7: Milford-on-Sea to Lymington

7 miles

This section is the beginning of the Solent Way coast path. Early on the path is briefly on the Hurst Spit, the long shingle bank which has recently been strengthened following the loss of 150,000 tons of shingle after a storm in 1989. It is an extra three mile round walk to the castle at the end and back. In 1866 William Morris declined to undertake the trek.

After Keyhaven there is a five mile twisting sea wall along lonely marshes where from at least 1191 to 1865 the salt industry maintained up to 200 pans. Sea water caught in ponds at high tide was allowed to partially evaporate in the sun before the brine was piped by wind pumps into boiling houses heated by coal. The last saltern closed after the railways started transporting salt from Cheshire. The few people found here today, apart from walkers, are bird watchers and locals digging for bait.

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