Day 371 The Witterings and Selsey Bill

Wednesday 10 August 2016

East Wittering to Bognor Regis

21 miles (+ bus)

The Swan Guest House

Chichester Harbour to the West of West Wittering
I was up just after 6 am and walking before 7. I left my damp tent pitched and set off, minus rucksack, to walk 6 miles across the fields to West Wittering and then back along the coast. 

looking across the entrance to Chichester Harbour, from West Wittering Beach to Eastoke Point on Hayling Island
This is definitely a moneyed area; the inland houses are big and secluded, and then there are some enormous houses facing the beach. 

brightly painted beach huts at the back of West Wittering Beach
It was very peaceful as I walked through West Wittering to face onto Chichester Harbour again. The spit of sand dunes called East Head protects this little area from the main harbour. When I walked into the front, facing the English Channel, the wind picked up. 

looking along East Head sand dune spit
I headed along the beach back to East Wittering. The sand was lovely and fine but a dirty brown colour. Behind the beach were enormous houses, sat in big gardens with a small, dry moat out front and little bridges; a bit like a country pile at the seaside. I found it rather amusing to see how the housing changed as I got closer to East Wittering. The large gardens gave way to small ones and the houses, although still enormous, got smaller too. Finally, there were apartment blocks. This was a graduation of wealth from multi-million pound to million pound and then a bit less for an apartment. 

the ‘dry moat’ back garden entrances to the multi-million pound houses…
…next came the million pound houses…
…and finally the apartments in East Wittering
I stopped at the bakers in East Wittering to get some breakfast and then headed back to the campsite to pack up. The last couple of days had taken their toll and I was tired, and it wasn’t even 10 am. 

the shingle beach at East Wittering
I forced myself to get going and headed inland towards Selsey. I had been led to believe it wasn’t possible to walk the beach all the way from East Wittering to Selsey Bill so I was forced along farm tracks. It was another glorious day. 

the beach and lifeboat station at Selsey Bill
Selsey Bill was strange. The town was built right up to the shingle beach and so I either had to walk across the shingle (very hard) or weave up and down side roads through the town. I did a combination. Selsey Bill, the point where I waved goodbye to the Isle of Wight and turned North East, was nothing at all. There were houses with big concrete walls that pushed you onto the shingle and that was it. No sign, no nothing. Strange place. It could be marketed “Selsey: a housing estate by the sea”. 

looking across Pagham Harbour at low tide
I was exhausted. I decided to catch a bus to cut out about 4 miles. I had to go inland again anyway to get around Pagham Habour. I got off the bus by Pagham Harbour RSPB reserve and an industrial estate. There was a diner here and I went inside. It had only been open a week and Dave promised me the best burger I have had in a long time. It wasn’t, but I didn’t tell him. I ate it because I was hungry and listened to Dave tell me all about his health issues that prevent him from walking far. 

this path around Pagham Harbour is only walkable at low tide
It was a slow, hot, tired walk skirting the edge of Pagham Harbour when the tide was out. I didn’t even see many birds until I got around to a pool on the other side of the harbour. Here there were geese, ducks, plovers, herons, egrets and others. 

a small pool with birds; I saw hardly any in the harbour
I reached Pagham and took the road through the village to hit the shore again. I was on the outskirts of Bognor Regis and it was lovely. Unfortunately there was no coast path so I swapped and changed between walking along the shingle beach and walking through suburbia. This suburbia was rather plush! The Aldwick Bay private estate was very nice, with lovely big houses set on a quite road just back from the shore. 

hard going walking along the vegetated shingle beach from Pagham to Bognor
I reached Bognor Regis town and found my B&B. This one had been more reasonably priced and there weren’t any campsites. I bought some food from the local Tesco and collapsed on my bed for the evening. 

the amusements at Pagham didn’t look much “fun for all”

3 thoughts on “Day 371 The Witterings and Selsey Bill

  1. Chris F August 14, 2016 / 8:22 pm

    The Sussex Path looks well maintained….NOT!!!! Bognor I hope you donned your KIss Me Quick hat and stick of rock! Hope you managing to keep up with news from Rio and our magnificent athletes………take care.

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  2. jomunday99 August 14, 2016 / 10:53 pm

    We walked around east head the week before you – it reminded me of shell island in Wales with the dunes and grasses. You’re packing in the miles- no wonder you’re tired!

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  3. Donna Munday August 22, 2016 / 12:23 am

    Hi Luc. Have rather belatedly just caught up with your blogs for the past few weeks. All v entertaining, and I can’t believe you’re now in Kent and nearly home! So sorry we missed you in Whitstable this weekend. Had a lovely time, there were about 20 of us there in the end. If you end up staying the night there I can recommend the Whitstable Oyster Company for dinner. It’s on the sea front, just a little way along from the harbour.
    Sorry I’ve managed to miss hooking you up with friends in Brighton, Chichester and the IOW. I think you must have been jogging the past few weeks you’ve come so far!
    Have an amazing last couple of weeks and see you when you’re home. Dxx

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