One of the many reasons people love coming to Hayling Island is that matchless coastal air. There’s nothing like a walk across the dunes and coastal paths to blow away those cobwebs, and leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated.
There are plenty of Hayling Island walks to choose from. To give you a taster, here are our favourite three walking routes.
The Hayling Billy Walk (5 or 10 miles)
The Hayling Billy trail is one of the area’s best-loved walking routes. Its flat and easy terrain is testament to its former life as a railway line, and has made it a popular walk for families. It’s also used by cyclists and horse riders.
The entire route is just five miles – although as it’s linear, you may find yourself doubling that distance! Many walkers choose to begin at Havant Station on the mainland, which was once the start of this beautiful little branch line. The clearly marked trail takes you across Langstone Bridge (wave at us as you pass!) then along the west coast of the island.
If you’re staying with us at Langstone Quays, pick up the trail at the island end of the bridge, then enjoy a meander along the coastal stretch of the path and back. Here’s a summary of the Hayling Billy Trail route with a handy map.
Hayling Island Beach Walks (3.5 miles)
The south coast of Hayling Island is home to our three main beaches. West Beach, Beachlands Central and Eastoke run into each other to make a three-mile stretch of sand and shingle overlooking the Solent. There are car parks all along the seafront; however, we’d suggest parking at Sinah Common at the east end (there’s a free car park) then walking along the beaches and prom. This takes you towards Sandy Point nature reserve, the island’s most easterly piece of land.
Sinah Common is teeming with wildlife, and we recommend picking up a pot of the local honey. At the other end of the walk, Sandy Point is closed to the public to protect its rare plant species; however, you can admire its dunes and grasslands from the Eastoke end.
The Solent Way (suggested walking route: 8 miles)
This famous walking route is a 60-mile long trail that joins Milford on Sea and Emsworth Harbour. It takes in some beautiful stretches of the New Forest and of course, the Solent coast.
Cross Langstone bridge and pick up the path on the mainland – it’s easy to spot with its bird motif way makers. The trail is divided into eight sections (much less daunting than the full distance!), and the closet stretch to Langstone Quays is the final, easternmost Hilsea to Emsworth route.
This eight-mile stretch passes through a lovely coastal landscape and vibrant Chichester Harbour. If you want to walk the full eight miles, take the train from Havant to Hilsea where the stretch begins. When you arrive in Emsworth, you can catch a train back to your car in Hilsea.
Because the island is so small (about 18 square miles), you can see a lot of it simply by striding out on foot. These walks take in nature reserves, modern marinas, World War II architecture and some inviting beaches (not forgetting some excellent places for a refreshing pit-stop). Please let us know your favourite Hayling walks!
If you’d like to know more about things to do on Hayling Island, please get in touch with us at Langstone Quays.