Day 018: Hove to Littlehampton
Distance: 20.72 miles
Ascent: 319 feet
Accommodation: Mike's House, Littlehampton
Well I was quite slow to get going this morning and as I had a few bits of admin to do before leaving, I did not set of as early as normal. I was on the road (or path) about 8.15. The first part of the day followed the promenade along the Hove coastline, passing hundreds of beach huts and eventually reaching ‘The Lagoon’ where around 18 years ago I used to sail occasionally. Just after this I dropped onto the beach at Western Esplanade, this road has had some famous owners; Fatboy Slim, Sir Paul McCartney, Adele. I do not really see why they buy these properties, as they do not appear anything special, apart from being directly on the beach.
The path then follows an industrial lane, passing steel, timber and gravel yards, as well as Shoreham Power Station. Getting from one side of Shoreham Harbour to the other actually takes a fair amount of time. First I had to cross over the harbour locks, then follow a pavement beside a busy road, before crossing back over a fairly new glass walled pedestrian bridge. This bridge had made a cardinal sin for a coastal bridge by using glass. With the salty air, sea mist and general high winds the glass just looks dirty and translucent very quickly however often you clean it. On top of this it appears they have chosen the wrong type of glass as several pains had shattered under stress.
Once across I had to do a little cutback in the wrong direction to keep on the coast until I reached Shoreham Fort, where I started heading back in the right direction again. I was worried the next few kilometres may be pebble walking, but there was fortunately a boardwalk for most of this part. And once the path became a promenade again it headed passed Widewater Lagoon and onto Worthing, with numerous light aircraft taking of from Shoreham Airport nearby.
I had arranged to meet my Dad by Worthing Pier for lunch, we met slightly before this and had a lovely lunch in a little beachside café. Whilst eating a message came through from an old primary school friend (Marlon), saying to contact when I was passing Littlehampton as he has a friend who may be able to provide lodging there. In fact, I would be passing Littlehampton just a couple of hours later so contacted him right away.
From Worthing the path follows the shingle beach, though fortunately on paths most of way, all the way to Littlehampton. Littlehampton has actually made a fair amount of effort to smarten up and ensure it keeps the tourists coming. It has some modern architectural features on the promenade including an interesting café, crazy benches and new walkways. It also has an amusement area that looks fresh and well kept unlike a lot of the sorry looking ones I had passed on other parts of the coast.
Just as I was assuming that the accommodation offer may not come of, and that I would have to carry on from Littlehampton to find a pitch, the message came through that I had somewhere to stay for the night in Littlehampton. This was a very kind offer, and thank you so much to Mike for offering the house and Marlon for organising. This offer of accommodation was even more welcome as it is meant to rain heavily tonight and tomorrow morning.
This did though mean that today was about 2.5 miles shorter than planned, so tomorrow will be 2.5 miles longer.
So today was a fairly simple walk, in the sun. Tomorrow I will be aiming to get to Bracklesham.