- Portsmouth to Havant: 12 June 2021
- Walk Leader: Alan
- Distance: 8 Miles
- Start: Hilsea Lido CP GR: SU654045
Our walk began by the old A3 bridge which links Portsea Island to the mainland and eleven stalwart members set off on the path which runs alongside the historic Hilsea Lines, originally built in 1544 (and replaced in 1871), for the defence of the Island; they now provide a pleasant, wooded sanctuary for various flora and small fauna. The path ran along the north side of the Island as far as the Eastern Road which we crossed to enter Farlington Marshes; this stretch of land extends into Langstone Harbour and is a paradise for bird watchers and we were lucky enough to get a close up view of a Kestrel hovering over a potential prey; totally ignoring us it kept us entertained for several minutes.
The path circled the perimeter of the Marshes, eventually re-joining the coastal path, and offered extensive views in all directions.
The harbour itself was once famous for its Oyster Beds; its fascinating history is recorded in a book written by one of our late Ramblers, Ron Tweed.
The path continued along the shoreline, with a short detour inland, to Langstone village, passing by the Old Mill, once owned by the well known Petersfield artist Flora Twort and for a short time, occupied by the author Nevil Shute, who was also a close friend of Flora’s.
Unfortunately, as we were having lunch, a group of walkers coming from the Langstone direction, informed us that the high tides of the previous nights had breached the foreshore path and the approach to Langstone had been cut off. We therefore had to abandon the last two miles of the planned walk. Instead, we retraced our steps via a path which wound its’ way inland, bringing us through an industrial estate which eventually led us into the centre of Havant and transport back to Portsmouth – a disappointing end to an otherwise excellent walk.