Day 021: Bracklesham to Bosham

Distance: 19.67 miles

Ascent: 499 feet

Weather: light Showers morning, Sunny afternoon

Accommodation: Mill House, Bosham


So, this morning it was raining when I woke up and forecast to do so for the next 3 or 4 hours. On top of this my stuff was pretty much dry but had a slight damp feel from the day before. So I just decided to get up and go around 7am when it was still dark., knowing the tent would be packed wet whatever I did.

I followed the embankment around the last part of Medmerry Reserve and was shortly in Bracklesham, which quickly links into East Wittering. As per yesterday the tide was low, and I was able to walk along the sand all the way to East Head, which saved me from the pebbles. At East Head I turned inland on the New Lipchis Way, and the scenery changed almost immediately with extensive mudflats and many wading birds. The path wended its way following the shoreline and sometimes dropping down onto the foreshore all the way to West Itchenor. There were some  stunning homes here, both modern and old along the harbour edge, but there were also some astronomically big almost footballer wives style houses that looked slightly ridiculous

The path continues up to Birdham Pools and Chichester Marina, where there is an impressive array of yachts. All seemingly well kept and even the marina itself seemed very smart, there must be a lot of money in this area.

I had for the first time misjudged the shop situation today, as the East Wittering shop wasn’t open when I passed so I knew there were no shops until the end of the day. There were though pubs and even though bad for the budget, I had to eat, and the snack was really good. This is a luxury I cannot afford to often.

The path continued up to Fishbourne, which I only skirted, though the parts I did see were very picturesque. Fishbourne is the site of the largest Roman villa found in England, and was apparently found by accident in the 1960’s when the ground was being excavated for a water main. It dates back to 75 AD, and the remains of several large mosaics can be seen.

From Fishbourne, the path heads through the reed beds. This area was the most muddy of the day, and essentially became a slippy slide for several kilometers. Somehow I kept my footing, the path condition withstanding this was a very scenic path. The path diverts onto the road through Bosham Hoe, and drops back onto the coast at the location of a Summer ferry. Goodness knows how this ferry gets people on and off as it appears to be a hard landing spot, though apparently the vessel is quite ingenious.

The final bit of path to Bosham, follows the foreshore and is tidal. I thought I had just enough time to get around so went for it. Just a couple hundred meters from the road I had to divert across a farmers field as the tide came in to far. The final stroll along a tidal effected road, and through the stunning village of Bosham was gorgeous. I think arriving at high tide was lucky as it really set the village of. Legs dependent I am looking forward to exploring Bosham tomorrow as it seems a really interesting place.

I am very fortunate to have  a very generous offer of accommodation for my rest day from Fiona and David MacFarlane. I have been provided with my own lovely annex and Fiona  has stocked it with everything I could possibly want, as well as cooking a lovely roast (beef) on my evening of arrival.

Today was a really scenic day, with many different terrains covered from pebble beach, to dunes, to mudflats, to reedbeds and lovely picturesque villages as well. I really need this rest day as since the sickness though I haven’t felt sick I have felt quite low on energy.

charles compton