Around Emsworth Harbour

Explore changing tides and fortunes on this breezy walk along Chichester Harbour's foreshore between Emsworth and Langstone.




4.8 miles (7.8kms)

203ft (62m)

About the walk

The town still boasts shipwrights and chandleries, and fishing boats still work out of the harbour, but today it is more important as a yachting centre. If you stroll through the streets and by the harbour you can see the old tide mills that milled the grain from local farms, and admire the houses built by wealthy merchants. Savour the views across the harbour, which are best at low tide, especially during the winter months when the mudflats are a haven for thousands of waders and wildfowl, including curlew, redshank, dunlin, shelduck and mallard. Take your binoculars with you on this walk, as birdlife abounds along its length. In winter, at high tide, you may see diving ducks like goldeneye and red-breasted merganser in the harbour, while in the fields you are likely to spot brent geese feeding.

Isolated Warblington

All that remains of Warblington Castle (private) is a tall brick turret visible through the trees. Once an imposing fortified manor house, it was built by the Countess of Salisbury between 1513 and 1526. She was executed at the Tower of London in 1541 on the orders of Henry VIII, because of her disapproval of his marriage to her friend Catherine of Aragon. The isolated church here dates from the 9th century, when there was a monastery on the site, and is well worth closer inspection. The churchyard is full of interesting gravestones, several with fine carvings reflecting tragedies at sea. Note the ancient yew tree on the left as you enter the churchyard, which is estimated to be over 1,500 years old, and measures more than 26ft (8m) round.

Picturesque Langstone

As a result of its position at an important crossing point to Hayling Island and the abundant availability of fresh water from the Lymbourne stream, Langstone grew into a thriving harbour village. You will arrive at its seaward end, a delightful spot favoured by artists, complete with a pub, an old tide mill, windmill and the broad expanse of Langstone Harbour, with its tidal creeks, saltmarsh islands and mudflats. Much of this fragile landscape is now protected by a nature reserve.

Walk directions

Turn right out of the car park and walk down South Street past the Blue Bell pub to the Quay. Keep ahead to join the tarmac path that follows the causeway round the Mill Pond, adjacent to the main harbour. Pass a jetty on the left.

Pass beside Emsworth Sailing Club (on your left) and keep straight on to join a concrete path above the shoreline, with houses and gardens to your right. The track broadens into Western Parade. Go through a gap at the end, to stay on the coastal path. Pass a small parking area and continue on the tarmac path, which has become narrow again.

The path becomes gravelled as you near a grassy area at the entrance to Nore Barn Woods. Go past a metal barrier and ignore the foreshore path here (impassable at high tides). Keep ahead through the edge of the wood to a junction of paths. Go straight ahead through a kissing gate, ignoring the one to your right, and cross a stream. Beyond another kissing gate, keep to the field edge towards the ruined tower of Warblington Castle. Pass through three more kissing gates and then between cemeteries to reach a road.

Keep ahead through the metal kissing gate into Warblington churchyard. Pass the church on your right to reach the main gate. Turn left on exiting the main gate and turn right into Warblington cemetery. Follow the metalled path round to the left and soon bear right to a kissing gate into pasture. Bear diagonally left to a kissing gate on the harbour shore, and turn right along the sea-wall path. Your path soon drops down onto the foreshore (access may be difficult at exceptionally high tides). In 200yds (183m) rise up off the foreshore and join a metalled path leading past the mill pond, over a small footbridge and then past Langstone mill to reach the former smugglers’ haunt, The Royal Oak, on your right.

Relax on one of the benches on the seafront and absorb the view across the harbour to Hayling Island before retracing your steps back to Emsworth.

Additional information

Field-edge path, gravel or metalled shoreline paths, and short stretch along pebble foreshore

Foreshore and marshy coastline

Keep under control at all times

OS Explorer OL8 Chichester

Pay-and-display car park in South Street, Emsworth


Been on this walk?

Send us photos or a comment about this route.

Know a good walk?

Share your route with us.


Read our tips to look after yourself and the environment when following this walk.

Find out more

About the area

Discover Hampshire

Hampshire’s varied landscape of hills and heaths, downlands and forests, valleys and coast is without rival in southern England. Combine these varied landscapes and terrains with secluded and idyllic villages, complete with thatched and timber-framed cottages and Norman churches, elegant Georgian market towns, historic ports and cities, restored canals and ancient abbeys, forts and castles, and you have a county that is paradise for lovers of the great outdoors.

If you’re a walker, stride out across the high, rolling, chalk downland of the north Hampshire ‘highlands’ with far-reaching views, walk through steep, beech-clad ‘hangers’ close to the Sussex border. Or perhaps take a gentler stroll and meander along peaceful paths through unspoilt river valleys, etched by the sparkling trout streams of the Test, Itchen, Avon and Meon. Alternatively, wander across lonely salt marshes and beside fascinating coastal inlets or, perhaps, explore the beautiful medieval forest and heathland of the New Forest, the jewel in Hampshire’s crown.

Why choose Rated Trips?

Your trusted guide to rated places across the UK
icon example
The best coverage

Discover more than 15,000 professionally rated places to stay, eat and visit from across the UK and Ireland.

icon example
Quality assured

Choose a place to stay safe in the knowledge that it has been expertly assessed by trained assessors.

icon example
Plan your next trip

Search by location or the type of place you're visiting to find your next ideal holiday experience.

icon example
Travel inspiration

Read our articles, city guides and recommended things to do for inspiration. We're here to help you explore the UK.