Island Life

Langstone Bridge

No proper walk yesterday although did cover a few miles whilst out geocaching ( what is geocaching? )

After today’s stint of learning, I left Emsworth on the coastal path, heading West. Firstly I crossed The Promenade which is really more of a causeway or even harbour wall before following the signs for The Solent Way ( LINK ). I didn’t follow it for the whole of it’s sixty miles, more like two until I arrived at Langstone bridge which links Hayling Island with the mainland.

The original bridge, opened in 1824 was replaced with the current concrete affair in 1956.

After a noisy crossing, I was on Hayling Island which, unlike Thorney Island ( Tuesday’s walk ), is a true island. Apart from the Langstone Bridge, the only other way on and off the island is via a ferry from the South Western tip. There used to be a railway link from Havant to the South of the Island which closed in 1963. All that remains are a few bridge pillars, looking like a row of bad teeth running parallel to the Langstone bridge; the railway station which is now the Station Theatre and most importantly, the trackbed which is now the Hayling Billy Line ( HBL ) for use by walkers, cyclists and horses. This was what I had come to Hayling for.

The Hayling Billy Way

The HBL follows the western coast of the island and is around three miles long. On reaching the far end ( by the Station Theatre ) I continued in the same direction eventually coming to the sea from where I could see the bright lights of The Isle of Wight.

Turning around, I retraced my steps with lights ablaze ( a small LED light on my rucksack and an LED headtorch ). I passed a couple of runners ( by passed I mean going in opposite directions not that I was walking faster than they were running! ) who had no lights at all. It was very dark so I can only assume that they had eaten their carrots.

Back on the mainland I followed the Solent way sticking a bit more to the coast than on the way out but not enough to get wet.


Arriving back in Emsworth, I hit the stop button on the Garmin and dived into the New China takeaway for a much deserved dinner which I ate as I sauntered back to the B&B. Somehow, I must have hit the start button on the Garmin because when I uploaded the walk, I had nearly thirteen miles of brisk walking and two miles of much slower, chinese munching, walking.

This is my last walk in the Emsworth area as the course finishes tomorrow. There are many good paths and walks in the area which I’m guessing are very scenic in the daylight. With Portsmouth, Chichester, the Isle of Wight and The New Forest nearby, this is an area I shall have to return to perhaps even staying at the same B&B ( LINK ) which was excellent.


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