Toughness: 1 out of 10: flat
9.30 train from Waterloo to Portsmouth Harbour, arriving 11.08.
From Clapham Junction get the 9.27 Crewkerne/Bristol train to Woking, arriving 9.45, to connect with the above train at 9.55.
Buy a day return to Portsmouth Harbour
There are no walk directions, but none are really needed (except briefly at the start). A map of the route can be seen here or a GPX file downloaded here. For more details about the walk see here.
I kind of implied that last week’s very successful Lewes to Saltdean walk would be our last seaside outing of the summmer season, but this is a bit of unfinished business. A bunch of us did this walk back in January and thought then it would make a good summer walk. Now that the RMT strikes on South Western have finally finished there is a chance to post it.
It is a seaside walk rather than a country walk - you could wear trainers rather than boots. You start by walking along the ramparts at the mouth of Portsmouth Harbour and then you follow the seaside promenade with fine views of the Solent and all of its shipping. A swim might be possible at some point here. (It will be high tide at the start of the walk, falling to low tide at 4pm.)
Things gradually get greener and quieter and in due course you come to the Hayling Ferry which takes you across to the island of that name. This leaves at 12.00, 12.40, 13.20, 14.00 (etc: every 40 minutes) and costs £5.50. (Those on the walk in January who kept their tickets can ride free as the fare automatically includes a second journey).
Once on the island things get wilder. There are two lunch options here - the Ferryboat Inn and the Inn on the Beach - it was the latter we launched at in January and were very impressed. Both establishments, as far as I can gather, serve food all afternoon. There may also be earlier seaside cafes in Southsea, before the ferry crossing.
At or near the Inn on the Beach, you have a choice: the recommended route (the 13 mile walk) is to turn northwards along the edge of Hayling Island along the route of an old railway line, a pleasant green route with good views of the sea. Eventually you cross a bridge to the mainland. The walk route here suggests carrying on to Havant, but in January we turned right to follow a very pretty path to the historic and picturesque coastal town of Emsworth.
A shorter 11 mile walk continues after lunch along the southern coast of Hayling Island. You can get bus number 30/31 back from Eastoke at the east end of the seafront to Havant bus station next to the railway station at 18, 28, 49 and 58 past until 17.58, then 19, 33 and 59 past till late.
Trains back from Havant to Waterloo (do not get the slower ones to Victoria) are at 04, 17 and 34 past the hour (though at 17.24 instead of 17.34), with a slower train at 40 past.
Trains back from Emsworth are at 17, 28 and 35 past to Waterloo via a change at Havant or 18 and 58 past to Victoria (the 58 is direct, the 18 requires a change at Chichester), with journey times of around an hour and three quarters either way. Your Portsmouth return is definitely valid on the Victoria service and should be accepted for the short hop from Emsworth to Havant.