Petersfield Road, Hampshire, UK

It would be understandable if regular readers of this column sometimes felt they needed to live in Scotland or north Wales to take advantage of some of the roads described. This month we have a suggested route that is a bit more ‘on the map’, at least for people living further south, particularly if their destination is Goodwood.

Our route turns off the A272 Winchester road at the roundabout, 300 metres west of the level crossing in the centre of Petersfield. It ’s an unclassified road, initially rather unpromising, with only local signage and simply identifiable as Bell Hill.

It climbs steadily between hedges and as the residential area is left behind, steepens through woodland and the first of a series of interesting bends well up to competitive hill climb standards.

Emerging from the greenery but still climbing, the route opens out and reaches a plateau. After a brief dip, the Trooper Inn is on your right, then a kink, and the route strides majestically across the Hampshire uplands arrow-straight for almost three miles.

Petersfield Road 2

Location: Hampshire, SE England

GPS ref: GU32 1BD

Length of drive: 6.5 miles from Petersfield to A32

Points of interest:
Goodwood circuit
Watercress steam railway
Uppark (National Trust)

Food and accommodation:
Trooper Inn (www.trooperinn.com) at halfway point

It isn’t the High Alps exactly, but it is a fine surprise to come across such a brilliant piece of open highway in ‘crowded’ south-east England with not a car in sight and stunning views in all directions.

Our unclassified road drops gradually into a valley over its last 600 metres, and the adrenaline rush is temporarily brought to an end at the crossroads with the north-south A32.

Turn right here for Alton, which is six miles on. The A32 is a decent driving road along its entire length from the M3 to Fareham, though it tends to be busy during the week.

The northern section from Alton, now reclassified as the B3349, is often quiet enough to get a good run. So if you’re coming from the Midlands or the west and heading to Goodwood, especially to one of those outstanding Sunday gatherings, this is the route to plan into your itinerary.

And once at Petersfield, take the B2146 to South Harting and then the mythical B2141, which deposits you at Lavant and Goodwood. This amazing stretch of super-fast blacktop, featured here in 2010, was the original inspiration for the ‘Great Roads’ series.

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