Saturday February 19th 2005
East Preston to Worthing
Today’s walk was somewhat of an impulse, springing from Jen coming home for the weekend from Cambridge, Glyn and his dad working in the house to fit a loft ladder and a joint desperation to see the sea.
The weather forecast was fine though cold with bright sun and although a northerly wind was promised we decided to go. Guildford station was almost completely closed because of engineering work and we were forced to catch replacement buses instead of trains part of the way but that just added to the fun.
We left Ash at 7.38 and after three changes of train and bus arrived back at Angmering station at 10.10. To save time we had hoped to take a taxi to the seafront but Angmering is such a small place, there were none to be seen so we walked down to the seafront. We found the place at which we had stopped last summer, took the traditional before photo and set off along the greensward. We were sheltered from the wind by the high walls of the houses bordering it. At the end of the grass we wiggled through a narrow opening (no horses or quad bikes allowed) and then faced a short walk along shingle past a
boatyard. Soon we reached a gate onto another greensward, this one belonging to the West Kingston estate. More large, expensive houses bordered the green and we met a variety of dog walkers, many of whom stopped for a few words. Further on we could hear a dog barking frantically and soon we could see him racing up and down and jumping at the wall of a particularly large mansion. His owner explained that she had accidentally thrown his ball into the garden of the house and was far too intimidated to go and ask for it back. She persuaded him to leave the hunt and walk home with her, but with difficulty.
All the while the sea lay away to our right, pounding onto the shore in a very dramatic fashion but with the wind in the North West none of the usual sea smells.
At the end of the West Kingston Estate we opened a proper gate, crossed a track and then went through another gate onto the greensward of Kingston Gorse Estate. At the end of this we greensward left the kind grass behind and picked up tarmac all the way into Worthing.
Initially the path was a narrow one running along the top of the beach past the back gates of slightly more ordinary houses with lower walls. One had a rather smart weather vane by the gate.
Suddenly the houses stopped the although the path continued alongside a main road on the other side of which huge expanse of open grass with amazing views north to the South Downs. It was obviously used by lots of families as open space to run the children around and tire out the dogs. Unfortunately the wind was coming straight off the Downs, so it was back on with the woolly hats and gloves
When this path ended the beach widened suddenly and became very busy. There was a café and a car park and lots of people. We pressed onwards, ignoring the temptation of an ice-cream from the café and soon came to the beginning of Worthing town and a proper promenade. It was lined with beautiful houses and blocks of flats, some old and attractive, others fairly hideous. Soon the flats gave way to hotels and the odd restaurant and all of a sudden we were there. Our goal for the day was to reach Worthing Pier and we had arrived.
We ate lunch in The Lido, a rather grotty, greasy lunch, but we were hungry and needed to eat. The Lido looked out to sea and we enjoyed the spectacular views although the sun coming in the window was almost too hot. After lunch we found a postcard shop and succumbed to the temptation of a windmill which blew in the back of Jen’s rucksack all the way home.
We knew that the journey home was going to be slow so we decided to head off when lunch was over. It was still early but we were very pleased to have done a winter walk, albeit a short one and delighted to have been back by the sea again.
The journey was slow. We left Worthing on the 14.48 train and rolled into Ash at 17.45, having travelled on two trains and two buses. However the bus sections added to the fun and we felt we had managed a fantastic day out.
East Preston 10.40 a.m.
Worthing Pier 1.15p.m.
2 hours 35 mins.