Hayling Billy Trail

The line was opened by the LBSCR for goods on January 19th 1865, and for passengers on July 16th 1897. Over the winter of 1962 it was decided to close the branch line, the reason being the old timber bridge that crossed Langstone Harbour needed expensive repairs. The company could not afford the repairs and thus the line took its final fare paying customers on November 3 1963.

Many years on and the route of the Hayling Billy Line has been opened as a combined footpath, bridleway and cycleway and passes down the west side of the island. It is part of route 2 of the National Cycle Network.

Over the years I must have driven on and off Hayling Island many hundreds of times and  was aware of the Hayling Billy Trail but until now had never visited.

So there we were on a very chilly Tuesday afternoon, with the sunshine coming and going, but spending most of the time hidden behind the clouds. At least it wasn’t raining. We parked up in the car park at the northern end of the trail.

Looking north from the trail toward the road bridge.

As you follow the trail you can see many clues linking back to parts of the old railway . Some are a little more obvious than others. The most obvious are the remains of the old railway bridge.

Hayling Billy Railway Bridge
Remains of Hayling Billy Signal

As you head south down the trail to your right are the remains of the oyster beds. These are now home to many sea birds and attract many “twitchers”.

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

The trail is very popular and we met many folks out walking their dogs, whole family’s cycle riding and even a couple of ladies on horseback. We spent an enjoyable couple of hours strolling along taking in the scenery while the fresh air blew away the cobwebs.

Late afternoon – Hayling Billy Trail

After we got back to the car we headed up to the top of Portsdown Hill for a cup of tea courtesy of Mick’s Burger Bar. There we were treated to a beautiful sunset.

Sunset – Portsdown Hill

Staunton Park

Saturday and we had blue skies and sunshine following several days of mist and murk. We paid the price of course with a chill wind blowing strongly.

I have my grandson over from Australia for a few weeks and he has a new camera to play with for the trip so we took the opportunity to get out and visited Staunton Park situated between Leigh Park and Rowlands Castle, near Havant.

We were hoping that the trees would be showing their autumn colours but we were somewhat disappointed. I think we were too early. However, we did enjoy the walk and took some photo’s.

A selection of snaps follows for your delectation, the first of which is a view over Leigh Lake.

Leigh Lake viewed from the site of William Henry Stone’s house.

The following photo shows part of the countryside that will over the next few years, planning consents permitting, become a fairly large reservoir
Although Stones house has long since been demolished there are many signs remaining of the old buildings. Not the least of which are the arches below.

Underneath The Arches

Of course the main reason we were there was to partake of the natural beauty. One aspect of the natural world which offers so much variety is that of the fungi.

Grey Fungus

These cattle make for a quite peaceful scene even though the wind was blowing quite hard.

Longhorn Cattle

The following photo is of part of land which will eventually end up under water as part of a proposed new reservoir.

Site Of Future Reservoir

In the woodlands there are a number of items which are I believe intended as both art and education for children. There is no description near this but I believe that it is intended to let children hear magnified sounds of the woodland. It can be rotated through 360 degrees. I, for want of an alternative christened it “The Mukkinese Battle Horn” after the famous short film featuring Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan. Nearby there was another item which is a concave / convex mirror. We had much fun with it which I am sure the children would too.

Mukkinese Battle Horn ?
On Reflection

And to finish our walk, as we returned to the car park, this chap came to see us off. It was a shame that he was disappointed by the fact that we had no food to offer him. This is probably why he didn’t display his tail feathers.



Let me introduce you to an intriguing branch of photography.These photographs have a strange attraction and an even stranger beauty. Take a look and see if you agree.


Urban Exploration – often referred to as urbex or UE – is the photographic examination of the normally unseen or off-limits parts of the urban areas that surround us. The nature of urbex presents various risks, including physical danger and the possibility of police involvement, if you’re not careful.