Earlier on in the year (2017) Muddy Madam and I took the Isuzu AT35 on a mooch to Hawes, North Yorkshire. Unfortunately we set off rather late, so when we eventually arrived at the lanes I wanted to drive, it had already began to get dark, and as I hadn’t driven the lanes before we decided to cut our trip short.
Fast forward quite a few months later and Mitsubishi had just dropped of their 2017 model Shogun for us to review, and I decided that it was the perfect vehicle to continue our adventure.
With a few bits of recovery gear thrown in the back for good measure, we set forth on the 2 hour journey towards Buckden in North Yorkshire. Following the B6565 and B6160 was a joy in the Shogun, it may not be a sports car, but it handled the twists and turns really well and was bloomin’ good fun.
After passing Cray on the B6160 we made a left onto Gilbert Lane (SD9383-01) and Muddy Madam jumped out to open the first of many gates. Putting the Shogun into 3rd gear low range, we edged our way slowly towards the incline. Being honest, I was being over cautious as I could’ve easily driven the entire length in high ratio, and probably in any of the crossover type vehicles on the market at the moment as the surface was quite solid and hard standing.
Having said that, green-laning isn’t always about challenges, sometimes it’s about taking your time and enjoying the views, and on Gilbert Lane the views are wide, and far.
Sadly there were a couple of place where morons had decided that the lane wasn’t challenging enough for them and had chosen to drive off-piste, consequently making a mess, though overall the lane and its surrounding area was in great condition.
A little further on there's a small right hand turning which takes you to Busk Lane (SD9383-02), but we carry on forwards to what is now Stake Road (SD9185-03). As we began our descent the views to our left were stunning, with hills and clouds as far as the eyes could see. The surface of the lane remained solid, though ruts had formed in places where other 4x4s seemed to have struggled on this particular section whilst driving upwards.
Further along we spotted a self drive tour operator heading towards us with 10 other 4x4s in tow. To most in the 4x4 community this number of 4x4s in a single group is frowned upon, but others will have their excuses of why it shouldn’t matter. We pulled over to let them all pass.
Still in 3rd low we continued to amble our way down the track, and when lake Semerwater appeared in the distance the clouds dispersed allowing for a spectacular view.
Keep your eyes open and to your left there's another lane that heads down towards Stalling Busk, and according to TrailWise at this point you're on High lane (SD9185-02). Eventually, High Lane gave way to tarmac, and if you continue forward you'll head down towards Semerwater, which we did, parking up briefly for a few photos in the very low sun.
Depending which map you look at there is some confusion over the name of the lane we've just driven, some maps call it High Lane all the way to the top, others note it as Stake Road, but it's quite straight forward looking at it on a map.
From here we made our way towards Marsett Lane, following the River Bain until we reached the junction of Cam High Road, our last green lane of the day.
I love this lane, it isn’t difficult to drive, though there are a few high steps to negotiate once you reach nearer the top, but again it’s the views that are available to you that make driving Cam High Road special, and just look at it reaching out into the distance, fabulous stuff.
The Shogun trundled along proving what such a talented 4x4 it is, totally dominating the terrain like it was driving through a supermarket carpark.
Finally reaching the end of Cam High Road we have 2 choices, turn right and head back down towards Hawes or left and head down Oughtershaw Road that leads towards, well, Oughtershaw. We did the latter and again the views are nothing but outstanding, so keep you eyes on the road!
Apart from the tour operator and his 10 clients we were totally alone, it reminded me that I need to spend more time exploring our beautiful rights of ways before we lose them forever.