Ningwood - Newtown River and the Sea

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Starting with a very short distance along the road, this walk then uses tracks and paths to reach Newtown River, crossing creeks, inlets and a long series of boardwalks to arrive at the sea, then more tracks and fields through woods and a pine forest. Inhale the beautiful aroma of pine on a warm day in spring or summer. See the multitude of wildlife throughout the creeks. Along the beach pass the memorial to three young men who lost their lives off Hamstead Ledge: Horace Cox aged 22, William Pollock aged 22 and Robin Murray-Cox, 21.

Ningwood, a small village on the Yarmouth - Newport road, is associated with Shalfleet, the next village. This walk travels well-defined tracks over the Western Haven Water and through woods down to Newtown River.

On the opposite bank is the most ancient borough on the island, called Newtown. Once a very thriving community, all that is left is a few houses, a beautiful church and the original town hall. The busy and important harbour was regarded as the safest on the island. There were prosperous salt works, where seawater was evaporated in great salterns and the profitable oyster-beds in the estuary were famous. The ancient leases of the fisheries state that the lessee was obliged to provide sufficient oysters, as well as 'a good dish of fish', for the mayoral feast.

Edward II's charter confirmed the privilege of a weekly market and an annual three-day fair, held on 'the eve, the day and the morrow of the Feast of St Mary Magdalen', to whom the thirteenth-century chapel was dedicated. Newtown is said to have been sacked by the Danes in 1001 and certainly it suffered a number of attacks by the French at later dates, the most disastrous being in 1377 when much of the town was burnt. Indeed, it seems that it never fully recovered from this raid and may have been only partially rebuilt. Although its charter was renewed on a number of occasions, its subsequent history is one of gradual decline; by 1559 the town had lost its importance, much of its maritime trade had been taken by Newport and a survey of that year stated that there was no longer a market, nor any good house standing.

England - South England - Isle of Wight - Coast


Birds, Butterflies, Flowers, Good for Kids, Great Views, Mostly Flat, National Trust, Play Area, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, River, Sea, Wildlife, Woodland
4/26/2019 - Roy Davenport

Sadly the council do seem to have changed the use of this parking area. So as not to miss this lovely walk I suggest that you use the bus there is a good service between Newport and Freshwater via Yarmouth. Alight at the Hamstead Drive stop and then walk forward along the Drive you will now be walking towards WP02. Then follow instructions at the final walk point.

4/24/2019 - Roy Davenport

Thank you for this comment I don't know why the car park has been closed but I suggest using the bus service for now so as not to miss out on the lovely walk. Please see access information

4/18/2019 - Derek Jones

We tried to do this walk today (18.04.19). Unfortunately it wasn’t possible as the start point car park wasn’t open - it seems to have been taken over by the local school and was locked, regardless of the school holidays - and signs make it clear that the pub car park is for patrons only. It’s a pity, as the coast path around here has some lovely stretches. The walk may well be accessible by bus but proceed with caution if traveling by car unless you’re certain about where to leave the vehicle.

2/21/2019 - avril mccartan

Couldn’t do the walk February ‘19 as car park locked.

5/1/2013 - Roy Davenport

Walked 22.04.13 - All OK

10/15/2011 - Melvin Cammack

Did this walk on a lovely sunny autumn day 14/10/11 - absolutely superb.

4/27/2010 - Adrian Perkins

Roy Davenport reports that he did this walk on 19/4/10 and all was OK. Thanks for this, Roy. Adrian (Admin).

5/21/2009 - Roy Davenport

Walked April 2009 - all OK.

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