As in previous summers, we’ve had the odd child free day and we’ve put on our walking shoes explored our local area. Back in 2013 we investigated some of Waterlooville’s pubs and in 2014 we walked to Denmead and back popping into the various drinking establishments on the way. Can you see a theme here? This year we decided to walk to from Waterlooville to Hayling Island.
We live along Tempest Avenue and this runs along parallel with the A3(M). There is a bridge that crosses the motorway which follows the old right-of-way of Park Lane.
Obviously over the years this road/right-of-way has been altered and changed somewhat including a motorway built through it, but the fundamental ‘route’ is still standing.
So, it means that people of the Tempest Avenue area have a quick and easy route into Leigh Park and vice versa.
We crossed the bridge and walked along the long standing old pathway with fields either side and enjoyed the view.
Unfortunately, the new Dunsbury Hill Farm development will change this whole area within the next couple of years and it’ll all be industrial/business centre. By the time we reached the Warren Park area, the development had already started to make it’s mark on the landscape.
Moving on and checking Google maps on our phones, we walked through Warren Park toward Leigh Park town centre and within half-an-hour we had arrived.
I must admit, I haven’t visited Leigh Park for over 15 years; I really hadn’t seen the need. The main shopping centre, like Waterlooville, is struggling and had many closed and empty premises.
There are some bright sparks though; the Burrito Man (of bright orange van of Waterlooville fame) has set up a little thriving outlet in Park Parade.
We didn’t stop at the Heron on this occasion, but will probably go back and check out the Hungry Horse’s menu at some point with the kids.
Moving on, the road took us to Havant; we were there in no time. Again, I rarely visit Havant Town and this too showed sad, unloved areas of closed shops and outlets – particularly around the station.
The main centre of Havant has shifted over the years and West Street was bustling making the main thoroughfare into Park Road South/Solent Road.
With the massive Tesco Extra, Next and other large retail outlets replacing the need for the high street. Sadly, I think this is what we are seeing with Waterlooville centre to some extent.
Going past Tesco, the pathway under the A27 has a watermill ‘ornament’. The watermill has a broken axle, hence the lean to the right.
The subway has been recently decorated with a mural, so doesn’t feel too dark and dingy. Worth a look if you are passing.
Coming out from the underpass we had stepped into Langstone. With a new super-restaurant The Landbrook Farm with their cake-aways and massive food portions and the a new Premier Inn.
By the time we’d reached Hayling Bridge we’d clocked up a couple of hours of walking and surprisingly for us, we hadn’t succumbed to a pub …. yet! The walk across the bridge was a little breezy and took the option of walking on the Hayling Billy Trail.
On the site of the old railway track that used to service the Island, it makes a perfect walking and cycling track.
As we drive to Hayling regularly, we knew there were a couple of pubs that looked interesting and wanted to investigate. We walked approx. 1 third of the trail before we diverted our walk back to the main road. It is not a great pathway to walk on as it’s so narrow and crossing it is a nightmare as there is rarely a break in traffic. Anyway, we reached the first pub, The Yew Tree and stopped for a well-deserved drink. Lovely, real old fashioned style pub and beer garden. Defiantly one to bring the kids back to as there was a few play apparatus and animals to look at. We didn’t eat here, but the food portions looked delicious and generous.
We supped up and walked down to the next pub The Maypole, which was literally a stone’s throw from the Yew Tree.
Sadly, it had closed for the afternoon. We just didn’t think; most pubs are generally open for the entire day; I guess there’s not a lot of passing trade in the late afternoon.
We decided to head back up to Langstone and stop at the Ship Inn; a popular pub with an amazing location overlooking Langstone harbour. It certainly uses it position well; our two drinks cost £9.55.
We were ready for food now and had unquestionably worked up an appetite. Steve suggested trying a pub in Havant that had been recommended. We walked to the impressive looking Wheelwright Arms. The drinks were (slightly) cheaper than the previous pub and we ordered food. I have to say, that it was a lovely meal and the pub was nicely decorated and themed.
You won’t be shocked to know that we didn’t walk back! My activity bracelet showed I’d walked approximately 12 miles and my feet definitely felt it!
We took loads of photos, here are a few more, click to view a larger version.