I see the entrance to Shoreham Harbour and the lighthouse that marks the bifurcation of the harbour area, alongside a big, new lifeboat station.
To the east, the harbour has deep water and I see large ships moored, against the backdrop of Shoreham Power Station. To the west, the water is shallow and is only suitable for small pleasure ships, before it merges with the mouth of the River Adur.
I reach Shoreham itself and the scenery undergoes a dramatic transformation. Gone are the industrial units and yards. Here are pleasant houses, shops and a fun fair by the water. And here is the narrow pedestrian bridge leading over the water to the spit of land that is Shoreham-by-Sea.
The bridge is busy – with cyclists, walkers, shoppers, families. It has an interesting construction. The middle section sits on rails and can be moved back to allow taller ships to pass through the channel.
I walk through the housing estates of Shoreham-by-Sea and reach the beach.
The wind is picking up and there are kite-surfers out on the sea. I stop and watch. Remembering the 30ft high leaps I witnessed at Camber Sands, I am disappointed not to see any huge jumps into the air today. Maybe the wind is not strong enough.
In the distant haze, across the sea to the east, I can make out the white cliffs around Cuckmere Haven and, just visible, the Seven Sisters beyond.
I begin walking westward.
I decide not to try to walk across beach – deep shingle – too uncomfortable and tiring. (I am getting a little bored with shingle beach, I must confess.) So I walk on the tarmac path, along the shore, separated from the sea by rows of beach huts.
To my right is the town of Lancing and a waterway called Widewater Lagoon. This is a saline lagoon, formed by sea water filtering through the shingle bank and topped up by rain water. There are some fine houses lining the other side of the lagoon. This must be a lovely area to live.
A notice board tells me the lagoon was in danger of ‘dying’. Dry summers and natural evaporation had led to high levels of saline in the water and the death of many species. The lagoons are now artificially topped up with fresh sea water, if necessary, to create a less hostile environment.
The efforts appear to have paid off. The lagoon is very attractive. I see a heron and a couple of egrets, along with all the usual types of gulls.
I approach Worthing. There are pretty terraces of houses, a nice wide beach, boats drawn up on the shingle and a decent pier. What a nice town!
A crowd has gathered on the promenade by the pier. There is something going on. Morris dancing! And women Morris dancers too. There is enthusiastic twirling of handkerchiefs and banging of sticks. When they’ve finished, without injury, we all cheer.
The Morris Dancers move a little further down the promenade and start another dance.
I pop into the Lido for a drink and lunch. There is a cafe overlooking the sea. The food is very cheap, but it all seems a bit run down and the service is poor. When I arrive, there is a table with some ‘special’ people, presumably on an outing to the seaside. Their carers are very young and don’t expend any effort on entertaining or talking to their charges. They just sit and drink soft drinks, talking among themselves, marking time. The cafe is very hot. When I leave, the group is still there. I wonder how long they stay sitting in that stuffy cafe?
I walk eastwards, heading along the Worthing promenade towards a place called Ferring. I pass a children’s play area and come to a place where a garden has been created on the vegetated shingle bank – the Waterwise Garden.
As well as plants, there are constructions of carved wood and stone. Set among shingle stones, there is a tranquil, Japanese type feel to the garden. I like it very much and stop here for a drink and snack.
I am walking into the sun and further photography becomes difficult. I am getting near to the end of the promenade, and the end of Worthing, now.
I reach an area where there are people kitesurfing. The wind is strong and I see some great jumps. A group of photographers stand on an outcrop of rock. The kitesurfers head out to sea, turn, and come roaring in towards the rocks, leaping into the air as they come closer – creating great shots for the waiting photographers. Just beside the beach is a little cafe and people are eating and drinking in the sunshine, while watching the kitesurfers. Marvellous.
Ferring is separated from Worthing by an area of open land. There are many people out, enjoying a walk on this Saturday afternoon. I walk along a lane, close to the sea, passing behind houses and then along a shingle shore. Tired, but happy, I turn inland and find a stone to sit on, while I wait for my husband to pick me up.
This has been a great day of walking. Miles = 10