During our time at home, as well as meeting with family, friends & work colleagues and helping Louise to celebrate her birthday on the actual day, we also managed to find a hidden gem right on our doorstep.
This happened on our very last day at home, the very hot Bank Holiday Monday 🙂 We were to meet up with Calv’s daughter, husband and grandchildren at the beach in Hayling, and Calv thought it would be a good idea to cycle there.
He had often told me that the little lane on the left, just before you joined the A27 from Emsworth towards Portscmouth, had a house that had ruins in it’s garden. So we decided to start our ride from there.
We found that the lane stopped where the church, St Thomas a Beckett, and cemetery are located. The church was a huge surprise, and rather special. The huts in the graveyard (with the blue doors) were commissioned in the early 19th Century to enable a close eye to be kept on the churchyard to deter graverobbers – read more about this fascinating history here.
From here we headed back up the lane and took another lane (the only 1) on the left. Going left again at the end we came to the beach where it was possible to cycle across (even when we returned at high tide there was enough beach left – I don’t believe that would necessarily be the case in the winter though!)
The path after the beach is quite busy and we did have to push our bikes for most of it. But it takes you past a couple of duck ponds, an old mill (now a private house) before you come to a lovely pub, The Royal Oak, fronting the water. When you reach the main road cross over and cross the bridge – this is where the Hayling Billy starts. Click here for the route (although it’s easy to follow and is completely off-road.
The trail ends at the old station, now a theatre. It is a very popular trail, and was particularly busy on this hot August Bank Holiday. It’s wonderful to see so many families out enjoying themselves.
We continued on to the beach – also very busy! We weren’t to stay too long as we had to get ready for leaving the following day, but it was a lovely afternoon with Calv spending time on the paddle board with his grandson and me making sandcastles (only for them to be immediately knocked over!)
My point is that we may well all be able to find a hidden gem, or two, on our doorstep – if we would only but look 🙂