Distant ships and sun, Southsea

Portsmouth to Hayling Island walk

20-Jan-18 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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The old rail bridge, Hayling Island

Portsmouth to Hayling Island walk

20-Jan-18 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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View from the Royal Oak towards Halyling Island Causeway

19-Jul-16 • Andrew Murphy on Flickr

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Chapel Musum photos

19-Jul-16 • Andrew Murphy on Flickr

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Entrance to chapel and local museum

19-Jul-16 • Andrew Murphy on Flickr

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View from beach back towards the Ferry Inn

19-Jul-16 • Andrew Murphy on Flickr

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View from Ferry In beach

19-Jul-16 • Andrew Murphy on Flickr

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Portsmouth to Havant or Eastoke Point via Hayling Island walk

Portsmouth Harbour, Southsea promenade, Eastney Beach, a ferry to Hayling Island, quiet beaches. Either continue to Eaststoke Point, or head inland along a disused railway path alongside Langstone Harbour.

Status [Aug-16] The Hayling Island - Portsmouth ferry has re-opened

Portsmouth - ferry - Hayling beach - disused railway path - Havant : 13 miles, ascent : none

Portsmouth - ferry - Hayling beach - Eastoke Point (Sandy Point Nature Reserve) : 11.1 miles ( 17.8 km), ascent : none

OS Maps Explorer map 118
Toughness 1 out of 10. No hills. Walking on pavement, paths or sandy beaches

This coastal walk features Portsmouth's historic harbour, Southsea's promenade, a pier, several forts, Eastney's naturist beach, a short ferry ride to Hayling Island, sand dunes of Gunner Point, then either a disused railway path around Langstone Harbour to Havant, or a seafront promenande to Sandy Point and the entrance to Chichester Harbour, followed by a bus back to Havant

The walk starts at Portsmouth Harbour, with views over the harbour entrance and naval base. It follows the seafront past Gunwharf Quays development and the landmark Spinnaker Tower (viewing platform, £9.95 in 2016).

You then join the Solent Way seafront path with views over the Isle of White. This is a seafront promenade through the resort of Southsea, passing Southsea Castle, South Parade Pier, Lumps Fort, and Eastney Forts.

There is an option to follow the shingle beach to Eastney's naturist beach before detouring inland around Fort Cumberland to the Hayling Island Ferry.

Next is a short ferry ride across the entrance to Langstone Harbour, to Hayling Island, and the popular Ferryboat Inn, with outside tables overlooking the coast and harbour entrance.

From here, the walk follows a sandy beach (or a seafront trail) back to the coast, a beach where the sea is very shallow at low tide, and goes out a long way with sand bars - great for paddling on a falling tide. It then follows the wide sandy beach along the south (sea facing) coast of Hayling island. The coast here is protected by a golf course (hidden by dunes), which makes this the quietest part of Hayling's coast.

That is, until you reach the Inn on the Beach, a seafront pub, just before the amusements, where you have a choice.

  • Head north, inland to pick up the Hayling Billy disused railway path (signed as Shipwrights Way) which follows the west coast of Hayling Island (facing Langstone Harbour) back to the mainland. At the end of the causeway is a pub with great views. Follow the shore east to the Royal Oak, another harbourside pub. 10m inland from the pub, also on Langstone Street, is St Nicholas Chapel (part of a private house) which houses the local museum (free). Contine along the shore path, before heading inland to rejoin the railway path, and follow it to Havant Station.
  • Simply continue along the sandy beach all the way along the sea facing coastline of Hayling Island to Sandy Point Nature Reserve with views over Chichester Harbour, and catch a regular bus back to Havant Station. If you do this option on a Sunday, make sure you check the time of the last bus. You can't enter the reserve (just'scrubland' anyway), but the coast path has views over the entrance to Chichester Harbour. Head inland at the RSPB Lifeboat Station for the bus stop.
Walk Options

You could start at Havant, follow the railway path south to the coast, then follow the coast to Sand Point (i.e. walk both the options above, missing out Portsmouth)

You can follow the railway path south, take the ferry, then follow the Solent Path north around the other side of Langstone Harbour back to your starting point for a circular tour of the harbour. This would take 14 miles, but would be better suited to cycling rather than walking as it might get a bit monotonous after a while


Portsmouth Harbour and Havant are on the same rail line from London Waterloo. Buy a ticket to Portsmouth Harbour, at least 2 trains and hour.

The Hayling Ferry runs every 30 mins from Hayling Island (Ferryboast Inn) to Eastney, takes 10 mins, 7 days a week. In 2016: £5 return, every 40 mins (ask if the £25 10 crossing ticket can be used by groups)

The Stagecoach #30/ #31 buses runs in an (anti) clockwise loop from Havant - causeway - Hayling - Sandy Point (Sandy Bay Road) - Ferryboat Inn - Hayling - causeway - Havant. It takes 30 mins from Hayling to Havant Station (Mon-Fri: every 30 mins. Sat: hourly. Sun: 2-hourly) On Sunday, check the time of the last bus.

Points of interest
Lunch and Tea

Lots of options including:

  • Ferry Boat Inn. Hayling side of Hayling Ferry
  • Inn on the Beach, Hayling Island beach. Real Ale, great view
  • Eastoke Point (Sandy Point) Option : There are a couple more pubs further on along the beach towards Sandy Point, but none after the nature reserve.‎
  • Railway Path Option: The Ship Inn (Fullers, shiplangstone.co.uk), at the north end of the causeway, has a coast side terrace with lots of outside seating with nice views. The Royal Oak, smaller but nicer, is 100 m east along the coast path
Help Us!

After the walk, we would love to get your feedback

You can upload photos to the SWC Group on Flickr (upload your photos) and videos to Youtube. This walk's tags are:

By Train

Out (not a train station)

Back (not a train station)

By Car

Start PO1 3PA Map Directions Return to the start:

Finish PO9 1PP Map Directions Travel to the start:


National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234


Feb-17 Andrew

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