Selsey to Sidlesham. 11.73 km (7.28 miles)
I parked up at Sidlesham and caught the gold rider bus to selsey, why they put times at bus stops I’ll never know as I’ve not known one to turn up on time. After going around the houses and making me feel quite a bit queezy the bus dropped me off at West Sands holiday park where I was going to start the walk this evening,
I started walking at about 6pm and had decided at last minute to split the trek back to Felpham in two, particularly after my last adventure. From the Windmill at Medmerry I headed due south to the sea and walked along the coastline for probably a kilometre before having to walk through some residential streets. The views looking back towards Portsmouth on this stretch were fantastic and it made me think about how far i had come on this trek so far.
After walking through some streets I was back on the seafront and at the Selsey Bill, the furthest point out on the peninsula and another corner that will be turned, I will no longer be able to look back along the coast and see where I have been, but instead can see the way forward and where I will ultimately end. The Bill was a little disappointing as there was not a lot there apart from a falling down sea defence and a nice big house.
On the eastern side of the Bill was a promenade to walk on. This was a much more interesting part to selsey, the sea was really calm, the fishing boats at anchor were gently bobbing in the small waves and the lifeboat station can be seen standing proud in the sea. The Selsey lifeboat has been present in the town since 1861 and is now housed in a shed about 100m off the shore and when called upon will slide down a ramp into the sea. Selsey is famous for it’s lobster and crab and has a unique taste that is sought after in many restaurants, the fisheries where the shellfish is prepared can be seen along the shore to the east of the lifeboat station, they had closed for the day when i passed by, but the smell of the shellfish was very poignant in the air.
Near the end of the promenade I had to leave the coast for a short walk through some farmland to Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve, the pickers were still in the fields gatthering up the last of the veg before the sun set and the light goes. Looking back through the fields i could see how lucky i was that i missed the rain, the sky was so black.
On reaching the nature reserve it was a scene of tranquility, i was now once again away from the open sea and sheltered from the prevailing wind. The sun was just setting and soon the light would be fading. I could see the lights of Pagham and Church Farm Holiday Village across the harbour one by one switching on.
The walk from here is following the edge of the nature reserves harbour all the way around to Sidlesham, it is a tidal harbour where the sea fills and empties it every day. Fortunately i have the timing right this time as the tide was out which allowed me to take the path closest to the waters edge. The sound of the many water birds could be heard in the air and in the bushes, singing and making their final calls for the day before settling down in their nests for the night.
On reaching Sidlesham the light had just about gone, which showed a different beauty to this little hamlet. The Crab and Lobster a local gastropub in this hamlet was certainly busy on this Friday night and would have got my custom if Susan had been with me.
A short walk back to the car finished the shorter trek for today.