Summary

A gentle linear ramble along the route of the much mourned Hayling Billy railway line. With a beach, funfair and miniature railway at the end. Excellent views of Langstone Harbour. Can be walked in the other direction, starting on Hayling Island.
Difficulty:
Easy Access
Distance:
5.9 miles (9.5 km)
Walking time:
03h 00m
Type:
Linear

Start location

Havant Railway Station

lat: 50.8544698

lon: -0.9814354

Map

Elevation

Route

1 of 0

Getting there

By train: Trains run frequently to Havant from Portsmouth, Southampton, London Waterloo, Brighton and a number of other stations.

By bus: Stagecoach buses 30 and 31 travel in a circuit around Hayling Island calling at both Beachlands bus station and the old Railway Station.  They terminate at Havant bus station. Havant bus station is a five minute walk away from the railway station. These buses also pass Langstone, if you want to start there. For full details see www.traveline.info

By car: There are car parks at Havant Station, Langstone (by the Ship Inn), North Hayling (by the petrol station) and Beachlands.

Waypoints

1

From the south side of the station turn left through the station car park to pick up a clearly-marked cycle path. Go through the old level crossing gates onto the old railway line, now the Hayling Billy cycle trail. (A) The Hayling Billy trail also forms part of the Shipwrights Way, a 50 mile long-distance route (note the waymarkers). Follow the trail as it passes under the A27 and later crosses the road from Havant to Hayling Island. Take care crossing the busy road.  Use the traffic island. The trail bears away from the road before returning to meet it. Cross the road again to visit the Ship Inn Public House. (B) The Ship Inn does food. In good weather the outside seating has great views. (C) The Emsworth Channel is part of Chichester Harbour. Alternative Route: Instead of crossing the road from Havant to Hayling Island, continue on the same side of the road until Langstone High Street.  Turn left into the High Street and continue until you reach the shore of the Emsworth Channel. This is part of the Wayfarer’s Walk and there’s plenty of interest at Langstone before returning to the Hayling Billy route; the Royal Oak PH is worth a visit and there are excellent views of the harbour. If the tide is low, turn right along the shoreline to reach the Ship Inn and to return to the route.  If the tide is high, return to the Havant to Hayling Island road and turn left. (D) The old Hayling Billy railway line travelled south across a rickety wooden viaduct. It was the need to repair this viaduct – and the cost - that caused the closure of the line in 1963.  The remains of the viaduct are visible (especially as the tide falls).

2

If not visiting the pub, turn left on the pavement to cross over the road bridge.

3

Shortly after the bridge follow the Hayling Billy trail signs on the right to reach Langstone Harbour. Then turn left, following the old railway line again. The route is obvious all the way to the old Hayling Island station, part of which is now converted into a theatre. (E) There are many information boards about Langstone Harbour along the way.  The harbour is of international importance for birds. (F) The theatre is run by Hayling Island Amateur Dramatic Society and offers plays, comedies, musicals, music events and many other forms of entertainment from both amateur and professional groups. There’s an information board about the Hayling Island World War II Heritage Trail.

4

From the theatre, cross the road and continue in the same direction down Staunton Avenue.  At the T junction, cross the road and continue ahead to reach the beach.   Turn left to reach cafes, WCs and a bus stop next to the roundabout at Beachlands.

5

From Beachlands, catch a bus back to Havant. (G) At South Hayling there’s the beach, a funfair and the Hayling Seaside Railway a narrow gauge railway opened by some of the people who had hoped to revive Hayling Billy, which proved impossible, so this is the alternative.

Notes

MUSIC TO GET YOU IN THE MOOD OR TO SING WHILST WALKING Rock Island Line by Lonnie Donnegan

Although an OS map isn’t essential for this route it will help walkers identify features visible from the walk.

Binoculars will help with identification of birds.

The route could also be walked in reverse: take a bus from Havant to South Hayling (Beachlands) and walk back to Havant. This can give the advantage of having the sun on your back and illuminating Langstone Harbour.

WHEELCHAIRS AND TOILETS

The most wheelchair and pushchair friendly part of the walk (as well as being the most scenic) is the part of the walk which goes down the old railway line on Hayling Island itself.  The route is a cycle way, but may not be suitable for wheelchairs and prams after periods of heavy rain.

According to RADAR there are wheelchair accessible public toilets at Havant Bus Station.  They say there is also an accessible toilet on platform 1 of Havant Station.  They say that there are the following wheelchair accessible public toilets on the island.

  • Bosmere Road
  • Central Beachlands
  • Chichester Avenue
  • Eastoke Corner
  • Elm Grove
  • Ferry Point
  • Nab Tower Car Park
  • Station Road
  • West Beachlands Car Park

Problem with this route?

If you encounter a problem on this walk, please let us know by emailing volunteersupport@ramblers.zendesk.com. If the issue is with a public path or access please also contact the local highways authority directly, or find out more about solving problems on public paths on our website.

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Sharing

Join the Ramblers and enjoy

  • unlimited free access to 50,000 Ramblers group walks
  • a library jam-packed with thousands of tried-and-tested routes
  • a welcome pack teeming with top tips plus our quarterly Walk magazine
  • exclusive discounts from our partners
  • knowing your support is opening up more places to walk and helping more people discover the joy of walking