Loop Walk to Fishbourne, 26th March

At 10 o’clock nearly 20 CYC members set their feet to the paths edging Chichester harbour on this sunny morning. The tide had gone out so the birds were mud-larking here and there, calling along the shore and playing in the adjoining fields.  The paths were dry with only a few deep mud spots, so we made good progress approaching Dell Quay walking on the shoreline.

After a few moments rest we continued past the Dell Quay jetty, Sophie’s hut and the boatyard, meeting few walkers from the opposite direction. Past the Apuldram water treatment outfall we entered the labyrinth of footpaths in Fishbourne marshes. Groups of parents and children had just completed the annual Fishbourne ‘duck race’ (plastic ducks decorated by children), racing downstream to Fishbourne meadows.

It was now past 11 o’clock but both picturesque pubs on the Main Road – the Bull’s Head Inn and the Woolpack Inn – were not open.  We pressed on through the loop footpaths until we could rest and refresh at the St Peter & St Mary churchyard. Sunshine and slight breezes welcomed our return walk at noon.

Our route took us past the Fishbourne Nature Reserve walking trails and across the tiny river Lavant to visit the pretty Church of St Mary the Virgin, Apuldram (unfortunately locked). Then along the busy Apuldram Lane for a while until we joined Dell Quay Road, where the paved farm road became a footpath again through the woods.  Soon we reached Chichester Marina, and were into CYC just in time for our one o’clock table reservation.

My thanks to everyone who came on the walk and whose many suggestions guided us through the pathways.  We all had a great time with lots of conversation and look forward to next winter season CYC ramblers.

Roland Saam