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Hayling Billy Trail

LOCALITY: Hayling Island, Hampshire
DISTANCE: Greater than 5 miles (8.05 km)
FACILITIES: There & back, Parking, Toilets, Pub, Cafe

GRADIENT: Mostly flat
OS MAP: Chichester

Walk description:

This linear walk is 5 miles in length. Park in the car park at Havant next to Havant Museum in East Street. The trail commences at the southern end of this car park. This is a good hard surface suitable for all. This takes you under the dual carriageway of the A27.
After 3/4 mile you come out onto the A3023 main road down to Hayling Island (HI). Turn left. I suggest keeping to the left hand side of the road as approaching the bridge over the water to HI there are public toilets, then The Ship Inn on this side of the road. The other side of the bridge there is a petrol station encompassing a Somerfield shop. Unfortunately there is about 3/4 mile to do on this road. Immediately after crossing the bridge leave the road and follow the footpath on the right hand side of the road off to the right and through a car park. At the end of the car part take a sharp right turn onto a hard gravel path, the terraine is a bit rougher from this point on. Follow this twisty path until it brings you back onto the line of the old railway track. Turn left and follow the old railway track. After another 3/4 mile you will pass through another car park where the terraine is very rough but firm, just keep going through and out the other end. This continues for another 2 miles on a hard graveled surface with some mud or puddles possible towards the southern end. Ignore all crossing paths. You eventually come out to Station Road. Go straight over into Staunton Avenue. I suggest keeping to the pavement on the right of the road as on the left hand side there are no drop kerbs to cross Bacon Lane. When you get to the Sea Front you can either turn left to the fun fair or turn right then left to The Inn On The Beach. Here there are also public toilets and a cafe kiosk.

Additional notes:

There are various points in which one can start and end this walk. I have described the full walk from Havant down to the coast at Hayling Island. This walk follows the old railway line called the Hayling Billy Line - hense the title. Part of it is also officially called the Hayling Billy Coastal Path. Please note that it is very popular with cyclists and dog walkers. When you first come to the A3023 note the old wooden shiplap cottage on the left - this is the old gate keepers cottage for the level crossing. The Ship Inn is a very busy pub especially in good weather as it overlooks the water and it serves delicious food. The car park is a public car park so could be an alternative start point. When crossing the water on the bridge over to HI note the stubby pilons sticking out of the water to your right - this is the site of the old Hayling Billy line bridge over the water. Once back on the old railway line you can get wonderful views across Langstone Harbour of Portsmouth including the new Spinaker Tower. When you come out to Station Road note the Theatre on your left which was an old railway station building. When I reached the Inn on the Beach I parked my mobility scooter in the car park and with a good strong arm was able to walk onto the beach and watch the sea whilst enjoying a picnic. There can also be wonderful views of the Isle of Wight on a clear day.

27/04/2008 | Walk posted by Linda Rivers

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