Brighton to Bournemouth ... 165 miles approx.

Home on a bright, crisp winters day with one of my doggies, Max

The next 15 miles westward from Brighton is not particularly attractive. Industrial, traffic-choked and heavily urbanised.

Only once Worthing is reached, then passed, does it become open once more and the promenade out of Worthing and through Goring to the small village of ferring is a highly attractive one. 

From Ferring it changes completely. A series of private housing estates cause the major roads to swing inland, leaving a small enclave of quiet, unspoilt beaches reached only by small estate roads. It is unique, and for me it is home.

This is where I live, Sharing home with my Sister and our two doggies, a couple of hundred yards from the beach where most of my days at home are spent.

Where I call home. East Preston and it's beach.

The RSPB Pagham harbour, marsh at low tide. a wonderful place of peace and wildlife.

From Ferring to Bognor Regis the beaches are undeveloped, quiet even on a busy summer's day, totally unspoilt.

Bognor get's it's Regis from it's popularity during the Edwardian era with the Monarchy but for one monarch it was too much. Asked to retire to Bognor to enjoy the air in his final days George 5th famously retorted "Bugger Bognor". I suggest the traveller does the same.

Apart from Butlins it is past it's best. Some would say that the presence of Butlins confirms it. 

The road now swings inland to skirt the reaches of Pagham harbour before heading seawards again to Selsey bil, passing as it does so the delightfuul RSPB reserve at Pagham Harbour.

Selsey Bil and it's lifeboat station.

The Headland known as Selsey Bill is pretty unremarkable: a shingle beach, a little promenade and a lifeboat station.

Cintinuing west along the coast through Bracklesham bay and East Wittering and it still stays fairly bland, until West Wittering.

West Wittering is at the seaward end of Chichester Harbour and consits mostly of a huge, and I mean huge, car park with attendant cafe, a blue flag sandy beach, dunes and at the far western end a sand spit extending for a couple of miles into Chichester reach, the stretch of water that seperates Wittering from Hayling Island.

Max liked West Wittering

The oldest still-commissioned naval ship in the world!

After West Wittering it is the collection of faded holiday parks known as Hayling Island and then ...

Portsmouth.

Portsmouth has a pleasant seafront, well it has a pier, nice gardens and probably a golden nugget saloon somewhere, portsmouth has the Spinnaker tower,  Portsmouth is a major ferry port.

Above all though Portsmouth lives and breathes history and if it's history you want, especially Naval history, then it is the marine equivalent of Valhalla.

Portsmouth abounds with Museums, from the Royal Marine museum at Southsea to the Explosions museum a short ferry trip away at Gosport, but nothing can equal the historic dockyard.

Here is housed probably the most complete collection of Naval history anywhere in the world, from the flagship of Henry 8th's Navy, the Mary Toae, to the first iron warship, HMS warrior but none is more famous, and carries more of an historical pedigree, than HMS Victory, Nelson's Flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar, arguably one of the most world-changing fleet actions ever.

HMS Victory

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is not a day out, it's at least a week out, but fortunately the tickets have a year lifetime so it can be revisited over and over again without further expenditure!

Moving on From Portsmouth, relucatanly, the picturesque, and crowded, Marina at Hamble is passed before the city of Southampton is reached. A major cruise ship port, a major city, hardly a rivetting coastal destination so time to move on, and through the enchanting New Forest.

 

The next port of call is Lymington but before then a thoroughly worthwhile diversion can be made to Bucklers hard on the Beaulieu river.  Apart from being an enchanting drive it is an impoertant maritime museum, a "living history" village, in an enchanting setting. 

It was here that many of the ships of Nelson's navy were built, including Nelson's own favourite ship, the aganemnon.

The enchanting setting of Buckers Hard, a wonderful day out

Lymington is finally reached after a nice drive through the New Forest. The old town is most pleasant, the Isle of Wight Ferry terminal busy but that's about it.

 

Then, finally, before Dorset is reached and the urban metropolis of Christchurch, Bournemouth and Poole endured, one more stop.  Milford on Sea, a little gem of a place offering dramatic views of the Isle of Wight and the needles.

It was a dreadfully murky day when I was in Milford but the photographer in me insisted on trying to capture the needles in all there glory.

The needles through the murk

Fortunately the pragmatist in me decided to drop in a library piic instead so you can see what they really look like Cool{#smileys123.tonqueout}

The needles without the murk!

Finally Dorset is reached,

Onwards Albert! Take the old fossil home ...  the Jurassic coast awaits!

 

Next section:  Dorset and East Devon