8th June 2015
Hill Head to Portsmouth Harbour – 11.3 km (7 Miles)
Today it was back to just me and cookie.
We parked at Havant and caught the train to fareham, from there we would catch the X5 bus to Lee on Solent and where we left off the day before. After 2 hours of travelling we got to lee on Solent and the wind was so much less than the previous leg. The sea was so peaceful with just the gentle lapping of the waves on the shore, I love it best when it is in that state.
The first part of the walk was along the promenade at from Hill Head to lee on Solent, this took us past the hovercraft museum, where a lot of the commercial hovercrafts were laid to rest. There were also quite a few fitness walkers and joggers along this prom too, probably the great weather brought them out. Lee on Solent is not really a big tourist resort, however there was some small amusements.
On leaving Lee on the Solent at the end of the prom you come to Browndown which doubles as a military training area and nature reserve, you can only walk through here when they are not training and fortunately today was a good day and I could go through, however cookie was none too impressed as it was a very pebbly area and after walking for about 10 mins on the stones she decided that enough was enough and dug her paws in, she was not to be budged, so I ended up carrying her a fair way, when I put her down she still decided that she wasn’t moving, so dragging soon got her going.
The first thing that faced me on leaving Browndown was a display of submersible craft that was on the back edge of a car park at the start of Stokes Bay, these were really interesting as they had a write up on each one.
From here it was back to the promenade which took me all the way round to gillicker point. This promenade took me past stokes bay where I would often have stopped to eat my sandwiches when I regularly worked in this area. The view from here is fantastic looking out towards Ryde on the Isle of Wight and seeing the ferries going back and forth all mixed in with yachts and merchant ships. Stokes bay was voted one of the best top 10 picnic spots by Mcvities and I would say that I have to agree with that too. At this point I can look back at the coast line as it curved around the Isle of Wight and see the enormity of the distance that I had already walked.
The promenade once again ends but this time at the inshore lifeboat station and goes on to a gravelly track up to Gilkicker Fort, a historic fort built in 1871 and now awaiting restoration into luxury residences. From here it was a Tarmac path through go sport golf club to the juvenile prison entrance and a long walk between two very high walls all the way to haslar where there is a marina and and submarine museum.
From here it was a short walk following the Millenium promanade, which is a trail embedded into the path taking you through to Old Portsmouth. This took us along the Gosport waterfont to the ferry where we would be taking a short trip across the water to Gunwarf Quays.