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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

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Saturday, 20 January 2018

Saturday Walk A [mud-free] exploration of Hayling Island -- Portsmouth Harbour to Havant or Emsworth

SWC 179:  Historic Portsmouth Harbour; a ferry ride and the exploration of Hayling Island T=swc.179

Train:   Take the 9:00 AM Portsmouth Harbour train from London Waterloo to its final destination, arriving at 10:33 AM.  There are a number of return trains from both Havant and Emsworth each hour, the faster ones (generally to Waterloo) from Havant are at 17:04; 17:26; 17:30 (Victoria); 17:40; 18:04; 18:34; 18:40; 19:04; 19:34; 19:40; 20:04; 20:34; 20:40 and 21:04 and from Emsworth (requiring a change at Havant) 17:00; 17:15; 18:15; 19:15 and 20:20.  Buy a day return to Portsmouth Harbour.

Distance:  13 miles (20.9 in new money) or, to Emswoth, 14 miles (22.5 in new money)

Difficulty:  1 out of 10

Admittedly, this walk may not be considered entirely a country walk, but, in the midst of mud season, it should make for a varied and hopefully interesting mud-free day.  The route starts in historic Portsmouth harbour and explores a number of interesting historical points along the seafront promenade to Eastney from where you catch the Hayling Island ferry (£5:50).  During the winter, the ferry runs hourly on the hour, I would suggest aiming for the 1:00 PM ferry.

Once on Hayling Island there is a choice of routes after lunch, but, the recommended one would be to follow a disused railway line alongside Langstone Harbour eventually back to the mainland along a causeway.  Once across the causeway, a further choice presents itself – either following the suggested route to Havant or veering right to follow the Solent Way for a slightly longer map-based route to Emsworth.  More information on the walk can be found here.  There do not appear to be detailed written instructions for this walk, so I would suggest printing the information page which describes a suggested route (and some options) and the OS map from the website.  Notwithstanding the lack of written text, the route looks fairly straight forward….

There are two options for lunch: the Ferryboat Inn ( 02392 463 459) on the Hayling Island side of the ferry or the Inn on the Beach ( 02392 460 043) a further 2 kilometers along at the main  decision point.  Tea or late afternoon refreshments can be had at the Royal Oak just across the causeway or numerous places in either Havant or Emsworth.

Enjoy the walk!

1 comment:

Walker said...

Was there a sixth walker? Five got off the train at Portsmouth Harbour and five did the walk, but other members of the party insist they recognised a sixth, who sped off. We saw him on the ramparts but he did not acknowledge us and he walked off alone. I say this does not count, but I was outvoted. So n=6.

Other potential walkers were doubtless deterred by the dismal weather forecast. But in fact early drizzle soon stopped and it was dry with enticing orange skies far out to sea. Rays of silvery sun from this magical realm reached us from time to time, glittering on the waves - all rather atmospheric (see Facebook: I shall post some photos there later).

After threading our way through Portsmouth’s waterside shopping centre we got to the ramparts at the mouth of the harbour and then proceeded south on Southsea’s beach promenade. This is surprisingly nice, backed by large green parks. At one point our walk poster even had a paddle.

On to the Hayling Ferry. We arrived just as it docked but had to wait 20 minutes for it to depart - time spent chatting with the captain. It is a very short crossing and costs £5.50 but you get a second trip ticket for this, redeemable when you like.

On the far side, the island is much wilder - an interesting place. Grassy turf, pebble beaches, pounding waves. (It was high tide: how different all this would look at low tide, I do not know). On the advice of our poster and a local we avoided the pub by the ferry to push on to the Inn on the Beach. This was a glorious place. Re-opened a year ago it has first floor dining areas with huge windows and lovely sea views. Nice grub. Pleasant service. A real treat.

As we ate that sunny area out to sea seemed to be getting closer. Would the cloud clear to a sunny afternoon to make the rest of you jealous? Reader, it did not. Instead it started to rain with enthusiasm. Eventually the moment could not be put off and we set off, waterproofed up, to walk the old railway line route up the west of the island. A lovely walk this, full of natural interest - oyster catchers, curlews - and with lovely sea views. But sadly also rain lashed. So overall the weather for the day was w=brightish-in-the-morning-but-rainy-in-the-afternoon

At the top of the island you cross the road bridge to the mainland. A very cute waterside village here - Langstone - had a cosy and inviting pub which I yearned to enter. But stern Stargazer snatched us away (all but one of us: one had already headed towards Havant station) to walk in the gathering gloom some 4km along the coast to Emsworth. This walk has nice coastal bits but also some fields of slithery mud: our only encounter with this substance today.

Arriving there as the dusk deepened to night, we chose a very quaint, not to say eccentric, Italian-themed coffee shop cum greetings card shop for tea and then went to get the 18.29 train. A very nice day out, and one I hope to repeat on a sunny day in summer when it can be punctuated by lots of sea swims.