Langstone Harbour is an inlet of the English Channel, sandwiched between Portsea Island to the south and west, Hayling Island to the south and east, and Langstone to the north.
Together with Chichester Harbour, which is at the other (eastern) side of Hayling Island, it is designated as a Special Protection Area for wildlife. Both are important recreational and conservation areas as well as supporting commercial fishing and shipping. The eastern boundary with Chichester Harbour is defined by a historic causeway known as the wade way, which was originally the only crossing between Hayling Island and the mainland. It is now impassable, having been cut in two by a deep channel for the Portsmouth and Arundel Canal in the 1820s.
The harbour is home to an extensive range of marine and bird life. Fifty species of fish have been found in the harbour and the harbour’s bird life is even richer, hosting a wide range of species, some of which are represented by over 10,000 individuals. This is in a large part due to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds acquiring harbour’s islands and a number of tidal areas in 1978 and turning them into bird sanctuaries. It’s no surprise the harbour has become a very popular spot for bird watchers. Seals occasionally appear in the harbour in winter.
A number of the organisations working around Langstone Harbour hold environmental events throughout the year, including bird watching sessions at Farlington Marshes with the Hampshire Wildlife Trust and guided walks with the Friends of Langstone Harbour.
The harbour is home for charter fishing boats and commercial fishermen, and hosts two commercial aggregate wharves, but you can also enjoy the natural tranquillity of the unspoilt harbour environment, whether under sail or power. At Langstone Harbour you will find clubs for many recreational activities, including sailing, canoeing, windsurfing, cruising, fishing, jetskiing, waterskiing and diving.
It is now possible to walk around the entire perimeter of Langstone Harbour, following the “Langstone Harbour Waterside Walk”. Waymarkers clearly mark the 14 mile route, which can be completed in its entirety in 5 or 6 hours, depending on your pace. The Waterside Walk will lead you through many of the harbour’s nature reserves, as well as showing you parts of Langstone Harbour’s more industrial side. There are good public transport links around the harbour, so it is also possible to walk just a section. Completing the circuit will require the use of the Hayling Ferry, which in a few minutes will carry you across the harbour mouth.