Friday, 13 May 2011

LANGSTONE/HAYLING ISLAND

Langstone Harbour is a Site of Special Scientific Interest which includes an RSPB reserve as well as Farlington Marshes Nature Reserve which offers the possibility of viewing many species of waders and wildfowl. The nearby village of Warblington, a suburb of Havant, has the remains of a red-brick castle which was built around 1525 but was largely ruined in 1644 during the Civil War.

The main claim to fame of Hayling Island, another island similar to Portsea Island, which is easily accessible from the mainland by road, is that it is where windsurfing was invented. It was in 1958 that Peter Chilvers first assembled a board combined with a sail, the forebear of the modern windsurfing board. Hayling Island has a seafront with funfairs and amusement arcades, and for the more nature-loving types there is a walking trail called the Hayling Billy Leisure Trail which follows the route of a disused railway line and provides a viewpoint for the birds in the Kench Nature Reserve.

In 1920 a Hayling Island Nun made the ultimate sacrifice when a fire broke out in a convent on the island. Acting Mother Superior Sister Celestine made sure that 60 sick children and 7 other nuns were evacuated safely from the burning convent, then returned to the building to make sure that nobody had been forgotten, but was overcome with smoke and was found dead near the altar by firemen.

To the east of Hayling Island is another island called Thorney Island, which is mainly off limits due to it being Ministry of Defence property, although there is a path which follows the foreshore. This brings us out of Hampshire and into West Sussex.

Map of the area.


File:Houseboats at hayling island.JPG
Photo by Mark Murphy, via Wikimedia Commons

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