I decided that I would do another single day’s walk which would involve a return journey back to Shropshire on the same day. The forecast was for high temperatures across most of the UK. I’m not a big fan of walking in the heat, because I like to cover the miles which makes walking in temperatures of 30 deg centigrade very tiring. To get most of the walk over by midday I got up at the ridiculously early time of 02:00 and set off from my home. At this time of the day I made excellent progress down to West Sussex. I soon realised that I would have to wait for over one hour for the bus to take me to the start of the walk at Fishbourne, just on the edge of Chichester. Waiting for a bus for that long would be a waste of time, so I drove to Fishbourne and parked up.
I set off walking at 05:15, the sun had yet to rise and it was a beautiful and cool morning. Today’s walk would be around 3 small peninsulas that jut out into Chichester Harbour. I passed around Fishbourne Mill pond and headed through the tall reeds along the Fishbourne Channel. At this time of the morning I saw many Roe Deer who just stared at me ready to bolt should I approach them. Near Hook Farm, the pubic footpath turned inland and ultimately led onto a minor roads which I walked along without any vehicles disturbing the beautiful still morning air. At 05:30 the sun was up and I could already feel the heat. I headed along the ferry lane, which led down to the Chichester Channel here I looked across to the village of West Itchenor where I was last Saturday. There is a ferry service, for those that want it, across the channel. I continued up the western shore of the Bosham Peninsula, with the Bosham Channel on my left.
The views that were obscured during my last two visits to the area had now opened up and I could see across the Solent to the Isle of Wight and the approaching Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth. I made my way up the Bosham Channel towards the village of Bosham. The village was still very much asleep as I passed by the charming and attractive Anchor Bleu pub. It would be a fair few hours before it would be opening its doors to customers. As I rounded the head of the Bosham Channel, I joined the A259 for half a mile along a wide footpath.
I was now heading down my second peninsula, the Chidham peninsula. I now met more people out and about, walking their dogs or jogging. I rounded the tip of this peninsula at Cobnor at the confluence of the Chichester, Bosham and Thorney Channels. I headed northwards again following the Thorney Channel towards Prinsted. I had originally planned to park at Prinsted that morning and get the bus to Fishbourne but my early arrival in the area meant I had given myself 1.25 extra hours of walking in the early morning.
As I rounded the top of Thorney Channel it had become very hot and I was now feeling the effects of 6 hours of being out in the sun.
Although I always cover up my skin and apply SPF 50, my body would absorb a fair amount of heat, so to try and cool myself down I have used in the past a UV parasol. Its like a small umbrella, although it would be useless in the rain. The top of the parasol has a reflective coating that reflects both UVA & UVB rays. Those UV rays that reflect off the ground up at me are absorbed by the black underside of the parasol. That’s the theory anyway!
Thorney Island was my final peninsula of the day and was different in that it is actually an island that is separated from the mainland by a narrow channel called The Great Deep, although it does not look that great! A small footbridge pans the Great Deep on its east and west sides. At the end of the footbridge is a rather formidable looking security gate with high razor wired fences, security cameras and a plethora of warning signs. At low tide it would be very easy to walk around this obstruction, but I suspect would attract a great amount of unwanted attention from the guardhouse. Thorney Island used to be a RAF base and although the airfield is still there it is disused. The army now have barracks on the Island and that’s the reason for the security. A footpath, the Sussex Border Path, follows the shoreline around the island and all walkers are required to stick to it. I passed the Thorney Island sailing club pier at West Thorney and also the base for the Army Inshore Sail training centre.
I rounded the tip of Thorney Island at Longmere Point and headed westwards to Marker Point which provided a great view up and down the Emsworth Channel and across to Hayling Island. I passed a number of walkers and sun bathers as I now headed northwards along the Border path to my final destination – Emsworth, which sits on the Sussex/Hampshire border. A good day’s walk, but a tiring one, given the travel requirements and the heat!
Distance today = 21 miles
Total distance = 6,529 miles