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Hayling Billy Coastal Path

Havant to Portsmouth Harbour via Hayling Island  (Hayling Billy)

Saturday 12 May 2012 - 12 Miles


Another one of those last minute decision jobs...I had this lttle plan rattlin about the back of me skull from a while back, but when I had the usual can't get out of bed early attack to do the planned GMT walk, a tiny dim lightbulb came on and this was the choice instead.  A late start after a train journey from Hasties to Havant.  It had been raining hard for a few days, but today was lovely and warm and sunny, as I headed through Havant Station Car Park, and when you come near the signal box, there is an old fashioned crossing gate leading you on to the Cycle Route Number 2, shortly after joining you pass under a road bridge on this former Railway Line onto Hayling Island  and this bridge had a long wide and deep puddle that I had to go through, so from this point onwards I had wet feet!  Anyway, soon you cross under the A27, and then over Langstone Road, that once had a level crossing.  Soon you bear back to Langstone Road and follow across onto Hayling Island on the modern road bridge, away from the old Railway, as the former Rail Viaduct has been mostly dismantled.  Soon after arriving on the island you rejoin the old formation, and after a quick walk back up to look at the old bridge structure (as you do) I then carried on south with great views across to Portsea Island and ahead towards West Town.  The trail itself is level and reasonably straight and was quite busy with cyclists and walkers, and after around 3 miles you reach the old Station, which has been assimilated by the Am Dram Society.  From here I walked to along Staunton Avenue to the Sea Front and after chilling at the great cafe and a dose of Ice Cream, carried along Sea Front, into Ferry Road, passing by Sinah Gun Site, A WWII Heavy Gun Emplacement to give Jerry a damm good pasting!  Soon I reached the Hayling Ferry and took the short ride across to Eastney (very busy with foot passengers and cyclists) on the Portsmouth Side, from here I carried on along to pass by Fort Cumberland and soon reaching the point where the Sustrans Cycle Route joins with the previously walked Solent Way, which I then reloaded to walk the several miles to Portmouth Harbour Station and hightailed it back to Hasties

Joining Sustrans route 2 at Havant Station Signal Box, through the mock up level crossing gates, hang a right to Hayling Island

Looking back to the deep long flooded bit just outside Havant - I had no choice but to press on and was rewarded with soggy boots n feet

Nicely metalled and easy onwards - near A27 underpass

Lovely bench dedicated to Jack Dalton, a former Level Crossing Keeper at Langstone Road

Crossing The Wayfarers Walk, still to be done at this date, apart from the first section where it is conincident with the Solent Way

Langstone Bridge, the Second Permanent Bridge to Hayling Island

Welcome to Hayling Island.  This is the first time I have ever crossed the threshold

Also following this 'un - back on the former rail alignment

Also now on the Hayling Billy Line Proper - it is only waymarked like this from Langstone Bridge to the Old Station

I initially walked up to the remains of the old rail bridge, which was its achilles heel, and when it needed maintenance in the '60s meant curtains for this sweet little branch line.  Poor old remains of signal post still languishes in place

Zoomed in on the old understructure - the curious remains of the swing bridge section looks like a rusty turret

Now looking Sarf - Portsea Island far right

Another view towards Portsea - I could easily sea the Spinaker Tower

Now a nice wide track - near here I heard the sweet sound of a Cuckoo doing its thang

Interpretive Board by old station

Hayling Island Amateur Dramatic Society - remains of old station site.  This is the end of the Hayling Billy section, now on towards Portsmouth on Route 2

Sea Front - A nice Cafe along here with New Forest Ice Cream

Remains of Sinah Gun Site.  The Luftwaffe scored a direct hit in WWII

The Kench Nature Reserve

Catching the foot ferry over to Eastney

The Pride Of Hayling landed at Eastney

Fort Cumberland

Royal Marines Museum

South Parade Pier, Southsea.  Rest of walk same old same old to Portsmouth Harbour, following the Solent Way

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