Solent Way (part 8) Hilsea to Emsworth

It was an eventful final section of the Solent Way that I walked on a sunny but sub-zero, January day. Starting at Hilsea and ending at Emsworth, the walk is supposed to be just 8 miles, but my 12.4 miles also included the stretch from Hilsea train station to the actual Solent Way path as well as extra miles caused by some unexpected backtracking (see below).

From what I saw of Emsworth I would hope to return to explore what looked to be an attractive, small town. Lots of small pubs and independent shops, a bookshop, a Victorian cafe on platform 2 of the station (charming), and a large harbour which I’m sure would be more interesting when the tide is in.

An eventful day had began with a fallen tree blocking part of my route, threatening a cancellation of the whole day. Fortunately, using my wonderful phone app, I found an alternative route. Whilst on the walk, flooding had swept away part of the Solent Way, requiring some backtracking and rerouting across fields leading to lots of mud as well as a face-off with cattle (one with horns) blocking my way. I couldn’t face more backtracking so by making a lot of noise I managed to create sufficient space to be able to dash past the now rear-facing cattle. Phew.

To top it all, my return journey home began with a train bus-replacement service from Emsworth station. It didn’t turn up, neither did the next one 30 minutes later. I was almost certain that I was waiting in the wrong place – it clearly wasn’t the station.

In the end I found a bus stop where I could pick up a local bus service, though not the rail replacement. The rest of the journey happily went to plan.

What a day to finish off the Solent Way, long-distance path. Now I need another challenge…..

The 60 (actually 71!) miles of the Solent Way

Solent Way (part 7) Portsmouth to Hilsea

The 7th of the 8 sections of the Solent Way walk was, on a lovely, sunny and warm November day, uninteresting and tiring . Starting at Portsmouth and ending at Hilsea, the almost 10 miles was mainly along the seafront.

Nothing of interest once I had left Portsmouth other than a Hovercraft service to the Isle of Wight – I didn’t realise hovercrafts were still ferrying passengers. Sadly I missed out on taking a picture.

I’ll be glad when this walk, the Solent Way, is finished – only one section to go!

Picnic on the Southsea beach

The 60 miles of the Solent Way

Wells-Next-The-Sea

A busy month – two funerals, flu and covid jabs, dentist and optician appointments, a car breakdown followed by scrapping and replacing the car. For a change of scenery we made a last-minute decision to visit the Norfolk town of Wells-Next-The-Sea. We always planned to travel there by public transport which took over 6 hours, involving a train, tube, two more trains and a bus!

A Monday to Friday stay in a rented house gave us three full days to explore and get in a couple of decent length walks. Wells-Next-The-Sea is a charming fishing and holiday town with magnificent sands (when the tide is out).

We managed long walks on two of the three days. The first day was sunny as we walked westwards from Wells to Holkham, catching a bus back to Wells. The second day was extremely windy and we caught the bus to Blakeney, walking eastwards to Cley before catching the bus back.

On the third day it rained but we were still able to revisit the magnificent sandy beach.

Fish and chips in the evening!

GPS – how odd!

GPS – how odd!

Tracking my activity (walk) into the village, my iPhone’s GPS put me in some odd locations.

The red block is where I shopped in Waitrose – I never went to the left as would be suggested by GPS. The red circle is where I stopped to make a longish phone call.

All very odd, though perhaps explained by the accuracy of GPS, the strength of the GPS signal and the quality of my iPhone’s GPS receiver,

Update: I came across the following at Why-is-GPS-data-sometimes-inaccurate

When signals from the GPS satellites bounce off buildings, the GPS receiver can be confused by the extra time the signal took to reach it. In these cases, you may observe sudden large errors in position. There is not much that can be done to reduce the effects of multipath errors – GPS is simply less accurate in canyons, whether they are made of buildings or natural formations.

Solent Way (part 6) Lee-on-Solent to Portsmouth

The 6th part of the long-distance Solent Way goes from Lee-on-Solent along the coast to the city of Portsmouth. It’s not a pleasant 7-mile walk – too much of it is along busy, main roads, but on a very hot, sunny day there was the chance to take some nice pictures of boats and blue sky.

I have fond memories of Stokes Bay which is just along the coast from Lee-on-Solent. As kids we would be driven there to sit on the beach, kick a ball around, to picnic, to play on the putting green (now a crazy golf), to have a knockabout on the grass tennis courts (now just hard courts). It’s still a largely unspoilt, but busy little seaside area.

The water between Gosport and Portsmouth is bustling with boats of all sizes, and the short and expensive ferry is well worth taking to get to the interesting city of Portsmouth. The city really requires at least a day to explore its delights – something for another day, perhaps.

7 miles coastal walk
£2.50 worth of yumminess

The 60 miles of the Solent Way

Solent Way (part 5) Warsash to Lee-on-Solent

The 5th part of the long-distance Solent Way goes from Warsash along the coast to the seaside town of Lee-on-Solent. At some point I must have lost the coastal path which resulted in much of the walk being along pebbled, sometimes sandy, beach. At 7 miles and on a hot, cloudy day, it was exhausting walking mainly along pebbled beach. Only at the end of the walk did the sun come out.

Lee-on-Solent is a pleasant seaside town. As kids we would pass through on the way to Stokes Bay which is a couple of miles along the coast. In later life my Mum liked to visit either the Penguin Café or the Blue Bird Café on the Lee-on-Solent front. At the end of my walk I sampled the delights of Kathy’s Seaside Treats Bakery.

It was not the most interesting of walks, plus I had some exhausting journeys to get to the start of the walk and to return home.

7 miles coastal walk

The 60 miles of the Solent Way

Oaks Park walk

Unusually for me I was out of the house before 9 this morning – I’m a shockingly slow riser, normally. I’ve done this 7 mile walk many times but it was good to be walking again after an absence of a couple of weeks. Through the woods then past the back of the prison and onto Oaks Park. Everywhere the grass was very long but fortunately I don’t suffer from hay fever. As usual I do some reading in the shade, with my usual coffee and a Kit-Kat from the excellent café.

A sign on the path invited me to find the open art studios and I came across just one with an open door. Looking inside there was no sign of the artist so I was reluctant to enter their private space which was a typical working studio with the paints and equipment as well as walls covered in paintings. I can’t believe I didn’t take a quick photo – my artist daughter would have appreciated and envied a fellow artist’s workspace. I turned around, walked in a circle and decided to go back to take that picture, but the door to the studio was now firmly closed. I should have grabbed the opportunity when I had it!

Solent Way (part 4) Southampton to Hamble

The 4th part of the long-distance Solent Way goes from Southampton, along the coast to the attractive village of Hamble. At just under 10 miles and on a hot, sunny day, it was exhausting. I was surprised by how much walking there was on stony beaches. On the other hand it was nice that for most of the walk there was water to be seen.

On arriving at Southampton Central station I walked towards the docks and saw a side view of this large liner, then on to the Hythe ferry where the previous leg of the Solent Way walk had finished.

A liner in Southampton, near the start of the walk
Southampton to Hamble

The 60 miles of the Solent Way

A rare selfie!

Solent Way (part 3) Beaulieu to Hythe

The 3rd part of the long-distance Solent Way goes from Beaulieu to Hythe. At just over 6 miles it isn’t the nicest of walks, much of it being along the sides of busy main roads.

Trains to Lymington followed by the 112 bus (Tuesdays & Thursdays only) to Beaulieu took me to the start of the walk. At the end there was the ferry across Southampton Water and then it was on to Southampton station and the return journey home. A long and exhausting day even though the walk was relatively short.

The next section is a short 6 miles from Southampton to Hamble.

Beaulieu at the start of the walk
Beaulieu to Hythe

The 60 miles of the Solent Way