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This Week's Walks - Archive

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This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

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Friday, 7 July 2017

Isle of Wight weekend

Four SWC walkers are going to the Isle of Wight, Friday 7 July to Sunday 9 July.  Others are welcome to join them.

Accommodation: We are booked into an AirBnB in Shanklin. There are lots of B&Bs in Shanklin, see

The walks:

Friday - from Shanklin, up to St Boniface Down and into Ventnor.

Saturday - coastal path from Chale around southern point of island and on to Ventnor (will catch a bus to Chale).

Sunday - coastal path heading towards Ryde.

For full details of walks including bus times, starting point etc, email SylviacumminsATaol.DOTcom.

Transport: 8.30am Friday 7 July Waterloo via Portsmouth/ Ryde. arrives Shanklin 11.13am: £45.60 return. I can't see a discount for network rail card holders for later trains but may be I've overlooked something. Will check this out.


sylvia said...

Isle of Wight trip 7th to 9th July 2017
Friday 7th July We Love to Go A’Shanklin (aka Shanklin Circular)
Five arrived at Shanklin on a delayed train and dashed down to the sunny beach for lunch and swim. Lovely yellow sand and gently shelving beach – irresistible. It was great to cool off before contemplating the afternoon’s challenge: a walk up to St Boniface Down via Bonchurch. We picked up a sixth walker on the way who came a later train somewhat less delayed and had a quick look around for a genuine ‘Isle of Wight’ ice cream but no luck yet. We set off towards Bonchurch passing through Luccombe and tried to get to the secluded beach at Luccombe Bay, ignoring ‘this path is closed due to coastal erosion’ sign. We persisted through an overgrown path which got pretty impenetrable for some distance and decided enough was enough and retreated. Went on through the maze of paths on the thickly wooded Undercliff with lots of delights on the way: Dunnose Magna with its tempting array of homemade cakes and pretty gardens, also, trees in fantastic shapes, beguiling paths, no red squirrels though. We climbed endless steps up the Devil’s Chimney, a rock formation part adapted part by man part by nature, past another tea stop (yes, unbelievable, we kept going past them!). We reached the main road but dipped back immediately into the picturesque village of Bonchurch, one time home of Dickens, Swinburne, Stacpoole, etc etc plus the sweetest little church rebuilt 1070 (that’s not a misprint), long village pond inhabited by fish and terrapins. We climbed up more endless steps and a steep slope through a tribe of feral goats and on the top of St Boniface Down, the highest point on the Isle of Wight (but hold that thought). We had splendid views back down over Ventnor and beyond, and more splendour to come as we turned inland along a ridge atop of Shanklin Down and saw a lovely arable landscape rolled out in front of us. We aimed to join the Worsley Trail (some doubt was expressed about its existence, understandably, but it is on the map) then turn eastwards but we probably overshot this and went a bit further than intended, eventually finding our way down through fields to the inland outskirts of Shanklin. Morgan’s restaurant on the High Street – very good, nice fish, as they say.

sylvia said...

Saturday 8th July Chale to Ventnor
Early morning swim for two before the walk – hats off to you! Met up with two more walkers who arrived late Friday on the bus to Ventnor, then we caught a second bus to Chale , start of our coastal walk. Popped into Chale Church where we learnt of an interesting connection with Hungary’s first prime minister (details on application). Went on the coast path and sampled IoW ice cream at kiosk (yay!) and then did first diversion up to St Catherine’s oratory on St Catherine’s Hill (highest point on island, hmm) where splendid views were all around, clear to Tennyson Down and the Needles. Back down hill and further along the coastal path, full of beautiful wild flowers including pyramidal orchids (at their fading stage) and butterflies (marbled whites etc). We then set out on second diversion: a secluded and hard to find beach known only to the cognoscenti (details on application). It was down, down, down a mysterious path through undergrowth, past a pond (an enormous golden ringed dragonfly seen here) along more open paths made possible by planks, down a scrambly bit to beach. Is this the best beach ever for the keen swimmer? Smooth golden shingle, crystal clear water, idyllic surroundings. Did I mention the sunshine? Afterwards we went up again and on to the Buddle Inn for a late lunch, very nice. Followed the coastal path where it takes an inland route past Niton along field edges above St Lawrence. We descended past rather attractive Victorian villas made of the distinctive local stone, pale yellow, carried on along cliff top passed a series of little bays (drinks/ice cream at Steep Hill Cove but tide a bit far out for swimming, too rocky) and past Ventnor Botanical Gardens and on into Ventnor – swimming again – and on into vibrant Ventnor. Some stayed for a meal (I heard the seafood linguine was excellent) and some returned to Shanklin for a fish supper at the Hungry Haddock (or was it the Happy Haddock?) A beach walk in full moonlight for some (the photos look good). We said sad goodbyes to two who were returning in the morning.

sylvia said...

Sunday 9th July Shanklin to Bembridge
Another sunny day. We chose to walk on the seaside path past the various water activities, past the tempting dinosaur crazy golf, but not past the early morning cream tea/coffee options. Went on through Sandown and had a swimming stop at the far end by Yaverland. Followed gradual climb up to the top of Culver Cliff, splendid views again across the sweeping Sandown Bay, excellent lunch at the Coastguards Inn. We wound our way down to Whitecliff Bay for another typical seaside scene, small scale, and another swim, and another ice cream (you get the picture). Onwards to Bembridge some rather fancy big houses, a striking looking life boat pier (did we have more ice cream? I lose count). Reached Bembridge Harbour but disappointing refreshment opportunities here and thoughts of our booked train home called so we bought a ticket to Ryde on the number 8 bus and arrived in time for tea and cake in the Royal Hotel, some Georgian elegance still evident within and without. One walker opted for a lifetime wish of a trip on a Hovercraft, the rest walked on the pier to the ferry head with rumours that the trains from Portsmouth were cancelled. Bad new – yes they were. Good news – only cancelled between Portsmouth Harbour and Portsmouth and Southsea, and we were speedily taken by taxi to Portsmouth and Southsea courtesy of rail company where we caught the intended train anyway, and caught up with our Hovercraft chum! Happily homeward now. A wonderful weekend! I know I’ve missed out a few important details like how many miles we walked, ascent/descent, what time we left/arrived, but I leave that to the statisticians in the group. I don’t think we walked a huge number of miles but we had long and full days because (a) it was hot (b) some of it was steep (c) sometimes we swam (d) we had to keep stopping for ice cream.