The Hayling Billy Trail – more than just a walk
The Hayling Billy railway let its last puff of steam out back in 1963 and for a long time since the track that had helped serve the community of Hayling so well for over a hundred years lay in ruin. The rails were torn up and the sleepers moved elsewhere.
What was left became unusable and the route soon became overgrown with the weeds and bramble in danger of leaving the legacy of “the Billy” as a muddy and impassable footnote of local history.
But the Billy was never forgotten.
Some people remembered and still loved the Billy.
It started around 1984 with a team of volunteers wishing to create a national cycleway and by virtue of a lot of dedication, determination and plain hard work their efforts eventually came to fruition.To build on their success and those of others over the years still more needed to be done. Recently, with the help and support of Havant Borough Council and other partners the Heritage Partnership has been formed to continue the goal of making the Hayling Billy Trail as good an experience for as many people as is possible. Whilst not all work is complete miles of the track is now fit for us all to enjoy a stroll along the shores of one of the country’s most beautiful harbours.
As you may imagine this is no ordinary walk. Each footstep has a history. Each yard has a memory and we are determined to bring as many as possible back to life.
The visitor will be able to connect to this website along the way to learn more and this site also devotes itself to the living memories of those who care to tell them.
So please enjoy your walk, bike ride or horse ride and if you have a story to tell please drop us a line.
Reviving memories – creating new ones
There’s something here for everyone and especially those of you who love history. Whether or not you are a railway enthusiast, engine lover, local historian or simply someone who wants to know more about the past, we have dedicated this section to those who just want to know more.
Please read more
WALKING RUNNING CYCLING RIDING WINDSURFING BIRD WATCHING PHOTOGRAPHING AND JUST CHILLING
The Hayling Billy Trail is not just for a great stroll along a wonderful coastline. Serious hikers will find the 5 mile trail fun too knowing they can burn around 500 calories taking the walk. More if you launch your surfboard into the harbour from the birthplace of windsurfing. The Trail is also a cycleway and riders and their horses are welcome too.
Find out more here
The scenery along the trail is second to none and the wildlife will really surprise you. The flora along the path is part of a managed scientific planting area. If you are a bird lover there is much to see all year round as the migration seasons constantly change the backdrop.
Again, find out more here
What is a QR code and how can I make it work?
You’ve probably seen them before and may have wondered what they do and how they work.
You will find some of these along the trail and if you have your mobile phone with you these little codes will help you bring the walk to life by sending you to a web page with more information.
find out more here>>
Welcome to the Hayling Billy Film Club – you choo choob
Thanks to the advent of YouTube and a number of talented amateur film-makers over the years, we have now compiled a number of terrific small films that record some of the travels the Hayling Billy took. With the kind permission of the owners you can now see some of these films on this site.
We also have clips from times gone by showing snippets of island life. Not to mention small video reminders of how Hayling is the home of windsurfing.
go to our film page now>>
And our Book Club is a must for all lovers of history
We have a number of local history books and publications about the railway so if you would like to know more please check them out in our Book Shop here >>>
Tired, Hungry or Thirsty?
There are some wonderful hostelries and taverns along the way. Check out our brief guide.
Click here to find out more>>