Walk: Emsworth Harbour Delights

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AA Walks: Emsworth Harbour Delights

Distance: 7.2km (14.4km there and back)
Duration: 3 hours

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I arrive and it is murky, the light is drab but Langstone Harbour looks ethereal and as calm as a mill pond. I set off from the Hayling end where there is a free car park and follow the Solent Way/Wayfarers Walk. The wind is light but quite fresh. Apart from a few other walkers and runners, I have a flock of Brent Geese for company, they float across the glass like water, their calls filling the morning calm with a little bit of a lively chorus.

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Part of the walk runs away from the coast and inland through fields where I come across some bathing cows in a small stream. Later I encounter old gnarly trees reflecting in puddles and meet an over friendly Labrador who takes me by surprise. His owner being extremely apologetic and I tell her with a chuckle about our old dog we once had and smile knowingly at how daft they can be.

Shortly the path rejoins the coastal path and introduces me to Emsworth which is as quiet as anywhere else. Scores of seagulls hold moored rowing boats hostage. I capture a Gull and a Coot having a fight. Seems the wildlife is in a funny mood this morning, including domestic Labradors! I also come across some gorgeous boats that just looked so painterly in the early morning light. I worked on the image a little bit to accentuate the effect that I saw at the time of capturing the boats photo.

The walk is laced with history and is fairly flat. So very accessible for all walkers of all abilities and ages. Though in places it can be a bit wet under foot and parts of the walk are shingle, so decent walking boots with a firm grip are highly recommended.

Wildlife spotted along the way – Black-headed gulls, Moorhen, Coot, Brent Geese, Dunlin and oystercatchers.

I spotted some nice looking pubs and cafes along the route for refreshment but didn’t have the chance to try any of them out. Mind you they all looked very inviting, so will try them out next time and do a bit of a write-up.

On the way back my route was slightly different due to the low tide. In other words I didn’t need to cut through the fields as I did on the first leg of the walk and was able to walk along the foreshore which was fab.

Finally here are some abstract images I found along the way, including a close-up of the extremely clever fisherman’s christmas tree that was constructed out of lobster pots, baubles and tinsel, it was quite an eye-catcher!

Other information I found online (Courtesy of The AA)

Situated at the head of one of the tidal creeks of Chichester Harbour, Emsworth is delightful with its attractive jumble of streets, lanes and alleys and yacht-filled harbour, is essentially a seafaring town. During the 18th and 19th centuries it was a principal port along this stretch of coast and became very prosperous through corn milling, boat building, fishing and a flourishing oyster industry. The village still boasts shipwrights and chandleries, and fishing boats still work out of the harbour, but today it is more important as a yachting centre. If you stroll through the streets and by the harbour you can see the old tide mills that milled the grain from local farms, and see the houses built by wealthy merchants.While you’re there: Stroll through the narrow streets, lined with specialist shops, then walk along the busy harbourside and around the two tidal mill ponds to capture the history and charm of this picturesque village. Emsworth Museum in North Street traces the history of the village.What to look out for: Look for the blue plaque on a house in Record Road. The author of the Jeeves and Wooster novels, P G Wodehouse, lived here between 1904 and 1913 and based many of his locations and characters on local places and people. Note the flint grave-watchers€™ huts in Warblington churchyard, built over 200 years ago, at a time when bodies were scarce for medical students to learn on.

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