Day 85: English Coastal Path


Tuesday 6th September 2022

Today miles: 17.5 Total miles: 1405.7

As predicted the storms arrived, around 4am. The tent got a bit of a battering from the wind and the rain, however it didn’t get so bad that I felt the need to run for additional shelter. Unable to sleep in the atrocious weather, I was packing up before 5am at first light and was walking some fifteen minutes later. It’s approximately five miles into Brighton and the entire route is along the edge of the cliff adjacent to the A259. The cliff edge eventually drops down into Brighton town centre and I arrived at the coastline near to the famous Brighton Royal Suspension Chain Pier. I had booked into Brighton Youth Hostel for tonight but when a saw the atrocious weather for the next few days I contacted them again and extended my stay for an additional two nights. Once again and true to form I visited the local Wetherspoons which had only just opened. Over the next two hours I sat and enjoyed one full English breakfast and four hot cups of coffee. I then head back to the coast and continue along Brightons super wide promenade. I walked by the sorry looking West Pier which was originally constructed in the 1860’s but closed more then a hundred years later. It’s been subjected to major damage from storms and several fires and is now just a heap of rusting metal in the Channel.

I continued through Brighton and then Hove until reaching the more industrialised area at Portslade-by-Sea. I chatted briefly with a cyclist who confirmed that the locks at Shoreham Harbour were open to pedestrians. I really didn’t fancy a wasted three miles if the locks were fenced off for any reason. I stopped and sat for a while to watch a dozen or so surfers in the waters near Southwick. There was a small cafe a little further down the road where I bought myself a fizzy drink. I also noticed that they had a novel plastic waste bin in the shape of a dolphin. The locks at the Marina were easily crossed. For the first time today it began to rain, though not enough to require any waterproofs. I dropped into McDonalds on the A259 at Kingston-by-Sea and by the time I left an hour later the rain had completely stopped. The big decision now was which train station to use for the return to Brighton. There’s three options over the next four miles. I crossed the River Adur via Norfolk Bridge and just kept going. The path by the edge of the Widewater Lagoon nature reserve and onwards towards Worthing was easy going and I enjoyed the walking, especially as the sun had now made an unexpected appearance.

On arrival at Worthing I left the coast and headed inland towards Central Worthing train station. An hour later I was registering myself into a shared male dorm room at Brighton Youth Hostel. There was some brief and occasionally heated confusion over the bed allocation but this was quickly resolved by the hostel manager, she seemed like a really nice lady.

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