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The Solent Way

Hampshire and Sussex

  

Start: Milford on Sea, Hampshire

Finish: Emsworth Harbour, Sussex

Length: 60 miles

The Solent Way path is covers 60 miles of the Hampshire Coastline from Milford on Sea, where it connects with the Bournemouth Coast Path, through to the Sussex border at Emsworth Harbour.

It takes you through busy sea fronts, yachting harbours, deserted marshland and saltings. There are castles and forts to explore, ships, submarines and museums to visit along the way and you get to see marshes and lagoons at the south end with fauna such as foxtail stonewart, sea anemones and lagoon shrimps.

It is well signposted with a Tern on a green arrow.

Ordnance Survey maps covering this walk include: Explore IL22 and Landranger 119 and 120.

The Solent Way website contains details of the walk together with a breakdown of 8 smaller walks that can be achieved more easily They also have a PDF document which contains a leaflet on the walk. Which as well as giving you some historical background to the area that is covered by the path also gives details of some of the things you may get to see.

As with all long distance paths it can be broken down into interesting sections and this one is no different splitting into 8 management short walks. These are:-

Mildford on Sea to Lymington (9 miles)

This section starts in the seaside town of Milford on Sea and follows the shoreline to Hurst Castle Spit at the end of which is Hurst Castle.

Location: Milford on Sea

Grid Reference: SZ288916 Ceremonial County: Hampshire
Map Link: Multimap Aerial photo: Google Aerial Map

Getting there: From the A337 between Lymington and Christchurch take the B3058 to Milford on Sea.

Website: http://www.milfordonsea.com/Read.htm

Other useful websites: Wiki - Milford    Wiki - Solent Way

Notes:

Hurst Castle

One of Henry VIII's artillery forts built at the end of a long shingle spit at the went end of the solent to guard the approaches to the Navel Dockyard at Portsmouth. Charles I was imprisoned there in 1648 before being taken to London for his trial and execution. During WWII it was manned with coastal gun batteries and searchlights. It is now owned by English Heritage.

Location: Hurst Castle, Hampshire

Grid Reference: SZ317896 Ceremonial County: Hampshire
Map Link: Multimap Aerial photo: Google Aerial Photo

Getting there: Only access is via foot which is a 1.5 mile walk from Milford on Sea.

Website: English Heritage - Hurst Castle

Other useful websites: Wiki - Hurst Castle

Notes: Open 21st Mar-31st Oct Daily 10.30am-5.30pm

Lymington to Beaulieu (10 miles)

Along this stretch you will cross the Lymington River and head inland slightly into the New Forest to Sowley Pond, then along the lanes to Bucklers Hard village where you will see the remains of an 18th century village and a Maritime Museum telling the story of ship building at Bucklers.

Location: Lymington, Hampshire

Grid Reference: SZ327960 Ceremonial County:  Hampshire
Map Link: Multimap Aerial photo: Google Aerial Photo

Getting there: From the A35 at Lyndhurst take the A337 through the New Forest National Park to Lymington.

Website: http://www.lymington.org/

Other useful websites:

Notes: A market town situated on the southern edge of the New Forest. You can also catch the ferry to Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight from here.

Beaulieu to Hythe (6 miles)

The home of Beaulieu Abbey, Palace House and the National Motor Museum. On the way out of the village the path climbs onto Beaulieu Heath a  moorland area where you might get to see nightjar, snipe or redshank birds. Or you could of course stop off at Exbury Gardens, a 200 acre woodland garden and steam railway.

Location: National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, Hampshire

Grid Reference: SU385027 Ceremonial County: Hampshire
Map Link: Multimap Aerial photo: Google Aerial Photo

Getting there: From M3 J2 take the A326 to Beaulieu and follow the signs for National Motor Museum.

Website: http://www.beaulieu.co.uk/motormuseum/introduction.cfm

Other useful websites: 

Notes: Open daily except Christmas Day from 10am and closing at 5pm 1st Oct-25th May and 6pm 26th May to 30th Sept. Tel: 01590 612345

Hythe to Hamble (7 miles)

At Hythe Pier catch the Ferry across to Southampton's Town Quay and make your way through woodland and past Netley Castle and the ruins of Netley Abbey before continuing onto Hamble, you could take a detour and take a visit to Bursledon Windmill.

Location: Hythe Pier, Railway and Ferry, Hythe, Hampshire

Grid Reference: SU425077 Ceremonial County: Hampshire
Map Link: Multimap Aerial photo: Google Aerial Photo

Getting there: M27 J2 take the A326 to Hythe at The Old Manor roundabout take the road into Hythe town centre and follow the tourist signs to the pier and ferry.

Website: Hythe Train

Other useful websites:  http://www.hytheferry.co.uk/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hythe_Pier,_Railway_and_Ferry

Notes: Hythe Pier was built in the late 1800's and is 700 yards long and 16 feet wide. It transports both pedestrians, has a cycle way, and runs a narrow gauge railway along it. Each train that runs along it connects with an arrival and departure of the Hythe Ferry that takes passengers and bikes across to Southampton.

Hamble to Hill Head (5 miles)

Along this stretch of the walk there are two nature reserves, the first is the Hook with Warsash Nature Reserve and the second is the Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve with reedbeds, saltings and marshes.

Location: Titchfield Nature Reserve, Hill Head, Fareham, Hampshire

Grid Reference: SU536024 Ceremonial County: Hampshire
Map Link: Multimap Aerial photo: Google Aerial Photo

Getting there: M27 J11 take the A27 to Fareham then the B3334 through Titchfield and onto Stubbington and follow the reserve signs.

Website: http://www3.hants.gov.uk/titchfield

Other useful websites: 

Notes: Have hides available for bird watching across the reedbeds as well as a tea room and visitor centre. Free admission to the visitor centre, small charge to get into the reserve. Reserve Open Wed-Sun 9.30am-5pm during the summer months and 4pm winter daily except 25th and 26th Dec. Tel: 01329 662145

Hill Head to Gosport (8 miles)

From Hill Head the next stretch follows a long shingle beach to Lee-on-the-Solent and onto Stokes Bay, you are now entering Naval history territory and can see a fort out to sea as well as a land fort and eventually arriving in Gosport where you could visit the Gosport Discovery Centre or Royal Navy Submarine Museum.

Location: Royal Navy Submarine Museum, Haslar Jetty Road, Gosport, Hants

Grid Reference: SZ621991 Ceremonial County: Hampshire
Map Link: Multimap Aerial photo: Google Aerial Photo

Getting there: J11 of M27 take the A32 to Gosport and follow the brown anchor signs, turn into Haslar Road and cross Haslar Bridge take second left into it's own free car park.

Website: http://rnsubmus.co.uk/

Other useful websites: 

Notes: Open Apr-Oct 10am-5.30pm and Nov-Mar 10am-4.30pm. Prices: Adults 8, Child and Seniors 6. Parking is Free. Tel: 023 9252 9217

Gosport to Langstone (12 miles)

From Gosport take the Ferry across to Portsmouth and pick up the path to follow the coast line, to the west you'll see the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard the home of HMS Victory and the Mary Rose amongst loads more. Past the Spinnakar Tower reaching up to the sky, and then onto the neck of the harbour and along to Southsea before making is way around Langstone Harbour and the Farlington Marshes.

HMS Victory on display at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

 

Location: Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Victory Gate, HM Naval Base, Portsmouth

Grid Reference: SU632004 Ceremonial County: Hampshire
Map Link: Multimap Aerial photo: Google Aerial Map

Getting there: M27 J12 follow the brown signs to Historic Waterfront. It is easy to find and has it's own FREE car parks. For SATNAV's use PO1 3LA to find it.

Website: http://www.historicdockyard.co.uk/

Other useful websites: 

Notes: Open Daily except 23-26th Dec. Apr-Oct 10am-6pm Nov-Mar 10am-5.30pm. Dogs not allowed except guide dogs.

Langstone to Emsworth (3 miles)

This final small section runs along the shoreline pass the old waterside village of Langstone and its millhouse. Then on past the ruins of Warblington Castle and across the water you can see Hayling Island, then on through the fields and woods to Emsworth and its millponds.

Location: Emsworth

Grid Reference: SU749059 Ceremonial County: Hampshire
Map Link: Multimap Aerial photo: Google Aerial Map

Getting there: From the A27 take the A259 into Emsworth village centre.

Website: http://www.emsworthonline.co.uk/

Other useful websites: http://www.emsworth.vir.co.uk/about_emsworth.htm

Notes: Emsworth has narrow streets and a busy harbourside and is situated on the edge of Chichester Harbour. There are two tidal mill ponds both with their mills still in tact although now converted into a variety of uses.


 


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By: Tracey Park Section: Walk Section Key:
Page Ref: solent_way Topic: Walks Last Updated: 04/2009

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