Something a bit different for us - a mainland walk! Martin, a Mid Sussex rambler who recently joined us for a walk over here, has very kindly offered to lead a group winter walk around the Gosport area. This is really easy travel from the island and should be an interesting ramble and a great start to the New Year - blow the cobwebs away, and walk some of those mince pies off ...
It will be a circular walk that would embrace the coastal path from Fort Gilliker to Stokes Bay, then head inland following the River Alver valley along surfaced paths visiting lakes and weirdly a helter skelter. The full route: Haslar, the Coastal Path, Stokes Bay, Alver River Valley and nature reserve, Privett, Anns Hill and Newtown. This walk does not appear on OS maps but has been turned into a large right to roam area by Gosport Council with many all weather paths. Return would be through Gosport, but on paths not roads. The last hour back to the ferry has street lighting so no problem if it is getting dark.
This walk has variety and the historical importance of the area. It is a good winter walk as it is all off road, surfaced with several places to stop en route. There are no hills, stiles or slippery paths, so perfect for winter. Distance approx 10 miles*.
(*The route is not passable at the moment by the Alver bridge due to flooding. This hopefully is only temporary but if this is still the case on Jan 7th it would just mean shortening the walk by 2.5 miles - making It 7.5 miles and that we would be back an hour earlier. However hopefully this will not be the case as the Alver Nature reserve is worth visiting)
There are toilets at Gosport ferry terminal, and cafes en route on the walk
The leader for this walk is Martin B from Mid Sussex Ramblers (07973 340261), in conjunction with Serena H who is posting it (07564 811690). Although formal booking is not essential for this walk, it would be really helpful to Martin if members proposing to attend could where possible message Serena so that we have at least a rough idea of numbers on the day .
We will catch the 09.45 Wightlink Fastcat from Ryde Pier Head, arrives Portsmouth Harbour at 10.07, which is right next to the Gosport ferry terminal. There is a Gosport ferry at 10.22, which takes only four minutes, so provided the cat is running on time we should be across in Gosport for a 10.30 start to the walk.
Obviously it is up to you how you get to Ryde Pier Head: there is a carpark on the pier head, or a bigger carpark by the ice rink; alternatively use free on-street parking in Ryde, or get the bus to Ryde Esplanade, or the train to the Pier Head. You should allow sufficient time for your journey and for walking up the pier if applicable.
Please make your own enquiries into the most suitable Fastcat ticket for you, but standard Day Return fares appear to currently be £16.80 for the over 60’s / £22.00 for others. However you may have a MyLink discount card, or there may be other concessions available which apply to you. Or it used to be that if you had a railcard and included the train up the Pier you could get railcard discounts for the whole trip?
The Gosport ferry costs £3.10 Return for the over 65’s / £4.80 for others.
Return Gosport ferries run every 15 mins , and return Fastcats at 15 mins past each hour. We would expect to be back at the ferry terminal by 16.30 latest (an hour or so earlier if the walk gets curtailed by flooding - see above).
You should take drinks and a packed lunch with you.
Depending on the weather, consider suitable clothing, footwear, walking stick, sun cream, drinks, and food. Watch out for ticks and remove ASAP. If you are unsure about your ability to undertake this walk, please contact the walks leader. If you need to leave the walking group, please ensure you inform the leader or back marker
Wise to look at the website on the day just in case of any changes or additional info. And in the event of extreme weather please check back for cancellation /postponement notices. There is a provisional fallback date of Sun 14th Jan if the 7th Jan has to be cancelled. You can also check with Serena on 07564 811690.
If you would like to join the informal WhatsApp group (or even just temporarily for the purposes of communications regarding this specific walk and then exit again) , please message Serena on 07564-811690 to be added .