About 16 minutes from park
Thorney Island, Emsworth, PO10 8DHVisit Website
The island is known for its military heritage, and the historic Thorney Island airfield and Baker Barracks remain the home of two Royal Artillery regiments to this day. The Ministry of Defence owns a large portion of the land on the island, so you’ll have to provide your details when you enter it and stick to the public access areas. What this also means, is that the island hasn’t been subjected to intensive farming, becoming a wildlife haven as a result and an RSPB bird sanctuary. Birdwatching is a popular pastime on the island, so keep an eye out for brent geese, curlews, lapwings and oystercatchers when you go on a Thorney Island walk, as well as ospreys, skylarks and shelduck. There’s a great loop you can do around the perimeter of the island which should take around four hours, taking you past the incredible waterfront Thorney Island church, St Nicholas. The church is next door to Thorney Island Sailing Club, which is a great spot to stop for some lunch and try your hand at sailing, kayaking, windsurfing or paddleboarding.
The island is next door to the small town of Emsworth, which is just off the A27 road that runs along the south coast between Portsmouth and Eastbourne. Travelling east along the A27, turn off at the A259 for Emsworth, then turn right onto Thorney Road. This leads straight onto the island. If you’re arriving on public transport, Emsworth Railway Station is only two stops from Havant and a couple of miles from the crossing over the Greet Deep onto the island. You can hop on the Coastliner 700 bus to the top of Thorney Road if you want to save your legs for a mile or so.
Whilst you wait... just think about being in your swimmers, the sun's out and the smiles are big