Thorney Island! A strange hypnotic walk


The South Downs and Thorney Island


LEWES TO SALTDEAN (linear) – 10 miles

In August I did two walks with the South Bank Group.

The first one was Lewes to Salt Dean, which felt like a fairly familiar walk, having done something similar the previous month. Still was good to get out in the South Downs a  moderate hilly walk with panoramic coastal views as we walked via the villages of Rodmell and Telscombe. We had a Pub lunch at the Abergavenny Arms, Rodmell and then down to the coast at Saltdean. Taking a bus back to Brighton Rail Station.


Rolling rollin rollin

Bales of Hay in Sussex


Oh how I want to wander …




The second walk  intrigued  me & so paid a visit to

                  Thorney island.

Bridge to nowhere in particular

Described in the Newsletter as:

“A Moderate walk (joint with North East London) following the coastal path around the island. Birds, boats and beaches. Pub and tea at end of walk at Emsworth. Picnic lunch on the beach.” I googled it briefly to find out where this place was , it was an Island somewhere in Sussex! I didn’t think they had islands in Sussex.!


A strangely hypnotic walk, the water to the left of us on this eight – 9 mile walk, walking straight most of the way with the water lapping to the left of us. It became trance like. Perhaps the salt in the water and the fresh air added to that feeling.

After a week in the office it’s always a bit strange to find myself somewhere else, especially out of london. Always a pleasure to escape.


The village of West Thorney lies on the east coast of the island and has been incorporated into a British Army military base which occupies the southern part of the island, south of Great Deep. A coastal public footpath, part of the Sussex Border Path encircles the island, but public access to the south of the island is limited to the footpath and the church of St Nicholas at West Thorney. Walkers using the footpath may be asked by intercom to provide their contact details (name, address and mobile phone number) at the security gates to access the southern part of the island. Walkers must keep to the footpath marked with the yellow posts. During the winter months, fortnightly shoots are held on Thorney for partridges, pheasants and snipe.

To the south of the island is Pilsey Island, now joined to Thorney Island by a sandbank, which is an RSPB nature reserve.

Your never quite sure what you are going to come across on a walk and that has to be one of the definite attractions. I prefer to pick a walk I like the sound of then just get up and go. I don’t read up much about it before hand or anything and once there if I find some aspects interesting I can read up about it when I return and perhaps revisit another time.

The Sussex South Downs is a great area for walking and I do hope to carry on exploring this area particular more so on the coast.

UNTIL THEN keep on keeping on

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