I have lived near this place for over 10 years.... and only recently visited it. No, I have no good reason why. It's beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous. There is a sandy/ pebbled beach and the sea was particularly stunning the day we were there. No, I haven't used a filter. The water really was that colour!
Hayling Island is in Hampshire, UK, between Portsmouth and Chichester. It is an actual island, with the only connection to the mainland being by a bridge- which can get incredibly congested in summer. Unfortunately, there is no other option- you just have to wait it out and enjoy the beautiful scenery as you sit in the traffic.
Hayling Island is full of beaches, boats and beautiful views, yet there is still lots to do- impressive given it's small size.
Obviously, the first thing I recommend is going to see the sea. There are loads of places to do this all around the island, but not many which can take a motorhome. Most of the big parking areas are on the south side of the Island, so be careful not to get yourself stuck down a little lane for no good reason!
• Ice Cream
No beach trip is complete without an ice cream and, like all good seaside resorts, there are HUNDREDS of ice cream shops and vans (not an official count! 😉 ) These are all over the place and you can't miss them. Not that you would want to....!
• Hayling Seaside Railway
This is a small train which runs from the Beachfront and funfair to Eastoke. It is a lovely way to spend some time, enjoying the views and relaxing a little. I believe dogs are allowed but don't quote me on that!
Talking of funfairs, Hayling has a 'typical' seaside one called Funland. There are rides, probably best aimed at 6-12 year olds but there are some options for smaller children and adults; just don't expect Alton Towers! Prices are fairly reasonable, but the arcade could become expensive if you let it! I believe an all day wristband with unlimited rides (not arcade) is only £15- great way to keep the kids entertained. There is parking right next door, which is only £4 for the day. Food is available inside- exactly what you would expect from a fun park.
Like any good seaside resort, Hayling Island has plenty of Cafes, Restaurants, Bars, Pubs and other eateries to keep you entertained for a while. We were recommended a little cafe for lunch in Beachlands Amusement Arcade on the seafront. It's a curious place- you walk in through the front doors of a rather tired looking arcade, and then it opens up into a lovely looking cafe. The food was pretty good, if a little limited for lunch choices and it had a nice ambiance. The biggest drawback was the constant noise of the arcade machines, which drove me a little crazy in the end, but that's just me!
If that doesn't appeal to you, just keep walking- you'll find somewhere you like not too far away!
• Golf at Beachlands Golf Course
This is a great little par 3 course, ideal for beginners. There's no snobbery, you can turn up in jeans or flip flops and you can hire clubs. You don't need a handicap, or even really know how to play before they let you hack your way around the course. It's on the seafront, so it's tricky when the wind blows- but that's part of the fun. SERIOUS GOLFERS- if you are the impatient sort, maybe give this one a miss. It can take a while to get around if it's busy and you get stuck behind an idiot like me who can't hit the ball straight no matter what the wind is doing! (sorry!)
This is a holiday resort, so have a holiday. It's a perfect place for a weekend or minibreak. Just far enough away from reality to recharge the batteries and soothe the soul. Yes, it's tacky in parts and yes, some bits are a little battered and need a lick of paint. Show me a seaside resort which doesn't. But Hayling Island has a lovely charm to it. It's possible to stay away from the crowds even in high summer if you want to, and get a little peace and quiet. It's your holiday- have it your way. 🙂
We stayed at Fleet Farm campsite. Click here for our review.