Hayling Island

 

Hayling Island is only a small island, linked to the mainland by a road bridge, but it has much to offer to residents and visitors alike, particularly with its beautiful beaches and combination of rural and marine environments.

 

Hayling Island has over 3 miles of beaches right on the doorstep of the Solent, as well as the Harbours of Langstone and Chichester, but there are lots of other things to see and do on Hayling Island.

 

For visitors’ guides, news and local events, we recommend looking at Hayling Island’s website at www.hayling.co.uk. There is also a Tourist Information Office on Hayling Island. They can give you lots of information about things to do on Hayling Island and around the local area, plus they have free maps and leaflets for local attractions. They are located next to the fun fair at:

 

Central Beachlands

Seafront

Hayling Island

Hampshire

PO11 0AG

Tel: +44 023 9246 7111

 

Opening hours are usually 9.30am – 5.00 pm.

 

See also http://www.visithavant.co.uk/ for more information about what to do on Hayling Island.

 

Here is just a small selection of things you might enjoy on the island:

  • Walk or cycle on the Hayling Billy Trail – this is a coastal path which runs most of the length of Hayling, along the route of the old train line between Havant and Hayling Island. The 4 mile path hugs the western coast of the island, offering a peaceful alternative route between West Town at the southern end and Langstone Bridge at the northern end. The path itself has two tracks, offering different surfaces for horse riders on one side and pedestrians and cyclists on the other.

  • There is now a footpath/cycle trail that goes all the way along the seafront from Eastoke corner to Beachlands, where you can stop for refreshments at the Inn on the beach or head north to connect to the southern end of the Hayling Billy Trail. One interesting stop off on the way is the recently unveiled COPP (Combined Operations Pilotage Parties) memorial on the seafront.  The top secret COPP Depot was set up in 1943 on Hayling Island by Lord Mountbatten. Small teams of sailors and soldiers trained as frogmen and canoeists for covert beach reconnaissance and other essential clandestine operations during WW2. Their work was vital to the success of many landings across the world, in particular the D-Day landings.  His Royal Highness, Prince Charles, visited the memorial in July to meet veterans and attend a service in front of the memorial.

  • Take a boat trip aboard the Rosie K – the crew of the Rosie K normally run boat trips into Langstone Harbour (from the beach next to the Ferry Boat pub) on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am until 6pm - there should be some leaflets in the drawer under the TV at Southern Bell with prices. They can only take 12 passengers at any one time (including under 3’s although they are free), so we’d recommend booking in advance either by phone or they usually respond to Facebook messages very quickly. If you go at low tide, you have a better chance of seeing the seals on the exposed sandbanks that appear in the harbour (depending on the time of year and can’t be guaranteed of course!) but it’s a nice boat trip even without the wildlife! T: 07542 807272

 

  • Try your hand at golf - Hayling has two "pay and play" golf courses: One on the seafront and one at the edge of Tournerbury woods. Both offer a challenging game mixed with great scenery.

 

  • Learn to kitesurf, windsurf or SUP - the shallow sandy bay of West Beachlands makes for an ideal place to learn these exciting sports and lessons/kit hire are available (e.g. from Andy Biggs Watersports shop in West Town or CBK Kite Surfing on Seafront near Funland).  You can also hire kayaks or try your hand on a SUP (stand-up paddle boarding).

 

  • Take a wildlife walk - throughout the year, Hayling's wildlife can be enjoyed thanks to our mild maritime climate which allows many different species of wild flowers to flourish, some unique to coastal landscapes.  Ralph Hollins, a much respected local naturalist has kindly provided details of over 20 local walks on his website (http://homepage.ntlworld.com/ralph.hollins/). The nature reserve at the south-eastern corner of the island (a couple of minutes’ walk if you turn left onto the promenade from Southern Bell), is a haven for birds and very popular with birdwatchers.

 

  • If you want to get out on the water in the harbour, Chichester Harbour Conservancy offers bird watching and harbour tours – see their website at www.conservancy.co.uk.

 

  • Enjoy all the fun of the fair – Funland is a traditional seaside funfair with a runaway train and log flume, plus rides such as “cups and saucers” for the younger ones.  

 

  • Ride the Light Railway - the narrow gage Hayling railway runs along the beach seafront from Eastoke corner to Beachlands. The timetable is seasonal (so the trains don’t run every day all year) but, for instance, during the summer the train departs every 45 minutes, starting at 11am each morning offering a 10 minute ride along the central seafront area of Hayling.

 

  • Fish & chips on the beach - a visit to the seaside is not complete until you have had fish and chips on the seafront. We recommend the Coastguard fish & chip shop at Eastoke corner (it’s about a 10 minute walk to the right along the promenade from Southern Bell).  There’s always a queue but it’s worth the wait!  And you can stop for an ice cream at Pepperelli’s Ice Cream Parlour (also at Eastoke Corner).

 

  • Ride the half pipe - Hayling Skate park is right on the seafront, near the Inn on the Beach pub at Beachlands, and offers a variety of ramps and rails for skateboards and BMX riders.

 

  • Enjoy the playgrounds - Hayling's free seafront facilities include adventure playgrounds, a volleyball court and a seafront exercise trail.  There are also public tennis courts available for use at the Community Centre in West Town.

 

  • Sit and watch the world go by – this is really one of our favourite things to do at Southern Bell.  There is always something happening on the sea whether it’s sailing competitions from Hayling Island Sailing Club, kite surfers, kayaks or SUPs paddling by, we love watching the ever-changing seascape.  If you enjoy watching the larger boats and cruise ships, you can identify them and see where they are going on www.vesselfinder.com, or we’d recommend downloading the free “ShipFinder” app if you have a smartphone for real-time location-based information.

 

Also keep an eye on the sky as there is often things happening above us…..as well as lots of planes doing acrobatics, helicopters, light aircraft and microlights, we often hear the low rumble of a spitfire on its way to or from Goodwood airfield and recently we’ve had several fly-pasts from a Vulcan bomber on its last tours of Britain before retirement (if you’re interested, we shared a couple of fabulous pictures of the Vulcan, taken from the cockpit of the Spitfire, over Hayling on our Facebook page!).

 

You might also see one of the Hayling Island lifeboats out on the water, as they often do practice drills on the weekends when they’re not out saving lives at sea, often along with the HM Coastguard helicopter.  The Hayling Island Lifeboat station is a relatively short walk round the coast to the east, just inside Chichester Harbour.  They have two boats, both ribs: an Atlantic 85 and a D-Class.

 

You can get up-to-date weather information (including information about the wind, tides and atmospheric conditions) from www.chimet.co.uk.  Chimet is a comprehensive weather information system recording weather conditions in Hayling Bay, both in real-time and historically.  It is particularly useful since its information is derived from instrumentation, which is not shore-based, but on West Pole Beacon  about one mile out to sea from the entrance to Chichester Harbour (50° 45'. 45N, 00° 56'. 59W).

 

  • Explore the countryside (plus tea and cake!) – if you want to explore the more rural side of Hayling Island, Northney Farm and Tea Rooms comes highly recommended.   This is in Northney village, which is at the northern end of Hayling Island. Coming from the mainland, take the first left once you cross the bridge (Northney Road) and follow the road round until you see signs for the tea rooms.

 

©2017 Southern Bell

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