An explorer's guide to the islands of Britain

Distance: 24.7 km
Difficulty: Easy
Method: Cycling
Wow Factor: 7 out of 10

Key Facts

  • Location: Hampshire
  • Size: 3000 ha
  • Terrain: Roads and lanes
  • Access: Road bridge
  • Height gain: 79 metre
  • Map: OS Explorer OL8
  • Starting point: Car park at north end of island just after bridge (GR 720 039)
  • Accommodation/food:

    There are plenty of good stops for food and drink. Here’s a few of our favourites around the route:

    • Madhatters Tearoom – good for breakfast and lunch, very welcoming and serves good coffee.
    • The Maypole Inn – a lovely, friendly, traditional pub with great food. What more can we say.
    • Northney Farm Tearooms – this is a proper working farm where in addition to great home-made food you can buy fresh milk and eggs.
    • Salt Shack Cafe – great location on the north shore overlooking Northney Marina and Chichester Harbour. Try its BBQ’d breakfasts and enjoy its great vibe.
    • Meadow Farm Nursery Tea Rooms – love their tagline ‘our plants are grown in our glasshouse and our cakes are baked in our bakehouse’. Great tea and cakes.
  • Island Summary:

    Linked to the south coast at Havant by a road bridge, Hayling Island has all the attractions of a traditional seaside holiday yet has miles of unspoilt coastline and countryside. Its west coast is tranquil with views across the nature-filled Langstone Harbour and is easily walked or cycled along the Hayling Billy Trail. The south coast is the most built up area. Expect funfairs, kiss-me-quick and fish and chips. The south east corner is quieter though and home to the island’s vast shingle beach, a mecca for windsurfers which is unsurprising as the sport was invented on this island. Nearby, the grasslands of Sinah Common are stacked with military history. Most of the west coast is indented by silent creeks and is largely the preserve of sailing clubs, farmed land and nature.

  • Look out for:
    • BBQ breakfast at Salt Shack cafe
    • Birds galore in Langstone Harbour
    • Kite-surfing mecca on the south shore
    • Cycle the historic Hayling Billy Trail
  • Route description:

    The route uses the Hayling Billy Trail to travel down the tranquil west side of the island alongside the important nature reserve of Langstone Harbour. It then explores the south western tip with options to cross on the ferry to Portsea or continue around Hayling’s south shore along beach tracks (mountain/hybrid bikes), the sea front and the promenade. The route goes through the houses a bit then turns north on the busy main road before branching off along the idyllic Yew Tree Lane through farmland to rejoin the coast at Langstone Bridge. There are great views and seascapes throughout.

  • Getting there:

    Whatever direction you are coming from head for the A27/M27 South Coast road. Leave the A27 at the Havant/Hayling Island exit and head South on to the A3023 which takes you on to Hayling Island. Road access to Hayling Island is through a single road bridge on the A3023 (which can be busy during peak times, especially during the summer).

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Welcome new readers

Take a look around the site. Learn about islands you may never have heard of. Take up the islandeering challenge and find a pioneering route, or simply see what each island has to offer for a more chilled out visit. Go to ‘islands’ and find something that inspires you.


Fascinating factoids

Secret canoes, a Russian princess, ancient yews and a mysterious sea path

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Island overview

Home of kitesurfing, the Hayling Billy Trail, military history and an important nature reserve

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Coastal circular cycle route

Get on your bike to see the best of the island

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Watersports on Hayling

The birthplace of wind surfing, some of the best kitesurfing in the world and a busy sailing centre.

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Bird watching on Hayling

There's plenty to spot in Langstone Harbour

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Best food and drink on Hayling

BBQ breakfast, local food and friendly pubs

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