Day 92: English Coastal Path


Wednesday 19th April 2023

Today miles: 14.9 Total miles: 1531.6

I slept in later than usual this morning and I’m looking forward to another short but great day of walking along the English Coastal Path. I parked in Fareham, about five minutes walk between the train and the bus station. I then boarded the bus back to Stubbington and thirty minutes later I was setting off along the ECP/Solent Way. I walked by Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve and saw a good variety of wading birds including swans, ducks, oystercatcher and a dozen more varieties that I couldn’t try and identify. The next two miles towards the boundary of Solent Breeze Caravan Park was pleasant enough, along the Solent Way but a short time later I got frustrated trying to work my way around/through the caravan Park. There’s a footpath along the edge of the beach but the tides in so I’m obliged to walk an additional, irritating mile. The ferry that crosses the River Hamble is located near Warsash and this is the official route of the English Coastal Path and Solent Way. After a brief refreshment break I passed the bright pink hut which is the ferry passengers waiting room. I could see the equally brightly painted boat sat on the other side of the river.

The first walkable bridge crossing the River Hamble is located at Bursledon, about 2 miles away. Although the route is unmarked, it’s easy to follow. I arrived in Bursledon and headed through the town before cutting through a small strip of woodland named Mallards Moor, heading towards Hamble-le-Rice. There’s an old disused airstrip on the Northern edge of Hamble-le-Rice. As I looked around it seems unbelievable that between the 1920s and the 1960s this area was busy with several types of aircraft, including bombers being manufactured and flown from this tiny hamlet. Apparently, to the annoyance of local farmers, the larger aircraft would often became stuck in the small country lanes.

At Hamble I had a proper, extended break, watching the little pink ferry moving across the river. I picked up the official ECP once more and was soon walking across Hamble Common. The ground was wet but I jumped across the puddles managing to avoid the worse bits. I’ve got a dry pair of shoes on today and wanted to keep it that way for as long as possible. About two years ago I purchased two pairs of ‘Peter Storm’ walking shoes for about £80 intending to use them for shorter walks, however together with insoles I’ve never experienced any blisters and I now regularly use them for longer, multi day walks. I’m keen to keep these shoes in a good condition for as long as I can

It’s now less than two miles to Netley where I plan to catch a train back to Fareham. There’s absolutely no rushing today so I meandered along the Solent Way at a more leisurely pace than yesterday. I bumped into a man walking his two dogs close to the heavily graffitied bunker at Hamblecliff and we slowly walked/talked together through the Royal Victoria Country Park. I left the coastal path as soon as l could after reaching Netley, less than ten minutes later I had reached the train station. Another pleasant if again relatively short day, I’ve much bigger plans for tomorrow.

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