Thursday 3 November 2016

Walking the Titchfield Canal Path.

The Titchfield Canal path runs from the Solent at Meon Shore, near Hill Head, to the Village of Titchfield where there is an old Mill Building, now a restaurant.

 Titchfield Mill on the A27.

The Converted Mill Buildings

The Canal was used to take provisions to the Village and the Mill and more importantly to Place House, now known as Titchfield Abbey

Titchfield Abbey

The Canal is said to be 2 miles long but the walk from our home was 2.9miles each way.

Titchfield Canal Self Guided Walk

 The Route of the Old Canal 

 The Full Visitor's Information Board

The Seal Lock was single so could only be opened at High Tide. The Canal Water depth was maintained from the River Meon which runs alongside the Canal Path at the Titchfield end.
Goods had to be transhipped to smaller boats at the sea end because the canal was narrow and shallow and constantly silted up from the River silt.

Both of these notices are located alongside of the Old Sea Lock which is now a Road Bridge.
Once the Canal became disused, the Bridge was built where the Lock had previously existed.

 Taken from the Titchfield Side, the Canal contains Stagnant Water covered in Duckweed

 Taken from Google Streetview this busy lane has become a rush hour Rat Run 

The Approach from Hill Head with the Seaward Basin to the left.

The Old Seaward Waiting Basin is now a wooded marsh and the sea exit is now a large shingle bank which contains a village of Holiday homes alongside the Beach..

 It was a gorgeous day as we set out along the shore from home. Another calm, almost mirror like sea.

Once on the Path it felt much like any other woodland walk. 
Where is the Canal?
Much of this end is overgrown and appears to have no water in it.

A little further along and what remains of the Canal appears on the left hand side.

There is little or no movement in the water and this stretch is covered in Duckweed.

Suddenly all become clear. 
Sometime in the past, probably when the Road Bridge replaced the Lock, the Canal flow was diverted via a culvert to the opposite side of the Footpath.

The diverted Canal Flow. 
In the distance we can hear the sound of water flowing over a weir.

All of the land to the right of the footpath, from the Solent almost all the way to Titchfield is part of the Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve which straddles the Estuary of the River Meon.

We soon come across one of the five bridges which cross the Canal. 4This one is called the Hammond Bridge for some reason? All of these bridges were installed after the Canal becane disused and were for Farm Access purposes.

From the Opposite Side of the Bridge.

Could that be one of those 'What is he taking now' looks?

The next bridge along the path is a more utilitarian Steel Girder Bridge, unused, judging by the Bushes growing across the access.

Evidence of recent Bank Repair using bundles of hazel staves.

Later along the path we meet teams from both The Environment Agency and from the Nature Reserve all busy clearing weeds and repairing the bank.

Looking back towards Hill Head across the expanse of the reserve which is mostly marshland.

Looking north towards Titchfield. Just look at that beautiful November Sky.

Part of the Bank Refurbishment is the provision of this set of steps presumably to allow animals to enter or exit the water?

Digby takes the opportunity to taste the water which seems to be highly acceptable.

Even closer to Titchfield we come across the next of the Bridges, this time on a section of Tarmaced Roadway.
A similar photo to this one was recently the subject of a 'Facebook' discussion about whether this Bridge was actually at 'The Haven' or on 'The Canal Path' at all?

Here we can see more refurbishment and another set of steps down to water level.

The view down canal from on the Bridge.

The other side of the bridge. 

Some of the Homes of Titchfield come into view behind this field of Horses. We are nearly there.

Looking back across the sanctuary we can see one of the places where the river has swollen to form a lake where earlier we saw a Swan and a flock of Gulls swimming along. 

Track evidence on some of the Soft Surfaces would suggest that these rules are not adhered to.

We finally arrive at Bridge Street Titchfield and the Road Bridge looking downstream.

On the other side of the road the path and canal continue on towards the Mill.
At this point my Camera Battery expires. 

The aerial map fo Titchfield showing the Canal and Path going south to north from the bottom right hand corner of the map. 

 In order to complete this photoblog I have cribbed the next few photos from Google Streetview using the 'Snipping Tool' downloaded from Microsoft. It at least allows me to complete our route into Titchfield. 

 Bridge Street curves around to the right into the narrower South Street.

As usual, the small square is crowded with parked vehicles including a large Co-operative Stores Lorry spoiling the views (just visible in the Photo above). 

I manage to cut the out of this photo of  the said to be haunted, Bugle Hotel.

Haunted Southampton - The Bugle Investigation Report

The hotel is dog friendly, where we were able to take Digby and obtain a light lunch and coffee before setting off back down the path again to Hill Head and home.

Running west off of the square is even narrower Church Street.

It was 2.25pm when we approached the Beautiful and Ancient St Peter Church parts of which date back to seventh century Saxon times. 

It was 4.30pm when the Google Street View Team were in the same spot. 

After taking a stroll around St Peters beautifully tended Church Garden, we cross a small wooden footbridge which brings us back onto the Canal Path returning to Bridge Street here again.

With no more photos available we return home continuing along the Canalside.

I hope that you enjoyed the visit with us.

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