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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.

Blog Archive

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Saturday walk - Portsmouth to Hayling Island

Length: 20.1km (13 miles) or 17.8km (11.1 miles)
Toughness: 1 out of 10: flat

9.30 train from Waterloo to Portsmouth Harbour, arriving 11.08.

From Clapham Junction get the 9.27 Crewkerne/Bristol train to Woking, arriving 9.45, to connect with the above train at 9.55.

Buy a day return to Portsmouth Harbour

There are no walk directions, but none are really needed (except briefly at the start). A map of the route can be seen here or a GPX file downloaded here. For more details about the walk see here.

I kind of implied that last week’s very successful Lewes to Saltdean walk would be our last seaside outing of the summmer season, but this is a bit of unfinished business. A bunch of us did this walk back in January and thought then it would make a good summer walk. Now that the RMT strikes on South Western have finally finished there is a chance to post it.

It is a seaside walk rather than a country walk - you could wear trainers rather than boots. You start by walking along the ramparts at the mouth of Portsmouth Harbour and then you follow the seaside promenade with fine views of the Solent and all of its shipping. A swim might be possible at some point here. (It will be high tide at the start of the walk, falling to low tide at 4pm.)

Things gradually get greener and quieter and in due course you come to the Hayling Ferry which takes you across to the island of that name. This leaves at 12.00, 12.40, 13.20, 14.00 (etc: every 40 minutes) and costs £5.50. (Those on the walk in January who kept their tickets can ride free as the fare automatically includes a second journey).

Once on the island things get wilder. There are two lunch options here - the Ferryboat Inn and the Inn on the Beach - it was the latter we launched at in January and were very impressed. Both establishments, as far as I can gather, serve food all afternoon. There may also be earlier seaside cafes in Southsea, before the ferry crossing.

At or near the Inn on the Beach, you have a choice: the recommended route (the 13 mile walk) is to turn northwards along the edge of Hayling Island along the route of an old railway line, a pleasant green route with good views of the sea. Eventually you cross a bridge to the mainland. The walk route here suggests carrying on to Havant, but in January we turned right to follow a very pretty path to the historic and picturesque coastal town of Emsworth.

A shorter 11 mile walk continues after lunch along the southern coast of Hayling Island. You can get bus number 30/31 back from Eastoke at the east end of the seafront to Havant bus station next to the railway station at 18, 28, 49 and 58 past until 17.58, then 19, 33 and 59 past till late.

Trains back from Havant to Waterloo (do not get the slower ones to Victoria) are at 04, 17 and 34 past the hour (though at 17.24 instead of 17.34), with a slower train at 40 past.

Trains back from Emsworth are at 17, 28 and 35 past to Waterloo via a change at Havant or 18 and 58 past to Victoria (the 58 is direct, the 18 requires a change at Chichester), with journey times of around an hour and three quarters either way. Your Portsmouth return is definitely valid on the Victoria service and should be accepted for the short hop from Emsworth to Havant.



Anonymous said...

Near End when you get off Hayling Island on to the mainland at Langstone there is The Ship and the the Royal Oak on the right. Both do food and coffee as well as Fullers (Ship) and Greene King (Royal Oak). They are both lovely pubs, slightly favour the Royal Oak for character of pub.
In Havant there is a plethora of cafes, however might not be open when you get there.
If you walk along the old railway track which takes you from Langstone to the Station. If you exit the old railway track at East Street, at the Bridge by the Spring Arts and Heritage Centre-might be open for coffee/drinks. Then walk into town going west along East Street.
The best pub in Havant is The Old House at Home (Fullers/Gales and good food) in South Street at the main cross roads by St Faiths Church. Also Robin Hood, 6 Homewell, across from the Church of St. Faiths.


Walker said...

N=9 brave souls on this walk, despite a dismal weather forecast. It all started well, with some brightness in the cloud and pleasant views of the Solent and its shipping. The w=rain was initially fairly light and intermittent.

Things went downhill (not literally: the walk is entirely flat) after the Hayling Island ferry, which we reached at 12.40. The rain became persistent and by the time we got to the Inn on the Beach just after 2pm one walker had had enough and quit the scene. Seven of us had lunch in this wonderful venue, built on the beach with wide sea views, while one had drinks.

Spirits sagged during lunch nevertheless. Three walkers decided afterwards to take the bus to Havant, wisely in view of their lack of heavy rain gear. Five of us continued up the side of Hayling Island, but one dropped out halfway, presumably to also get the bus. Four of us carried on, enjoying entrancing marsh views but in now persistent rain which delighted in finding cracks in our outerwear and boots.

Crossing the bridge to Langstone we repaired with gratitude to the Ship Inn for drinks (tea and a pud for me). Seditious talk about Ubers broke out here which yours truly managed to quell with difficulty. In the end we carried on with the lovely - but solidly wet - two mile walk to Emsworth, catching the 7.28pm train home.

Sigh! Having done this walk in the wet in February we had hoped for better from doing it in “summer”. Next year, maybe.

Just to say as a personal note, I saw approximately 50 house martins feeding (in the rain!) over a pond near the top of Hayling Island, and then 70-80 swallows over Emsworth Harbour. Both groups certainly migrating south, and almost certainly en route from further north. Swallow, house martin and swift numbers have been absolutely pitiful in the UK this year and it was heartening to see so many of both species in one place. I wish them a successful migration, a trouble-free winter under the African sun, and please do come back here to breed next year.