Around the Wight (Part 1): Ryde to Cowes

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Highlights begin at Ladies' Walk (Waymark 07), a pretty shaded stroll which bisects the golf course. Red squirrels can be seen anywhere on the island, but sightings are common between here and Wootton. I even saw one at Whippingham on the day I took my images. Scan the branches from time to time, especially in more densely wooded sections. Their 'flightiness' is tempered by their nosiness.

At Binstead, only metres from the path can be seen the deep craters of the former quarry pits. These scars, now overgrown but clearly visible as deep, unnatural depressions, witness the desirability of the creamy-coloured Bembridge Limestone. Some references give first recorded dates as Roman.

Quarr Abbey ruins (12th Century) and the newer buildings completed in 1912 leave their mark on the landscape, although strangely, for a place named after a quarry, it is brick-built. Spiritual solace can be augmented by gastronomic comforts at the cafe.

Wootton Bridge divides the millpond from the northern side of the creek and this green energy was once used to grind grains.

Whippingham and East Cowes have a strong regal connection. See how many place names relate to Queen Victoria and her family in this section of the route. Princess Beatrice, the last of Victoria’s children, is entombed alongside her husband, Prince Henry of Battenberg, in St Mildred's Church, Whippingham. Beatrice Avenue will guide you into East Cowes.

The road sections are (with my improvements to the Whippingham to East Cowes section) generally pleasant and not busy with traffic. It saddens me to say that this section between Ryde and Cowes is the least appealing and on this basis I have covered it first. That said, it is still worth doing and has some unique delights not seen on the other, wilder sections. We can only hope for the advent of a true coastal path when the current landowners of the Wootton to East Cowes coast are finally forced to allow access by forthcoming legislation.

Note to Wight circumnavigators:
having walked the entire coastal path every year for the last ten or so, I feel reasonably well-qualified to express my opinion on it, having seen it in mostly baking sunshine, some howling gales and last year (2010), in deep snow. (I left it a bit late). Hares do the whole circuit in three days and tortoises, as slowly as they like. I used to be a hare, but now I prefer to enjoy it, usually with my home on my back. I can recommend camping or B&B. Each has its own merits, generally predetermined by the weather. Anticlockwise is preferable in my opinion, especially if you start at Ryde and intend to do the whole circuit.

England - South England - Isle of Wight - Coast


Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Industrial Archaeology, Mostly Flat, Nature Trail, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, River, Sea, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
11/17/2020 - Kevin West

Updated and checked September 2020 by Kevin West

8/28/2012 - Walkingworld Admin

Our thanks to Kevin West for his updates for this walk. August 2012. Adrian (Admin)

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