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

Solent Way (part 2) Lymington to Beaulieu

The 2nd part of the long-distance Solent Way goes from Lymington to Beaulieu. At just over 10 miles it isn’t the nicest of walks, being along the sides of extremely large fields and mainly on quiet, country roads. ie There’s not much to see in the way of views.

It’s almost 3 years since I did the first part of the Solent Way. I hadn’t expected this delay in progressing through the 8 parts. The next section is a short 6 miles from Beaulieu to Hythe, followed by the ferry across Southampton Water for the 3rd leg, Southampton to Hamble.

The extremely pretty Buckler’s Hard looks as if it could justify a longer re-visit but on this occasion I was just passing through. On leaving I spotted this lovely boat being worked on in the boatyard and I got talking to its owner who, amazingly, lives only a few miles from me.

Lymington to Beaulieu

The 60 miles of the Solent Way

Box Hill to Guildford (15.4 miles)

A warm, sunny day made for a gruelling 15.4 mile hike along the North Downs Way, from Westhumble (near Dorking) to Guildford. I was expecting it to be about 12 miles and I intended it to be a bit of a training session in preparation for a 16 mile walk along part of the long-distance, Solent Way. Not only did I underestimate the length but I also improvised an extra bit at the end in order to pick up the River Wey, just to the south of Guildford. But I now know 16 miles is within my capabilities. Not only that, I’m expecting the Solent Way to be fairly flat, whereas today’s walk was up and down and totalled over 2,000 feet elevation – (walking up Snowden is just over 3,000 feet elevation!)

Guildford to West Byfleet

Yesterday was a wonderfully sunny and warm March day (shirtsleeves weather!). I struggled to complete the almost 12 miles along the River Wey-Navigation from Guildford to West Byfleet. I’d done this walk before, but this time it was harder on my feet. It didn’t help that I was standing for almost 5 hours – I rarely stop to rest. A highlight of the walk might have been to capture an image of a heron as it flew to and from its nest, not far from where I was standing. Unfortunately I wasn’t quick enough with my camera, and waiting a few minutes for the heron to return proved fruitless.

At the start of the walk was this curiosity above a car park barrier.

Dorking to Betchworth

On a glorious day I improvised a new walk, starting from Dorking station and heading through the villages of Pixham, Betchworth and Brockham.

Unusually for me I had a mega-sized pub lunch, at the Red Lion in Betchworth. What with a pint as well, I was feeling distinctly heavy for the last 5 miles. The steak & ale pie meal was very good and the pub is recommended.

In the pictures below, note the very odd scarecrow guarding the fishing lake!

Obstacles on a North Downs hike

On an 8-mile walk from Box Hill along the North Downs to Gomshall, there was plenty of evidence of the damage caused by the recent series of storms, and several times I had to negotiate obstacles on the blocked track.

World War 2 pillboxes litter sections of the North Downs Way.

Harvesting of trees in the woods.

In the distance……

And at the end of the walk, at Gomshall, a delightful farm setting.

Whilst waiting for a bus there was just time for a brief visit to the pub

Along the Hogsmill River

On a lovely sunny day, today’s walk took me through Nonsuch Park, into Ewell Village and then along the muddy path by the Hogsmill River. Three hours walking, with no sustenance, I was glad to get home to lunch.