So, one of the things I wanted to do on my #nurture1314 post was to walk the coastal footpath around the Isle of Wight.
As it happened, there was a VW Festival on the island last weekend, and they were offering REALLY cheap camping for the five days before the festival started (£20!) and it seemed silly not to. The campsite was the site of the 1971 Music Festival where Jimi Hendrix played – lost on me, really. It was also in the shelter of the chalk down that runs across the island, making it somewhat of a wind funnel.
Can you tell the prevailing wind direction?
There was a public footpath that ran across the campsite, so it made a perfect starting point for some walks.
Having got the ferry, put up the tent and dealt with the wind, I headed west, away from the campsite towards the Needles, along the Coastal Path. I got as far as the Tennyson Memorial (having to explain who he was at some point…) before the wind and the lateness of the day forced me back the way I had come.
More wind, and rain forecast somehow put me off a walk today. I drove out to the Needles and then on to Osbourne House. The grounds are worth a visit, just for the Swiss Cottage in the garden and the walk to the beach.
I drove out to Blackgang Chine and walked from there east to Ventnor. My knees are really not what they used to be, so I opted out (again) and got the bus back to the car. It was a lovely walk, but lots of ups and downs are not good for me. It hurts.
Again, I didn’t fancy walking, so I took advice of some Islanders (they are very friendly) and went to Havenstreet. I caught the steam train to the end of the line and then the mainline train to Ryde. It turns out that they use old London Underground trains painted red, very strange to see.
The day that the campsite really did turn in to a Festival. I thought I didn’t really want to be there when that happened, so I walked out from the campsite again. I returned to find someone had put their tent so close to my car I couldn’t move it without taking my own down!
Starting at the farm, I headed up on to the down to Brighstone. It’s a lovely little village, and it seems they turn the Scout and Guide Hall into a Youth Hostel for the summer, so it’s quite busy. I stopped at the pub for lunch, before heading back to the campsite along the Coastal Path. At least it’s a straight line and I knew the area at the end well enough as at some point along the way the wind stole my map and my map case! There was quite a bit of rain at the start and end of the walk, but otherwise it was a lovely day and I’m glad I did it.
So, I didn’t get the whole of the Coastal Path done, but I feel I’ve done enough of it for now!