Holidays Isle of Wight Alternative Holiday part 1
Spring 2001
On 19 April 2001, 22 of us set off to have a group walking holiday. We had wondered long and hard whether the holiday was viable because of Foot and Mouth Disease, but as the Island had not had an outbreak, we decided to go ahead. At Lymington our cars and our boots were well disinfected. The walks were mainly along the coastline, as many country footpaths were closed.
We had booked a walking holiday, but were thrown on our own resources to come up with an alternative idea. The first day we decided to walk along the north east coast of the island from Binstead, west of Ryde to Bembridge, a full day of walking mainly on pavements.
After passing through Ryde, we enjoyed the quiet section alongside Puckpool Park. There was a biting northerly wind off the sea.
This was a very enjoyable section which led to Seaview and our lunch stop at the Old Point.
After lunch we came across this "Orange" tree, a mobile phone mast disguised as a pine tree. What do you think of it?
Good news! A notice from the Countryside Agency confirming that the grassy path was open. Lots of guidelines to follow.
Due to the Foot and Mouth outbreak, many of us had not walked on a grassy path for about 8 or 9 weeks, so we rather savoured this moment.
Jill led for the day. She regularly leads for Step-by-Step Holidays, based at the hotel, and was a mine of information.
And then we walked across the open sandy heath of The Duver, which used to be the Isle of Wight Golf Course in Victorian times. The old club house can be seen in the background. The Area is rich in wildlife, and is now owned by the National Trust.
The Causeway at St Helens used to form a tidal mill pond (on the right in this picture).
Jill explained the workings of the mill pond, and also what wildlife to look out for. Lovely sunshine but a heavy shower was imminent - the only one that day fortunately.
The colourful scene around Bembridge Harbour.
We finished our linear walk by crossing the beach for a mile to reach the lifeboat station. Not exactly a country walk, but a very enjoyable experience nevertheless.
Next Day we did our "Magical Mystery Tour."