Author Topic: Any stunning south or south-east coast walking suggestion?!  (Read 396 times)

SoreFoot

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Hi. I did the most fabulous walk last year, Brighton to Hastings. I was really spoiled because it included the Seven Sisters, stunning views, and well-signed, well-maintained walking footpaths.


I'd like to do something similar but different this year, but need some inspiration.


Again, about fifty miles would be ideal because I typically have about three days in which to walk.


The south coast is easy for me to access, but the central and eastern sides rather than the south west, so Devon and Cornwall are out. Basically, Dorset, Hampshire, Sussex, Kent and Essex are all well within my reach.


If I start again in Brighton, is it worth walking westwards, say to Portsmouth, or is that walk poor compared to the Brighton to Hastings stretch?


Or, is it worth going to Hastings and continuing another 50 miles eastwards?


Or am I missing any obvious alternatives?


I do like to pass through towns of reasonable size for refreshment and stimulation along the way, hence the Brighton-Eastbourne-Hastings stretch suited me down to the ground.


I like intermittent cliffs and views rather than endless flats. Stunning sea views are a must - I much prefer coastal walking to inland walking. I don't even mind a bit of industry. Variety is fine.


Any thoughts...?


Many thanks!

Warbler

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How about the last 55 miles of the South West Coast Path, in Dorset, from Weymouth to Poole Harbour. Some stunning views and a few stiff ups and downs either side of Lulworth. Fabulous walking. You could stay over at Lulworth (limited resources) and Swanage, where there are plenty of options for accomodation, shops, eateries, pubs etc.


Here's a few photo's of a short stretch I walked earlier this year.


https://www.walkingforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=40794.0


rural roamer

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I was also going to suggest the Dorset end of the SWCP. We have done a few day walks whilst on holiday there, lovely scenery and plenty of hills to tackle. Another option if you can go a bit further ( and I’m biased cos I live here!) is the Suffolk Coast Path. It runs from Felixstowe to Lowestoft and is about 50 miles. You won’t go through too many towns though.

Bigfoot_Mike

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The Wayfarer’s Walk is 70 miles. It could be cut short to make a 50 mile walk, but that would be a shame in my opinion. I walked it from Emsworth to Inkpen Beacon in 4 days on separate weekends in the autumn / winter, so there were shorter daylight hours. The terrain is quite varied and there is a lot of history on the way. This site is one of several that provide information. https://www.hants.gov.uk/thingstodo/countryside/walking/wayfarerswalk

Dovegirl

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The coast from Brighton to Portsmouth is flat and much of it is built up, with resorts and residential areas. It includes the idyllic Chichester Harbour AONB, one of my favourite places for walking.  But there is nothing to match the drama of the cliffs of the Brighton to Hastings stretch. 

I imagine you walked the cliffs eastwards from Hastings?  A fantastic walk!  The cliffs come to an end soon after Fairlight. The coast is then flat until the cliffs at Folkestone. Enroute are the vast shingle wastes of Dungeness  -  a strangely evocative landscape.  I've walked the Hythe-Folkestone-Deal coast, which is partly flat but also includes the famous white cliffs of Dover, with great views. 


gunwharfman

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To give you a comprehensive view I suggest you look at www.gps-routes.co.uk, so many routes to choose from. There are 4 main east to west, (or west to east) across Kent, Surrey and Sussex, the North Downs Way, the Greensand Way, the High Weald Trail, the Sussex Border Path and the South Downs Way. There is also some north to south routes that cross them all, like the Vanguard Way and the Weald Way, which would allow you to sort out a circular route for your self. So much choice.

My favourite of all of them is the High Weald Trail, which starts at Horsham Railway station and ends at Rye railway station. I loved it mainly because of the stretch from Horsmonden, to Goudhurst, to Cranbrook, to Tenterden, which was part of my stomping ground when I was a teenager.

But the Greensand Way and the Sussex Border Path are great too, it all comes down to personal choice.

SoreFoot

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Thanks all - valuable inspiration. I'm now weighing up between two walks, (1) the aforementioned Weymouth to Poole walk via Lulworth and Swanage, or (2) the Solent Way, namely Milford-on-Sea to Emsworth. I'll probably do one walk in the Spring and one in the Autumn, I guess walking west-to-east in each instance. Does anyone have any experience of the second of those walks? It looks like I'd have to cross Portsmouth Harbour at one point near Gosport - does one need to pre-book a ferry for this, or can you just turn up and arrange something on the spot, I wonder? I guess Southampton and Portsmouth are the obvious overnighting points on this walk, would you say, if it was done over three days? Many thanks for all your priceless input once again!

Bigfoot_Mike

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You used to be able to just turn up and go on the Gosport ferry, but is many years since I last caught it.

gunwharfman

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I live in Portsmouth and have done the Solent Way, in my view rather boring, but maybe that's because I live here and I see the sea almost every day? It's a good enough walk if you just want flat walking. A lot of the time you are walking alongside fast roads, built-up areas etc. As regards the Gosport Ferry, no booking required, just get to Portsmouth Harbour station and the ferry is alongside, they run every 15 minutes, they still do I think. When you pay for your ticket, (from a machine) just check that you haven't spent out too much (for a return instead of a single) before you commit yourself. I believe the owners of the Gosport Ferry reside in the Falkland Islands. Yes, 3-4 days is about it.

Stube

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I've walked both the Solent way and the Jurassic Coast section of the SWCP.
As GWM says the SW is very flat - you're rarely more than 10 feet above sea level apart from when you cross the Itchen Bridge. On the plus side you walk through several nature reserves and past 2000 years of military engineering. ::)
The SWCP east of Weymouth is more interesting - there's certainly more up and down. The section immediately east of Lulworth runs through an Army fireing range and is only open to walkers at weekends and some school holidays  :( The alternative route involves a lot of road walking. My browser is playing up and I can't find/post the link to the range opening times.

rural roamer

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The SWCP east of Weymouth is more interesting - there's certainly more up and down. The section immediately east of Lulworth runs through an Army fireing range and is only open to walkers at weekends and some school holidays  :( The alternative route involves a lot of road walking. My browser is playing up and I can't find/post the link to the range opening times.
We used this site when visiting as we went to Tyneham which is part of the Lulworth Ranges and closed at the same times.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/lulworth-access-times
BTW Tyneham is worth a visit, a village abandoned since it was taken over in WW2