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Thorney Island

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Thorney Island
Author: mike evans, Published: 01 Apr 2016 Walk Rating:star1 Thorney Island West Sussex walking Guidestar1 Thorney Island West Sussex walking Guidestar1 Thorney Island West Sussex walking Guidestar1 Thorney Island West Sussex walking Guidestar0 Thorney Island West Sussex walking Guide
West Sussex, Chichester Harbour
Walk Type: Coastal
Thorney Island
Length: 10 miles,  Difficulty: boot Thorney Island West Sussex walking Guide boot Thorney Island West Sussex walking Guide
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Essentially this route is a walk around Thorney Island. It starts and ends at Nutbourne, adjacent to Nutbourne Marshes.

The route involves accessing MOD land. Entry and exit is via remote controlled gates and you will be asked for some personal details (home address etc) before you are allowed access. You will also need to negotiate a number of gates and kissing gates along the way. Some sections of path can get muddy at times.

About Thorney Island:
Thorney Island came to the notice of the Air Ministry in 1933 following a fatal air crash here. The potential for the island as an airfield was recognised during the crash investigation and, with war clouds gathering over Europe, the airfield was developed and commissioned in 1938. HM King George VI subsequently visited the Island on 9th May 1944. The Royal Navy took over Thorney Island station for a brief period in 1976 and, in 1980, West Thorney became host to many hundreds of Vietnamese families. The Island Station became an army base (Baker Barracks) at the end of 1984 when it was chosen as the home for 47 Field Regiment Royal Artillery.

Nutbourne is on the A259 between Chichester and Emsworth. On entering Nutbourne from either direction look out for Chichester Caravans on the north side of the road. Directly opposite is Farm Lane. The walk starts about 200 metres down Farm Lane at the point where the houses end on the left-hand side. There is sufficient parking on the verge for 5 or 6 cars. The approximate post code is PO18 8SB.

There is also a very good bus service to take you to the start of this walk. The bus number is 700 and the stop name is Farm Lane. The service currently runs every 20 minutes during most of the week (correct March 2016) and drops off and picks up at the top of Farm Lane.

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Walk Sections

Start to Thorney Sailing Club
Start to Thorney Sailing Club

Start point: 50.8424 lat, -0.8975 long
End point: 50.816 lat, -0.9084 long

Start the walk by going in a southerly direction following the path between a high flint wall on the left and open marshland on the right. The going here is always good, the path having been made up with scalpings by the ‘Friends of Chichester Harbour' in 2014.

To your right is an area which, up until 1920, was a mill pond with a tidal mill. The area now comes under the protection of Chichester Harbour Conservancy. According to their website, the harbour is visited by 55,000 birds annually including 10,000 Brent Geese during the winter months, so there is plenty to look out for.

The path takes us down to the water's edge where we turn right. Having turned right, follow the path along the waters edge. After 20 metres or so, as the path turns left, down to your right in the grass can be seen the remnants of the footings of the tidal mill.

Continue to follow the path, staying next to the water. Ignoring a path which goes off to the right, continue ahead and after 1200 metres we reach a point where a road (on the right) meets the path. Across the road is the Sea Scouts HQ. We turn to our left to pass through an open wooden 'gate' and continue along the coastal path. In 480 metres you will reach Thornham marina. You will need to cross a short metal bridge crossing a water channel which goes into the marina. Very occasionally this bridge is raised to allow boats to pass through. If this is the case when you arrive you can walk into the Marina and around the small area of water. If you fancy a drink or even lunch the marina houses a very nice little cafe called Bloaters.

After the bridge, continue along the coastal path as before. In about 350 metres pass over a wooden bridge. A further 700 metres takes us to the Thorney Deeps. This is a stretch of water that goes from the Thorney Channel across to exit into the Emsworth Channel. It is this stretch of water that makes Thorney Island an Island. The army have a remote controlled gate at this point. Press the bell button and you will be asked for some personal details before being allowed to continue on the journey. (In the event that the bell is not answered or is broken, you can phone the Gate Post direct on 01243 388269 to gain access).

As before continue along the coastal path and in about 1.5km you reach St Nicholas Church on your right. If you take a visit to the churchyard, you will find the graves of a number of allied and German airmen who bravely fought it out during the Second World War.

Thorney Sailing Club to Great Deep
Thorney Sailing Club to Great Deep

Start point: 50.816 lat, -0.9084 long
End point: 50.8304 lat, -0.9385 long

Continue past St Nicholas Church and you will meet a road with the Thorney Sailing Club on the opposite side. The footpath leaves the shoreline here to pass behind the sailing club. Turn right along the road and left in about 50 metres to walk through the car park. Keeping to the left, a fingerpost points you back towards the shore at the end of the car park. Keep again to the shoreline as the walk continues.

In about 500 metres the path enters an area of bushes and small trees. This section can be muddy during wet weather and you might want to consider taking the unofficial route along the road beside the covered area. Either way, continue heading south until the southern shore of the island is reached. Continue on (or rejoin) the path as it now turns in a north-westerly direction along the bottom of the island.

A short way along this section you pass a hide built to observe the harbour bird life. You might like to make use of this to look at some of the birds. You might also look out for the seals which often can be seen lying out on the sands warming themselves when the tide is out.

Continue the walk by keeping to the shoreline, the path turns north and as the walk proceeds a lovely view of Emsworth opens up in front. Keep going until you reach the Thorney Deeps again which, this time, reaches the Emsworth Channel. It is approximately 5km from the bird hide to the the Thorney Deeps.

As before the Army have a gate here and you will need to press the bell and identify yourself in order to pass through.

Great Deep to Prinsted
Great Deep to Prinsted

Start point: 50.8304 lat, -0.9385 long
End point: 50.8402 lat, -0.9137 long

After passing through the MOD gate, proceed still on the coastal path until you reach a group of buildings built on stilts. As you approach these buildings there are shrubs on the right. Turn right to follow a path inland behind the shrubs. You will pass the first of the buildings which will now be on your left. The path proceeds now with hedging on both sides.

In about 100 metres you will reach a kissing gate. Pass through the gate and into an area with farm buildings on your left. Pass through this area and out through another kissing gate to reach a road. Turn right and then immediately left into Thornham Lane. Continue and, after 640 metres, turn left into Prinsted Lane. Immediately on your right as you enter Prinsted Lane is a large house with a white wall adjacent to the lane. Continue along the lane for 600 metres which will bring you back to Prinsted Sea Scouts HQ which you passed on the route out.

Prinsted to End
Prinsted to End

Start point: 50.8402 lat, -0.9137 long
End point: 50.8423 lat, -0.8981 long

Once you reach the Prinsted Scout HQ, bear left on the road and follow it as it goes north through the village with houses on both sides of the road.
In 300 metres the road forks. Take the right-hand branch and in about 40 metres, turn right at the fingerpost, stepping over a small wall. Continue with the drive to a house on your right and a hedge and then a fence on your left. After about 100 metres the path becomes wooded on your right with a field on your left.

The path exits into a field and meets a path which goes round the edge of the field. Continue straight ahead, effectively turning left onto the path round the left-hand field edge. Follow the path round the field, turning left and then right (and ignoring the path that goes off ahead as you reach the right turn). At the end of the field go through a kissing gate and into an orchard. Follow the path which becomes a gravel drive and passes a bungalow on the right.

Shortly after the bungalow the path becomes separated from the drive by an open wooden fence and then turns left as it passes a house on the left. Follow the path around the boundary of the house to exit onto Farm Lane. Turn right into Farm Lane and in 260 metres you will reach your starting point.

Remember...the best way of following our walking guides is to use the iFootpath App (iOS and Android) where you will have all the information in the palm of your hand and see your exact location on the live map as you travel. You can also add comments, photos, ratings and track your own routes.

Check out these resources for your walk

hotels Hostel Directory GetMap Rail

network Thorney Island West Sussex walking Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2016 by the author seekin and may not be reproduced without permission.


1 comments for "Thorney Island"

East gate access is not working, impossible to access footpath on MOD site. 13.7.17

ADMIN RESPONSE: Sorry to hear you couldn't access the walk. We have spoken to the MOD and they have explained that the buzzer on the East Gate is temporarily broken, but there should be a sign explaining that walkers should phone the Gate Post instead, so that access can be given. The phone number should be on the local signage and is 01243 388269. We will add this note to the walk directions for other walkers.

By FiGo on 15 Jul 2017

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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Please note that the grading for walks is subjective and open to interpretation and should only be used as a guide when selecting a walk.

Map Ref / Start Point (optional)

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AB 123 456

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Start Point Co-ordinates (optional)

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Pdf file

Pdf file for walk

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Section Title (required)

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Our preferred way of saving images for iFootpath is to save or export them at a maximum size of 1024x1024 pixels as a JPEG file. Please be sure that you own the copyright to any images uploaded - you must have taken them yourself or have explicit permission.

Map Ref (optional)

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AB 123 456

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Introduction to iFootpath

iFootpath provides a mechanism to capture and share details of walks, but it is worth explaining the essential structure of a walk as they are stored in the iFootpath database. The basic concept is that a walk consists of any number of sections that are joined end to end. For each section we might want to describe views or other points of interest about that part of the walk.

The database that underpins iFootpath provides the mechanisms to store the structure and details of each walk, descriptions, photographs and mapping data for the overall walk and each section of it. It is not mandatory to enter information into every single field in the forms we provide, although some basic details are essential to ensure the walk database stays manageable and searcheable.

Each walk entered can be shared with all other iFootpath users, but before a walk (and its sections) are shared there are three stages it must go through. The first stage is as a "Draft". When a walk is in draft it is only visible and editable by you, the author of that walk. Whilst it is in draft form you can add sections, photographs, further description and refine it as you see fit. You can do as little or as much as you like. However, it is worth remembering that if someone (you) wants to print it off and take it as a walking guide, then it is worth taking the time to detail each section reasonably concisely. Long descriptions are generally distracting when walking and a short, concise version is usually much easier to use.

When you are happy with the walk description and its sections you can set the status to "Ready". This does not yet make it visible to everyone. It does, however, lock the editing (although you can change it back to draft and continue editing) and alerts the systems administrators that it requires reviewing prior to being "Published". When set to "Ready" the walk will be reviewed to check it contains the basic data needed and to ensure the content is clean. We do not allow content to include obscenities, swearing or other offensive language or pictures. This review does not check the walk for accuracy; whilst we would love to test each and every walk through walking we simply do not have the time. If we do find something wrong with the walk we will contact you and ask that it is fixed prior to marking it as "Published".

Once the walk is published it is now visible to any user of iFootpath and is therefore in the public domain given that anyone can register and access iFootpath. You are therefore responsible that any photographs used in your walk description are not infringing copyright. See our terms and conditions for further information on what we do and do not allow.

Published walks are available to all users of iFootpath and are listed in the walk browser to read or print and will be listed in the iPhone/iPod Touch application for download.

Walks in iFootpath

A walk in iFootpath is an introduction to the overall walk, identification of where it is and starts, some overview notes and general commentary.

Title (required)

A walk title should provide a brief indication of where or what the walk is. Walk titles do not have to be unique.

Description (required)

This provides a text area where you can describe the walk. Explain what you love about the walk, what makes it different and what people will see. In addition try to answer all the questions you might ask before going on a route. What sort of paths does the walk use? Any steep accents/descents? Are there any stiles? Are people likely to come across horse/cows/sheep?

County (required)

The county in which the walk starts is essential to help finding the walk in the database. Some walks may straddle more than one county - we suggest you select the county in which the walk starts or is mostly within.

Area (optional)

This field can be used, if you wish, to further identify where the walk is. This is particularly useful for large counties.

Walk Type (required)

To help quickly finding the right type of walk this provides a basic walk classification or type. Some walks may span two of these types - please use the type that fits the majority of the walk.

Length (required)

The length (in miles) of a walk is an approximation of the overall distance walked, not a measure of the distance "as the crow flies". iFootpath automatically completes this field based on the GPX file that has been uploaded.

Grade (required)

The grade of a walk is an indicator of how difficult it is to walk. This does not take into account the walk length but does suggest how challenging the walk will be. An easy walk, graded as 1 (and shown as 1 walking boot) indicates a walk that is essentially flat, has no sharp hills to climb, has no stiles or other obstacles, is easy to navigate (probably along a well worn path) and is suitable for most levels of fitness. Do be aware that the level of stamina required will vary and you should only walk within your limits - the indication of walk length will help with this. A difficult walk, graded as 5 (and represented by 5 boots) indicates a walk that is strenuous and involves steep ascents and/or descents. It may be technically challenging involving difficult terrain or obstacles.

Please note that the grading for walks is subjective and open to interpretation and should only be used as a guide when selecting a walk.

Map Ref / Start Point (optional)

The walk start point is an Ordnance Survey map reference to pinpoint the start point of the walk. This should be in the format:

AB 123 456

Further details of this system can be seen on the Ordnance Survey website.

Map Link (optional)

This optional field allows you to include a link to a web page containing a map showing the walk start. This is not the place to include any other links and the system will reject links to anything but Streetmap or Google Maps.

Start Point Co-ordinates (optional)

This pair of fields allows you to enter the longitude and latitude for the start point. iFootpath automatically completes this field based on the uploaded GPX file.

Key Image (required)

This is the main photograph used to illustrate the walk and can, if you wish, be the only photograph used of the walk. We recommend that you use a picture that characterises the walk, if possible, to show potential walkers what they might find or see. The picture must be in any of the main image formats (JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG) and image files up to 2Mb in size are permitted. Once an image is uploaded it will be resized automatically and a smaller version saved that is optimised for viewing on both this website and iFootpath Mobile.

There are many image editing and manipulation applications available, so many that we cannot make particular recommendations although almost all are excellent. Our preferred way of saving images for iFootpath is to save or export them at a maximum size of 1024x1024 pixels as a JPEG file. This creates a file that is well under 2Mb in size, contains plenty of detail and displays well in almost any browser. Please be sure that you own the copyright to any images uploaded - you must have taken them yourself or have explicit permission. If you are concerned about image theft then we also suggest you include a small watermark in any corner of the image, but please remember that large watermarks that hide the image will not be popular with viewers!

Pdf file

Pdf file for walk

Icon (recommended)

The icon is a small image, 60 pixels square, used to provide a label for the walk when displayed in lists or in iFootpath Mobile. It is recommended that a small, square image for such use is created and uploaded. This should be in JPEG, GIF, BMP or PNG format and less than 100Kb in size. If you do not provide an icon the walk will be automatically given a generic system icon. If you do upload a photograph for the walk icon its size will be checked by the system and it will automatically be resized to 60 pixels square. However, please also note that if the image is not square in format it may be cropped and you will not get the result you might have expected. Just thought you should know!

Getting There (required)

This provides a text area to explain how to get to the start of the walk. It is good to include a post code.

Preview

This function allows you to see how your published walk would look, before you submit as 'Ready' for review.

Status

When a walk is created and saved in iFootpath its status is automatically set to 'Draft'. This implies that you are still working on it and may want to come back later to add walk sections, images or other information. When you are ready for the walk to be shared with other iFootpath registered users then the status should be changed to 'Ready'. This will automatically notify the system that you want to share the walk. The system will check to ensure you have completed the required information and alert a reviewer. The reviewer will read through to check the content is clean and consistent with our terms of use. This does not check the accuracy of the walk details or any other information. If there are issues with the contents you will be contacted by email. The walk status will also be reset to 'Draft' in this case. More likely, however, that everything is fine in which case its status will be set to 'Published' at which point it becomes available for viewing and downloading by any registered user of iFootpath. This includes download to iFootpath Mobile.

Filters

Filters allow you to narrow down your search for walks of interest. By County restricts the list of walks to those in the selected County. The Filters links at the top of the list page allow you to jump quickly to the filters or to clear them.

Keyword Search

The Keyword search facility will search through the walk descriptions and notes to find words or phrases you specify.

My GPX Files

This page gives you the list of GPX files that you have uploaded from iFootpath mobile (or from other sources). You are able to view, edit, delete or download these files. Once you are happy with your GPX file you can 'convert to walk' to create a draft walk based on this data. This walk will appear under 'Manage My Walks'.

Manage My Walks

The list of walks presented are those you have written and entered into iFootpath. From here you can filter the list if you have lots to narrow down your search, list all or just those with a particular status. If you select a 'Published' or 'Ready' walk you will see a read-only version of your walk, although if 'Ready' you can reset status to 'Draft' again for further editing.

Walk Sections in iFootpath

Each walk section represents a particular piece of a walking route. The start and end of each section are defined by waypoints. Each section joins onto the next to form the complete walk. There is no limit to the number of sections a walk can have, but on a long walk we recommend breaking the route down into manageable pieces that are delineated by particular landmarks, turnings or changes in obvious route. Each section has its own photograph and descriptive text which should hold a photograph that illustrates the section and any instructions or other notes you want to add that may be of use in helping navigation or pointing things out.

Section Title (required)

The section title is used to provide a short name for the section. It is useful in section titles to provide an indication of the start and end, so using names of landmarks, roads, etc is a useful aid. Sections will be named automatically as the name of the waypoint at the end of that section. It is recommended that you rename the sections as something more useful to walkers.

Section Description (required)

This field is used to provide as much information as you wish about the walk section. This should include notes on navigation, even if obvious, and any further information you care to share about views, historical notes, things to look for, etc.

Key Image (recommended)

A picture can save many words and will often be very useful in helping to navigate or spot things along the route. The picture must be in any of the main image formats (JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG) and image files up to 2Mb in size are permitted. Once an image is uploaded it will be resized automatically and a smaller version saved that is optimised for viewing on both this website and iFootpath Mobile.

Our preferred way of saving images for iFootpath is to save or export them at a maximum size of 1024x1024 pixels as a JPEG file. Please be sure that you own the copyright to any images uploaded - you must have taken them yourself or have explicit permission.

Map Ref (optional)

This allows the OS Map reference for the start and end of the section to be entered. These should be in the format:

AB 123 456

Further details of this system can be seen on the Ordnance Survey website.

Start/End Point (optional)

This provides the facility to capture the co-ordinates for the start and end points of the walk section. iFootpath will automatically complete this field based on the GPX file used to create the walk.

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