Thorney Island Circular Walk
On Sunday October 31st a good turnout of 14 set out for the walk around Thorney Island, having first negotiated the heavy traffic heading for the Great South Run around Portsmouth.It was cloudy but surprisingly warm late October morning, though we did have a little drizzle and a good breeze especially on the headlands, but never enough to deter the spirits of the group.
The walk was about 7.5 or 8 miles (we had to shorten it a bit because of the high tide), which we completed in around three hours.
We started with a mile across country (the only part that was not on the shore), where having reached the water we enter MOD land through a security gate and walk alongside Thorney Channel.
Another mile or so brought us to the attractive St Nicholas Church , originally built in the 13th century and described as the” loneliest, remotest, least seen. least known and altogether utmost church in Sussex” In the graveyard are RAF graves alongside those of Germans who lost their lives in the Second World War.
The picture (thanks to Rachel Hunt for the photo) shows a memorial to a serviceman lost in Afghanistan, a poignant reminder as we approach Remembrance Sunday.
At the tip of the island we reached the sandy beach and dunes of Pilsey Island where we had good views of Chichester Harbour still busy with sailing clubs and yachts. At this point it seemed there was a need for sustenance, so Ken and Liz led a scrumping expedition. The apples were not bad.
Rounding the south of the island we headed north besides Emsworth channel, past the Great Deep with its many water birds, and back to our cars and, for the majority of us, a short drive to The House at Home in Chidham for a good and well deserved pub lunch.