagined was down town Tandridge, a sleepy little place with a pleasant church, St Peter's, and a 'no cycling' sign. We cycled up to the church as there was nothing else, no café, nothing bar a few walkers and somebody jogging. And then a fine drizzle of rain that was almost invisible.

Monument to war dead outside St Peter's in
Tandridge, Kent
It was tempting to investigate a little further, see what we could find: a covered bus stop, maybe, or a teashop, anything, but we just got that feeling there would be nothing and then, of course, a 10 per cent climb back up to the small patch of grass on which we had decided to stop and drink our tea. Checking out the iphone I found a route west which would have taken us towards Rabies Heath Lane and Bletchingley or back up through Godstone down the Enterdent, past St Nicholas Church and back towards Gangers Hill.

Instead, we went back up Jackass Lane, turned right on to the A25 and then back up Tandridge Lane for a longer and steeper climb towards Gangers. On the way up I found a track veering off to the left and vowed to investigate it later. Right now, I am looking at the map and the track cuts across open ground and then through Old Park Wood and finishes at the A22. There's likely to be a tunnel underneath the A22 which then joins up with Leigh Place Lane (also a rough track by the looks of things) and this joins up with Church Lane (Godstone) a little further south of the Church there. Interestingly, the track continues on the other side of Church Lane and joins up with Bullbeggars Lane and then goes into Godstone – so, theoretically, we could cycle to Tandridge along Jackass Lane, hang a right near the end and ride off-road all the way to Godstone.

What might be more exciting, however, would be to go down the 10 per cent hill mentioned earlier (which happens to be a continuation of Tandridge Lane), past the Barley Mow pub on the left and then, after passing a primary school on the right, there's an off-road track that goes on for miles. It joins the A22 but then runs parallel with Rabies Heath Lane (Greensand Way) through a wood and continues until it reaches Bletchingley where we normally cross the A25 and travel up towards the quarry, under the M25 and then towards Merstham down Spring Bottom Lane and Rockshaw Road.

It's quite amazing just how much off-road there is between Jackass Lane and Bletchingley. Infact, the Barley Mow at Tandridge looks good too. It sells real ale and it has a website, which is Perhaps the Barley Mow, Tandridge could be our venue for that much-considered later cycle?

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