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“Great Walk for a Sunny Day”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Thorney Island

Thorney Island
Ranked #24 of 63 things to do in Chichester
Attraction details
Banbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Great Walk for a Sunny Day”
Reviewed 27 July 2013

My Wife & I did the perimeter walk of Thorney Island (you can't go inland as is an Army Base). You can walk on the some of the beaches whilst the tide is out, and is a very good place to do Yacht watching. I would recommend looking at the churchyard, just about all the WW2 burials were guys in their early 20s, and some of the later ones are still quite poignant. We didn't see many birds, even at the RSPB reserve at the southern tip (may have been too windy for them!) but loads of butterflies around. Slight excitement when it came to leaving the island as the buzzer wasn't working on the gate to be let out (the Army control access) but there was a phone number we could ring thankfully, or we would have had to walk back around the island again! We started just after low tide, and by the time we got back to the car park it was high tide so watched the swimmers/canoeists etc. for a bit before leaving. Very pleasant day.

Visited July 2013
3 Thank RDJWilson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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37 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
42 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Unexpected find”
Reviewed 11 December 2012

Parked in Thornham Marina, Prinsted and walked along the public footpath to the sea wall walk (passing two ponies who had been tethered and left with no water or food - subsequently reported to the RSPCA). The scenery was great and there was hardly anyone about. However, the main bonus was the little church were we found very interesting and moving war graves which we had no idea about. We didn't do the full round the island walk but will defo return to do it.

Visited December 2012
4 Thank LHM_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amersham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
53 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“An interesting walk.”
Reviewed 19 April 2012

We walked the coast of Thorney Island on a sunny but very windy day. The island itself is MOD so you have to go through a barrier and use the intercom to gain access. We weren't asked for any details, but there are surveillance cameras recording who goes in and out. Once through the barrier you are not allowed to stray inland off the foot path.

The walk follows the sea wall all the way round the island. It is very exposed most of the way and though it was sunny the wind made it very cold. Not a walk to do in bad weather. The path affords great views accross Chichester Harbour and from various points one can see accross to East Head and Hayling Island. The footpath provides the only access the RSPB reserve at Pilsey Island. There is a hide, but we found it in a rather unpleasant state, full of litter and well used by the birds! Check the tide times before you walk - the huge expanse of Pilsey Sands is completely under water at High TIde. There are low-water and high-water footpaths.

St Nicholas's chapel provides the one bit of shelter on the walk. We enjoyed looking round the church and welcomed a break from the wind. There are benches at various points on the walk.

In short - highly recommened on a dry day! Take stout shoes, water/wind proofs, food, water and binocculars.

Visited September 2011
6 Thank Miss_Elspeth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rowlands Castle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Not just the one starting point”
Reviewed 30 January 2012

In reply to the previous review and to assist others, the best thing to start with on any walk or travelling around is with a map.

The OS Chichester and the Downs is one but the (West Sussex) County Council have an online footpath map that might be worth looking at before setting out.

The almost Circular Walk of Thorney Island is 9 miles on flat ground, although some paths are the subject of coastal erosion, you can start it from Emsworth or from the limited on on car parking at Prinsted. You could leave a car at each end, or pick up the Coastliner 700 service or add a couple of miles to your walk on the pavement of the A259.

Whichever way you start it you will soon be on MoD land and have to go through 2 onward and outward security checkpoints where they ask you for a name and address which you repeat on the outward route and they know you are clear.

This is fine all purpose anytime walk, very good on a clear, cold day especially for birdwatching at the far tip of the island, at low tice you can see seals basking. The Church (which you can visit by the Sailing Club on the East Side) has graves of Battle of Britain casualites, includinf German fliers - Thormey Island was for many years an RAF station but is now the home of part of the British Army.

Visited January 2012
12 Thank sergeantyork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dorset, England.
Level Contributor
139 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
“Start from Emsworth if you want to walk here”
Reviewed 2 November 2011

We didn't know this and drove on to Thorney Island via it's single entry road. After a few minutes we came to the MOD base with a tantalising view of lakes beyond the gates. We turned around and left. Subsequently discovered that there is a shoreline walk, but you have to start from the centre of Emsworth. More obvious tourist info at the entrance to the island road would be helpful.

Visited October 2011
9 Thank Sooobie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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