Walking articles

Walking group articles

Walking routes

The following pages contain maps of some of the walks done by the Walking group since September 2015. You'll see a button to show the route towards the bottom of each linked page. You will also see a button to download a 'GPX' and/or 'KMZ' file that you can use with:

  • a GPS device
  • a smart phone with a suitable app (such as Osmand)
  • a PC with suitable software (such as Google Earth)
  • a web site that can work with route files (such as GPS Visualizer)

You can use the maps to plan another walk for the Walking group, or to walk the route yourself.

Available maps:

Walking group report

The walking group does a short walk every month on the 4th Monday of the month, and this continues to be well supported, with the number of walkers usually being in double figures. We meet at the public car park on the way into the Community Centre for car share (£2) to the starting point of the walk, and have a pub or café lunch afterwards. Short walks can be from 3 to 5 miles and in the last year we have staged walks from Rowlands Castle, Selsey, Itchenor, Chawton and West Marden. The photograph comes from our most recent walk to see the bluebells at Clanfield.

Long walks have also taken root, and there is now a long walk every month, on the 1st Friday. There are generally 6 to 10 people on each long walk. In winter we walk for 6 or 7 miles, followed by a pub lunch. In summer we tend to go further afield, walking up to 11 miles, with a picnic lunch and maybe a drink at the end of the walk. A highlight of last summer was a trip to the Isle of Wight for an invigorating walk across the highest point of the island from Shanklin to Ventnor. We have also had long walks to Hambledon, Marwell and Goodwood in this last year. As with other U3A activities, we are dependent on people to offer to lead, and we are grateful to Nicole Faith, Jacky Storey, Marly Jones and Roger & Vicky Baker who all led a walk for us for the first time in the last 12 months. We are also pleased to have several other established walk leaders who all lead 1, 2 or more walks every year.

The walking group is open to all Hayling u3a members Well-behaved dogs are usually welcome, just check with the walk leader. So hopefully we will see more of you on our future walks.

Richard North

Group report

Annual Christmas walk

This was the 10th time U3A walkers met at Thelma's beach hut for mulled wine and mince pies. This year 30 members imbibed, then most of them were led, by Sue Humphries, on a short beach walk. Just after midday, we met again for a delicious fish and chip feast at the Coastguard Café. They had opened especially for us and was festively decorated. We hope to repeat this next year... Perhaps you will join us?

Thelma Cook


Group report

This is an article published in the Christmas 2018 edition of the Hayling Island U3A newsletter….

The December walk will be on Friday 28th, starting at Thelma Cook's beach hut at 10.30am. Thelma will be supplying the usual Mulled wine and Nibbles, cost £1.50 per person. Afterwards there will be a short walk before having Fish and Chips at The Coastguard Cafe at around midday.

So if you want to blow away the cobwebs after Christmas then you are most welcome to join the walk but please let Thelma know if you are interested in the Mulled Wine etc. and the Fish and Chip lunch by the 18th December.

Walks for the New Year will be planned at a luncheon meeting on January 7th at a venue to be announced and will be listed on the website

In the past four months the group has enjoyed walks to and around Buriton, Finchdean, Upham and East Meon. All very contrasting walks both in scenery and weather conditions, the latter ranging from temperatures in the eighties to the crispy coolness of November.


On the last walk to East Meon, one member could not resist the temptation to swing across the stream – who said we were of the third age?


Items held by the Walking Group

The following are available to walk leaders and those planning new walks:

Health & Safety:

  • First aid pack
  • Sling & safety pins
  • 5 'Life' emergency blankets, sealed
  • Around 55 emergency Contact Cards (U3A design)
  • Emergency Contact Book (superseded by the Group contacts service)
  • HiVis Waistcoat

Maps, OS Series Pathfinder 1:25,000 (1976/84):

  • Winchester (South)
  • Portsmouth & Havant
  • Horndean
  • Petersfield & East Meon
  • Chichester & Bognor Regis
  • Cocking & Sutton
  • Midhurst & Petworth
  • Pulborough & Steyning

Maps, OS Series Pathfinder 1:25,000 (1987/91)

  • Alton & Four Marks
  • Petersfield & Meon Valley
  • Horndean
  • Portsmouth & Havant
  • Chichester & Bognor Regis
  • Selsey Bill

The above are small sheets - good for planning.

Footpath Map, Hayling, Havant, & Thorney.

Guide Books:

  • "Walks for All and Themes to Boot"
  • "Country Pub Walks"
  • "Walks Around Sidlesham"
  • "Ten Walks - Winchester"
  • "Country Walks in Horndean"
  • "Walks Around West Meon & Warnford"
  • "Hambledon Guide & Walks"
  • "12 Walks Near Chichester"
  • "5 Short Walks - East Meon"
  • "Circular Walks on Hayling Island"
  • "Buriton - Some Walks Through Time"
  • "Gales Pub Five Circular Walks"
  • AA: "50 Walks in Sussex"
  • NT: "Stroll the South Downs"
  • "Waterside Walks in Sussex"
  • "Waterside Walks in Hampshire"
  • "Along & Around the Wayfarers Walk"

Chichester Harbour Conservancy:

  • "Series-1"; #1 to #9, mostly long
  • "Series-2"; #1 to #10, mostly short

Walk Leaflets:

  • Emsworth to Langstone
  • Manor Farm & Country Park
  • "Literary Walks in East Hampshire - Buriton"
  • ditto - Edward Thomas"
  • "Rother Valley -Selborne & Empshott"
  • "Footpaths & Bridleways in Rowlands Castle"
  • "Downs Link Route Map - Guilford to Shoreham"
  • "Queen Elizabeth Country Park"
  • "Welcome to Harting Down"
  • "Chalk Stones"
  • "A Farming Walk", (Westbourne)
  • "Langstone Harbour, Guide & Waterside Walk
  • "Chichester Walls Walk"
  • "5 Walks on Hayling Island"
  • "Staunton Way - 6 Walks"
  • "Walk 7 - Northney Explorer"
  • "Walk 10 - Chidham Circular"

Ordnance Survey Guides:

  • What to take in a daypack
  • Map reading
  • Navigating using the Sun. Moon, & stars

Illustrated Walk Diary, 2006 (Sue Humphrey)

Group report - annual review

This is an article published in the Summer 2017 edition of the Hayling Island U3A newsletter...

Over the past 12 months we have been fortunate to have new walk leaders - Sonia, Jorj, Pam & Barbara. Those of us jaded by this beautiful countryside have been treated unexpectedly to new walks, thanks to these members. Not least of the surprises was Jo's walk at Catherington - so new, so close, so rural.

So gentlemen - where are you ?

The Year started with a walk in freezing fog at Hilsea Lines, where we gave unplanned interviews to a television film crew - some of us have been on the BBC & ITV news! New too was the brief excursion around the Lido, to see a device for giving youngsters practise at kite-surfing.

Last August Jorj led us on a walk from the Jane Austen village of Chawton to that astonishing building at Upper Farringdon - Massey's Folly. Sonia found us a new starting point for the route up St. Roche's Hill to the primroses - and a new place to lunch.

So gentlemen - where are you ?

If there is a member that would like to lead/share walks on a day other than a Monday, and possibly slightly longer at 6-7 miles, then please let me know. I have this belief that to keep both fit and sociable that HIU3A needs to be walking several times a month - though my knees may grumble.

Bryan Bowen

Group report - Droxford May 2017

This is an article published in the Summer 2017 edition of the Hayling Island U3A newsletter...

At the lunch held in early February to discuss the walks for the year, it wasn't so much as "volunteer" but a "not so gentle push" to become leaders for the Droxford walk!

Pam and I took it in our stride (as it were!!) and set off on a cold and damp day in April to do a recce walk. Armed with instructions and a map from a previous walk - and making sure I had my pedometer attached - we set off from Droxford Church. I guess it's ok if you have a good sense of direction, know your east from your west, and can read a map!! However, if all of these escape you then it can be dangerous!!! Our first attempt took longer than anticipated - due to the fact we misread instructions and went several different ways to get back on track! The pedometer reading was therefore worthless as we walked much farther than we meant to!

We decided to taste test The Bakers Arms (a gastro pub); after paying an extra £3 for a few small pieces of bread to go with a bowl of soup, it was decided to find an alternative venue. Also, they charged a £10 per head booking fee... they were crossed off the list straight away!

This necessitated a second recce of the walk a few weeks later - and this time although we started and finished at Droxford Church, we then had to drive to our designated pub - The Hurdles - a walker, cyclist and dog friendly pub. (Starters £4; all "home comfort" mains £10. with a dairy and a gluten free menu.) This then was our choice to have lunch in at the end of the walk.

A week or so before our "big day", Pam and I had a third recce: rather than starting at Droxford Church - we decided it would be far more sensible to actually start and finish at The Hurdles. But, still undetermined was the length of the walk and how long it would take in all !

Beginning with a short history lesson, the walk started across the road from The Hurdles on the old Meon Valley railway line which ran from Alton to Fareham during the first half of the 20th century. The line had stations at several of the Meon Valley villages, including Droxford, which boasted the longest siding in southern England.

It was in this siding that an event took place to finalise the plans for the biggest invasion force ever massed by the British military, the D-Day landings.

On the 2nd June 1944, Winston Churchill, members of his war cabinet, President Eisenhower and the French leader Charles de Gaulle, the Canadian President William Lyon McKenzie King and the South African leader Jan Smuts, all met on the Royal train, in the siding at Droxford. Tens of thousands of troops were already camped throughout the area, preparing for the invasion of France. The leaders went on a morale boosting visit to the troops and then returned to the train to hold last minute talks about the invasion plans.

Droxford station was chosen as the meeting point because of its proximity to the troops, its secluded siding and proximity to a deep cutting. It was thought that in the event of an attack, the train could be pushed into the cutting, where it would be hard to see. The beautiful station building is now a private residence and a humble little plaque is all that remains to remember the momentous events played out in Droxford.

On the walk we encountered a small herd of young heifers, one of whom took a liking to Pam and started to follow her - maybe it was the smell of her sunscreen! Then we came across a flock of sheep sheltering under a large oak tree - all looking at us with astonishment (as they do) and not a baa between them! The last field to cross held 2 Shire horses, eating grass contentedly until they spied our group making towards them - then one of them trotted over to the stile and just stood there - I think waiting for some mints! A bit scary if you don't fancy horses....!

And so, over a cold drink and some good food, it was finally decided that we had walked 5.2 miles which took 2hrs 20 mins. Next time it will be a breeze .....!

For those intending to become a walk leader - remember that all walks leave from the Community Centre at 0915 and not 0930 ....!

Happy walking.

Barbara Nixon