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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
These cattle make for a quite peaceful scene even though the wind was blowing quite hard.
The following photo is of part of land which will eventually end up under water as part of a proposed new 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.
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.
These are fabulous photographs. Many of which it would be good to know the back ground story. e.g. is that birds or mud behind the elephant. What is going on with the leopard attacking the man and many more …..
Had to repost this collection. These are all top notch photo’s. Makes me jealous, not only for the photographers who own the shots but because they were there. Thanks to them and thanks to Ken at Bear Tales for sharing.
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.