A walk on the Isle of Wight - 2017

In the mists of time, Mark said he would organise a walk during the summer on the Isle of Wight. No one can remember the auspicious occasion or when this statement was uttered. It was probably some time in the latter part of the last century. Well we did the first one in 2011 and now we have planned a sixth one.

There's a phone call on Monday evening, 3rd July, to say that Mark has a raging fever and has taken to his bed and will have to call off the walk in the morning.  This does not please Janet who was hoping for a day's peace.  How will Mark get his meals while in his sick bed?  Anyway on the Tuesday morning, just after 8:30am, Graham picks up Sarah and they drive to the Park and Ride at Tipnor.  The car is parked and £4 inserted into the machine.  We make our way into the teminal building.  When the bus arrives Superwoman discovers that her powers of walking through glass windows have suddenly disappeared.  An Ouch! is followed by much laughter from Superwoman.  The bus drops us at the new bus terminal at the Hard. 

We walk towards the ferry and, as we approach it, two men ask if we are getting on the ferry which is about to depart.  Graham had thought of catching the 9:40am ferry but later discovered it only runs on Bank Holidays.  We hastily buy return tickets to Brading and embark.  The journey to Ryde is on a calm sea and occupied by some bridge bidding tests. 

We board the waiting train and at Brading we alight.  We walk along the road and Graham thinks he knows were the crossing over the railway line is.  He doesn't.  It is opposite the house where they are groowing lots of scrap cars and vans.  We make our way along the railway to where Quay Street ends as we want to walk along the Bembridge Trail.  Here we are passed by a man in his very speedy Twizy.  It's Renault's electrc version of a Smart car.  We tell the man we are planning to walk to the Pointer Inn at Newchurch and he thinks it will takes us more than an hour and a half.  

It's about 10:15am. We walk up Quay Street, turn right and cross the road.  There are many finger posts on the Isle of Wight but it appears they all have footpath numbers and not trail names.  We walk through a bungalow estate and into a close where Graham is told he is going the wrong way.  At the end of the close we join Doctors Lane and meet a gentlemen walking his black cocker spaniel.  He's taking a two week sabbatical before becoming a driving instructor in Portsmouth.  He says there are a lot of uncountable illegal immigrants on the island.  He was a policeman in London before he retired.  At the end of the lane he tells us where we can pick up the Bembridge Trail, just past the entrance to Nunwell House (someone mentions 'Monkill').  We miss the entrance to the trail and continue walking up West Lane to New Farm.  At the farm we espy a man working in one of the many barns.  Outside is a very large artificial flower display.  He directs us to a gate and an oak tree in the middle of a field where we can join the Bembridge Trail.  We make our way to the tree and continue over the field to Nunwell Farm.  We take the track to the west of the farm.  By the side of the track is a toilet van advertising Yurts.  We start to climb up to the ridge of Brading Down. An open-topped double-decker tourist bus stops on the ridge road to admire the view.  Graham gets puffed but Superwoman strides on. On the climb we skirt around a field of cereal. Is it wheat or is it barley?  We stop to admire the view back across the Solent.  It is magnificent.  We reach the road and turn left.  After a short distance we cross the road and enter a narrow path.  It descends to Alverstone.  

At Alverstone we ask a lady the way to the Pointer Inn at Newchurch (more...).  We try and follow her instructions.  We turn right off the road on to a path signposted to Newchurch.  We walk along the side of a well-tended garden with ducks and a diversion of the River Yar. We walk by the Yar and reach a road.  We meet a man following a circular walk from Sandown Station. We cross the road following the sign to Newchurch and walk up a slight incline to the edge of a copse.  There is a fork in the path.  We take the wrong one.  We should have taken the right path.  Anyway we walk through the copse and end up at a farmyard on Hill Farm.  We consult the map and take the footpath to Newchurch.  We reach an area of sandy paths and young trees.  We meet a man with a very large bulldog.  He called it a donkey.  The man gives us directions to the Pointer Inn.  We can hear children's voices coming from the village school. We walk through Martins' Wood, planted in 2001, across a field and into the garden of the Pointer Inn. It is about 12:45pm.  We order drinks and food and sit in the shade outside.  Sarah declares her piece of hake with a crab and potato salad to be the best fish dish she has ever had.  Graham is very happy with his ham, brie and cranberry sauce sandwich, though he leaves most of the large chips.  After finishing a liquid refill we leave the pub. It's about 2pm. The sun is now shining brightly so Graham dons his hat.  

We set off down the High Street and turn into Palmers Lane.  We descend down the narrow lane and then come to Skinners Hill. It's a slow climb up the hill and then onwards along the narrow lane.  At a crossroads we turn off right on to Burnt House Lane, a narrow unpaved track but wide enough for vehicles to travell along as we are to discover.  We take in the views of Brading Down on our left and enter the footpath at the end of the lane.  Eventually we come to the edge of Sandown and Shanklin Golf Course.  We stop to watch a ladies four ball putt out their balls.  We meet another couple doing the same circular walk from Sandown Station that the man we met before lunch was doing.  We walk along the track to the entrance to the golf club house and don't stop for refreshments.  We walk by the side of a school.  It has extemely good outdoor sports facilites.  Sarah interviews one of the pupils. It is Sandown Bay Academy and is managed by the Academy Enterprise Trust.  According to this report and the pupil it is not doing too well.  We arrive at Sandown Station and the platforms are full of school children many with mini scooters.

We board the train, someone has a zizz, and we arrive at Ryde Pier Head.  We walk to the ferry and a man asks us if we would like to board the ferry about to depart.  Someone up there has been shining on us for the second time today.  After docking at Portsmouth we walk to the bus terminal and the Park and Ride bus arrives immediately. There is no need for Superwoman to test to see if her ability to walk through glass has returned.  We pick up the car and drive to Wickham where we have a cup of tea and a bowl of ice-cream.  Graham returns home, has a large cold beer and has his first zizz.           

Click here for the photos taken and here for where they were taken.

The walk