Posted by: natsevs | December 21, 2010

Shoreham to Bosham

I had a really good sleep but had no idea what time it was when I woke up thanks to the clock change. One phone clock had gone back whilst the other one hadn’t so I was able to work it out and realise that yes, it was time to get up. I got packed up, went downstairs to watch TV and waited for Katie and Giles to get up. Giles cooked a fry up which was pretty good then I was dropped back off at the station to get trains out to Shoreham to start the day. I just missed one train as I was trying to work out which platform to go to then had to wait another 20 minutes for the next one, not arriving in Shoreham until 10.50. Not ideal. I went back over the pedestrian bridge to Shoreham beach and made my way straight over to the front to start off. I had to walk the roads at first but then I was able to get onto a sea front path to Worthing. When I got there I came in one street from the front to the high street briefly so that I could get the next map I needed and grab some lunch.

Back on the front I passed a terrace of beach huts that were being used as sort of studios. One was open with a woman sat knitting a scarf surrounded by all her other work hanging up presumably for sale, and another had artwork displayed in and around it with the artist sat in front working on another piece. The promenade didn’t last long but there was path of varying quality on to Ferring, whether just flattened pebbles or actual grassy areas behind the beach. As I progressed there was the odd spot of rain but there were some quite sunny patches too so I took the good with the bad and kept at it to Rustington. When I got there, a promenade turned up again and I was able to stay on there along to Littlehampton. The front at Littlehampton has obviously had a bit of money spent on it to make it nicer and it has paid off. I liked the rollercoaster track-like benches all along the wall which at the gaps to come in became loop the loops and all sorts and genuinely looked good to me. At the other end of Littlehampton I hit the river Arun and had to come in along the waterside to a footbridge. On the other side I started off on road then got to a path running alongside the golf course to get back to the sea front and followed the beach to Atherington. The sun was setting as I arrived at half 4 so I got a few photos as I waited to be picked up by the parents of my mum’s friend who I stayed with that evening.

The following day I was dropped back off at the beach by John at around 8.20am for an early start. I stuck to the beach over to Elmer and Middleton-on-sea where the odd bit of promenade popped up in between beach walking and I had to come in around the odd house too. Soon there was proper promenade into Bognor where I ventured in to find a shop, there was a Morrisons gateway which was slightly misleading as the actual shop was still quite a bit further in but I fell for it. I got myself enough food to last until the following lunch time as well as some cold drinks as it was quite a sunny day for a change. Back on the front, I carried on out of Bognor to Aldwick but then the path stopped and the road bent inland so I had to drop to the beach. A path turned up after a bit of walking and took me to track and roads running through beach houses to Pagham Harbour. I stopped there and sat on a bench eating my lunch looking out on the sea which was really calm that day. At the end the path comes in around the lagoon/harbour to go up past a holiday park before dropping onto the mud. I carried on going up and down to the mud with the path until reaching an education centre where I got onto road briefly taking me over a stream. Once over the path went back out again along the edge and I was joined by a lot of birdwatchers some of whom were nice and some who were very rude. As was happening more often now I was back on the south coast, there were people quite happy to unflinchingly stare at me but when I said hello and smiled I didn’t get so much as a smile in return, only more staring. I could go on long rant about this but I am resisting the urge.

When I reached the front once more I was at East Beach and I walked along a track until reaching the promenade along Selsey Bill. Going along there I passed the lifeboat station jutting out into the water and there was a splattering of fishermen about as well as some more rude people. Once round the end I found that they had decided to block off the sea wall so I had to take to the roads then onto the beach when it reappeared. The beach was actually sandy to start but turned to the usual shingle soon enough making it hard work as I walked below a holiday park. At the edge of the holiday park I had to come up because the beach was blocked by boulders and sea defences. I walked along the top of the defences past a construction site which I soon ended up walking through, favouring the solid path over the shingle ridge. The path came out of the construction site to run alongside fields and I kept an eye out for a camping spot. The sun had set when I eventually stopped and set up my tent for the last time of the walk. I had had to wait as there was a car parked up in one of the only sheltered spots along the track but in the end I had walked on and set up further down with the wind picking up after a ridiculously calm day. This spot had no real shelter from the wind and was far from flat.

 

The wind got a lot worse through the night and I was waking up pretty much every hour and putting a new album on to play on my iPod so my headphones would block out the noise of my shaking tent. One of the pegs came out on 2 occasions so I switched for some larger ones I had been carrying in the dark of the night, but the sides were still going everywhere. One massive lump in the middle of the tent floor made things uncomfortable as well as noisy so my last camp spot was far from ideal but was at least memorable. When I woke up at 6.45am I decided there was no point in trying to get more sleep so I started to pack down and ate my tea cakes. The tent was very wet and another peg had come out so the inner was also wet through. I started walking along the track to Bracklesham then had a mixture of track and road onwards to East Wittering and right along the front on path with the beach getting sandier. Soon I reached the visitor part of the Witterings, with parking, toilets and closed cafes lining the dirt road. I took the opportunity to go into the toilets and get washed and cleaned up a bit then carried on along the front up to East Head. At that point I had to come in along Chichester Harbour on a path which was soon right by the shore so a little muddy. The path took me past the edge of West Witterings and on past the occasional cluster of houses.

I started getting peckish but had no food left so I was disappointed every time a little hamlet or village didn’t include a little shop. West Ichenor was my best bet but they only had a pub and a sailing shop. When the path got to Birdham I came onto road to get round to the marina where I had to make sure I avoided a big crane. Onwards the path improved as I progressed through Dell Quay and ultimately to Fishbourne. At Fishbourne I set off in search of a shop and ended up heading towards Chichester, which was not only inland but back on myself. Thankfully I didn’t have to go in too far before reaching a supermarket and was able to buy some lunch and make my way back to where I had left the coast. There was a little pond at that point so I stopped on a bench to eat my sandwiches and fee the ducks the leftovers. The duck feeding went a bit wrong when a big swan walked right up to me without any fear at all, got disturbingly close and didn’t seem to be easily frightened off. Sat there with my waist at too similar a level to its bill I decided to get up and walk on. I had finished anyway. I was now going down the other side of the harbour, still on path, through marshes and reeds. Unfortunately, a way down I was forced onto road down to and past Bosham Hoe. I got back onto path from where the ferry crosses in the summer, the path joins the road to go into Bosham then as the tide was out I took another path over the marsh to the other side of a bay instead of looping round it on the road. Around the corner I was back onto the shore and path up to the main road. When I got there I came in towards the north side of Bosham to the house of Jess, my sister’s friend. I had a bit of time to kill before she finished work so I went to the pub for a pint whilst I waited, but didn’t have to wait very long.

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