We travelled to Portsmouth Harbour by train and and caught the Fast Cat ferry from there to Ryde. Many of us sat on the sundeck as by now it was warm and sunny. It remained so for the rest of the day. From Ryde we bounced along in the train to Sandown for the start of the walks. There were 17 on the short walk, 15 on the long one and one non-walker who travelled around by bus. Both groups followed the same route.
The long walkers set off from the sea front at Sandown ten minutes before the short walkers and walked on the coastal path to Ryde. They covered eleven miles. The short walkers returned to Ryde by bus after eight miles. Back in Ryde 23 of the 33 on the trip stopped for fish and chips. The long walkers arrived first because the other group missed their bus.
After Sandown our next stop was by the monument on Culver Down. From here we could see the Spinnaker Tower and the South Downs. Heading downhill we turned inland, off the coastal path, to pass the Bembridge windmill and continued on to Bembridge Point, our stop for lunch. It was high tide and the sea looked inviting. Several wished they’d brought their swimming costumes. Just as we were about to leave, the short walkers arrived for their lunch.
After lunch we continued on the coastal path past Bembridge Harbour and across a causeway to St Helen’s Duver, once a Victorian golf course, now owned by the NT. By the sea front we paused to look at a tower, the remains of St Helen’s church. It was replaced by another one further inland in the 18th century. Three quarters of a mile offshore is the St Helen’s Fort. In the summer when the tide is at its lowest, there is a mass walk from the shore to the fort and back.
The coastal path returned to the seashore in Seaview at Nettlestone Point. Here we stopped for more refreshment before continuing along the coast back to Ryde.
Here are some photos of our day.
Isle of Wight
View from the ferry leaving Portsmouth
Entrance to Portsmouth Harbour from the ferry
We meet at Sandown train station. Our leader tells us the plans for the day
The beach at Sandown facing south
The first group sets off towards Culver Down
We pass by this near Yaverland on our route to Culver Down
View south over Sandown from Red Cliff
Culver Cliff with monument on top
Monument on top of Culver Cliff
View north from Culver Down by the monument
View north from the monument on Culver Down
Bembridge Point where we stopped for lunch
View north from the lunch stop at Bembridge Point
St Helen's Fort off the coast near Bembridge Point
House boat in Bembridge Harbour
We cross the causeway over Bembridge Harbour
The shore by St Helen's Duver with remains of church (white tower)
Remains of St Helen's church tower
The sands past Nettlestone Point towards Ryde
View from the coastal path near Ryde facing north
View from the coastal path near Ryde facing Nettlestone Point at low tide
Ryde East Sands towards Portsmouth at low tide