Day 023: Bosham to Eastoke

Distance: 23.77 miles

Ascent: 450 feet

Weather: Very Windy & Rain Morning, Windy & Heavy Rain Afternoon

Accommodation: Wild camp Eastoke, hayling Island


So after my warm, well fed, comfortable rest day in Bosham, I was ready for the off, and from the forecast and look of the sky it was clearly going to be a wet and windy day. Slightly embarrassingly on leaving the house driveway, it took me several minutes to find the path even though it was only 10m away, I had seen a private drive sign but not noticed the footpath sign to it’s right.

It was luckily low tide as the first part of walk from Bosham was along the foreshore, and heading up a creek. I don’t know how but I was sheltered from the wind for this part, and the rain even lightened/stopped for the first few miles. If you look at the map you will see there were several creeks and peninsulas that had to be walked up or down

I then headed down the Chidham peninsula to Cobnor Point. Near Cobnor Point there was a lovely little nature reserve, with a fair amount of birds and a very good path and solid bridges. It was at this point that I got exposed to the strong winds, and they didn’t let up for the next few hours. It was back up the other side around the creek before heading down the next peninsula Thorney Island (which isn’t an island).

Thorney Island is a military base, but it has a footpath along the seawall around the outside. It is quite strange because you get to this very serious gate in the middle of nowhere, and then have to press the intercom to be allowed through. But as there was a sign saying intercom not working, and the phone number given was indecipherable, I for a moment though I would have to abandon. But they must have seen me on CCTV as the gate lock was released and I could get through. The 8km of path around the island are quite clearly in a scenic location, but the wind had reached it’s full potential and it was quite hard to just walk in a straight line, the only bonus being that the rain stopped for about half of the loop. I got buzzed out the other side with no problem and followed the path up through the marina and to Emsworth.

Emsworth seemed lovely, with lots of old buildings, and an interesting promenade forming a sort of lagoon. I was pretty battered so decided to take a little break from the wind, by heading into a little café for half an hour and had a cup of tea. I am not always sure whether these breaks from the wind/rain actually help especially when the conditions are just as bad when you leave.

The winds were finally easing of, but now the rain got significantly stronger, the walk from Emsworth to Langstone would be lovely in better weather, and Langstone itself had some of the most stunning 0ld buildings I had seen on this walk so far.

I crossed the Langstone Bridge (being sprayed by some inconsiderate cars!) to Hayling Island, and unfortunately the east side has very few paths so had to follow the country lanes. I came to St Peters Church in North Hayling, a lovely little church and I popped inside, half to be able to change my maps and check my phone but also because it looked a very interesting church. It was built in the 12th century, and its bells cast in 1350 are thought to be some of the oldest in the country.

I then had a mixture of lane and path walking as I headed towards the south of Hayling Island down to the Selsmore/Eastoke area. The rain still hadn’t stopped though it had lightened a fair amount so I was able to pitch the tent quickly enough that the inner didn’t get wet.

A brutal day, being battered by the wind and rain, though given the conditions I got some good mileage under my belt. I am very happy to be snuggled up in my tent protected from the elements.

Tomorrow on my revised catch-up schedule I will be aiming to get to Southsea, Portsmouth, just in case anyone knows someone there who could offer accomadation.

NB - due to rain the below is every photo I took today.

charles compton