|Wandering Through the Sand Dunes|
|Wittering Beach Huts|
|Railway Carriage Home|
The early promise of the walk evaporated very quickly after West Wittering Beach. From here it was getting on for six miles of the dullest stretch of coast I have ever had the misfortune of walking. Take my advice, if you are not a completist, do the section around West Wittering as a circular walk and then skip the rest of the coastline until you get to Selsey. East Wittering and Bracklesham were very dull places and the coast was completely dominated by a great long line of mostly characterless houses, which I am sure are fabulous to live in as they all have wonderful sea views and some have private beaches. For those of us that do not live there however, they do nothing for the appeal of the place. Even beyond the houses, the walk is no better as it follows a featureless shingle bank all the way to Selsey. I'm afraid that by the time I got to Selsey I had had enough shingle for one day and contemplated getting the bus back to Sidlesham. There were a few things that kept me going; one was the tower of Cakeham Manor just outside East Wittering, some houses that had been built up from a starting point of a railway carriage and was Medmerry Windmill just outside Selsey itself.
|Selsey Lifeboat Station|
Losing the daylight now was a bit annoying as the next section rekindled my enthusiasm for the day and made me wish that I hadn't wasted so much time on that dratted shingle! The way ahead entered the world of Pagham Harbour, kind of a Chichester Harbour in miniature. The old familiar sounds of seabirds were with me once again and the whole place had a rather golden light about it now that the sun was fading. I vowed to come this way again when I have better light and more time. Maybe the next section of this walk shoudl be from Selsey to Bognor rather than Sidlesham to Littlehampton as I have planned.
It wasn't all seabirds, as I took the trouble to dive in and have a look at St Wilfred's Chapel in Church Norton. This is clearly the remnants of a much larger church and allegedly the rest of it was transported to Selsey in the 1860s as a ready made answer to the spiritual needs of the burgeoning population there. By contrast St Wilfred's stands in a very large graveyard but not apparently near any settlement. Next door are the earthworks of what was once a Norman Castle, but now only imagination (or the information board) can help picture what it once looked like. I couldn't hang around too long unfortunately for now the sun was getting quite low and I wanted to reclaim my car at Sidlesham, about a mile and a half away.
|St Wilfred's Chapel|