Trailing around Hayling (Second Occasion)
4 people attending
16 places left
Hayling Island is a proper island with the sea all round it, rather than one separated from the mainland by a river or a brackish creek. Other than that, it's typical South Hampshire: low-lying and highly populated. But that's only half the picture. South Hayling, with its amusement arcades and ice cream shacks is a world away from North Hayling with its timber-framed cottages and old churches. Before the 20th Century the whole island looked like North Hayling: flat fields, parades of poplars, straggling settlements, cosy cottages and meadows morphing into mudflats. We'll tour around both North and South Hayling and stop off for chips or sarnies and a swim on Hayling's Blue Flag beach.
Hayling Billy Trail: Hayling Billy was the train service that ran on the branch line from Havant to South Hayling from 1865 (for goods) and 1867 (for passengers) until 1963. The Trail runs along the old track bed. Victorian oyster beds can be seen by the trail off the north of the island. WWII pillboxes and gun emplacements that defended Portsmouth can be seen all along the trail too.
Langstone: The old port for Havant. At the head of the creek separating Chichester and Langstone Harbours. Causeway created 1823, superseded by a timber road bridge (rebuilt in concrete in 1956). Stumps of old railway bridge, 1867, adjacent. Handsome quay walls with 18th century cottages of flint, brick and thatch. The Royal Oak pub probably dates from 1727 when the first license was granted. Former tower windmill, mid 18th century, converted 1932-6 for use by the artist Flora Twort.
North Hayling: A series of hamlets (Northney, Eastney, Stoke, Tye), scattered across farmland. The gaps between have been filled with bulky suburban houses but pockets of woodland and open country remain. St Peter's Church, Eastney is 12th-13th centuries, lightly restored in the 1880s. A good array of well-carved headstones in the churchyard of the 18th to early 19th century. Princess Catherine Yurievskaya, a daughter of Tsar Alexander II, is buried in the churchyard.
South Hayling: Of South Hayling's history we'll see the piecemeal regency and early Victorian development (which looks rather forlorn), then the expansion of rich Mid-Victorian and Edwardian houses along the seafront that began with the arrival of the railway, then the intensive seaside development that started in the 1930s with a mixture of suburban houses and holiday camps, but which intensified post-war with flats and bungalows to give people quiet retirement or noisy holidays. Hayling Beach, which has a Blue Flag, was made of sand but coastal erosion has necessitated its replacement with shingle.
The route (please click the link to see it):
After crossing Langstone Bridge and arriving at North Hayling, footpaths and country lanes will take us around Northney and Tye where we'll follow the harbour embankment to Fleet. A little way along the A3023 (there's a pavement) will bring us to Gable End and then, taking some suburban streets and a footpath to Selsmore where a large loop around the creeks will bring us to Eastoke which is where we'll have lunch and a swim at about 2pm. We'll then follow the Esplanade to Westfield then head north to West Town along the A3023 and then head west to New Town where we'll pick up the Hayling Billy Path which will take us all the way back to Langstone.
I love having dogs on my walks and this walk is suitable for them, except that there will be some stiles and busy roads to cross and walk along, and strong sunshine could be exhausting for them. Dogs are permitted on the section of beach we'll visit, but must be on a lead. Dog waste bins are plentiful on the seafront and in residential areas. Any dog off the lead must be under control.
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- Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are extremely mild, or who lives or is in a support bubble with someone showing symptoms, is asked not to attend. This is in line with the government’s coronavirus advice.
- All are required to practice social distancing – staying 2m (not 1m) apart at all times, including the lunch stop.
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- Unfortunately, there won’t be any planned pub / café stops en route or at the end, and please don’t share sweets or snacks with others – we’re sorry!
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(Picture credits: Shoreline at Tye, Hayling Island by the leader; Sea wall, Hayling Island, May 2008 by allen watkin; Small beach at Selsmore by Shazz; The Royal Oak, Langstone, Hampshire by Peter Trimming; Langstone Bridge (3) by Barry Shimmon; The South Porch, St Peter's Church, North Hayling by Derek Voller; Looking from the footpath from Northney Road towards St Peter's spire by Basher Eyre; Chichester Harbour by Ray Stanton; Old Fleet Manor on Hayling Island by Shazz; Hayling Shoreline near Tye by David Martin; South Hayling, harbour wall by Mike Faherty; Groyne, Hayling Island beach by Alan Hunt; Hayling Billy Coastal Path, Hayling Island by Anthony Brunning; On the shore at Stoke by David Martin. All pictures are attributed to their copyright holders and are licensed for re-use under Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0.)
What to bring
Walking boots or shoes will be essential as the walk is moderately long although the terrain is flat and made up of gravel and dirt.
Do apply and bring a high-factor suncream and a hat as much of the walk will be exposed with little shade.
In the event of rain, please bring a waterproof jacket.
Bring swimwear and a towel if you wish to swim.
Food & drink
Please bring plenty to drink (at least two litres) and a picnic lunch or buy some chips at lunchtime as there is a chip shop near our beach stop. There are ice cream shacks on the seafront at South Hayling.
Lunch will be at about 2pm, so please bring snacks.