Walking 1004.9 miles from John O'Groats to Lands end in aid of Accommodation Concern! (starts august 3rd 2014)

Friday, 31 August 2012

Day six, or a short walk for breakfast!

Not a great deal to write today but......
Up in no great rush with an amazing sunrise glancing through our oaken roof! And the fresh cut crop beautiful in the morning light, the simple beauty today really explains the point of these ventures, to escape the pointless pressures of day to day life and just be.......happy!
Back to the trail!
A simple route along the coast through field,woodland and the last marsh land of Newtown estuary  with the mainland to our right and Yarmouth an easy five miles ahead we soon ate up the distance in time to reach Yarmouth for breakfast at the gossips cafe, with a full English consumed and a wander around the port,the ferry far to quickly carried us back to the mainland a quick coffee then the train to Lymington. where we parted company with john until next years big adventure........ details to follow ;)

Day five

<p>Up with the rain this morning, I suppose you can't have it good every morning ;)<br>
Into Wootton bridge just down the hill and the resident coffee bloodhound (john) found a spar that served coffee, also a bench within ten yards!.<br>
Refreshed we hit the b road to Cowes , pleasantly wandering through woodland and field to Whippingham where we passed St Mildreds church (pic) where Queen Victoria prayed when she visited the isle. Now the resting place of her daughter Beatrice and husband.
Into Cowes and over the river Medina via the free chain driven ferry (most impressed its free!) we enter the twisty roads of Cowes centre a pretty shopping area.
Back to the sea front for lunch, then around to Gunard bay where the path follows cliff tops until we veer inland through a holiday camp to avoid an army training area and the Newtown river inlets, Newtown itself is tiny and has a greatly distorted old town hall, either down to subsidence or bad construction, hard to say!.
A bit further and we get to the new inn at Shalfleet where a slap up meal of belly I of pork was had, sharing the table with another coastal walker named Eric from Nottingham.
Off into the setting sun we walk through Nunneys wood and around to the main inlet of Newton river where we set up camp under an oak tree in soft grass with lovely views around.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Day four

Out of the campsite by six thirty and road walking to Bembridge, a quick stop at a shop and johns ability to locate an early morning coffee works well yet again!
Suitably invigorated by caffeine we head for the coast arriving where the Bembridge coast guard pier juts out to sea, following the coast around we enter Bembridge harbour, walking around we passed a multitude of house boats in many states of repair either floating or run aground but very picturesque!
Into saint Helens briefly then over a slim spit of land bisecting the harbour to a great cafe looking out to sea where the full English was of very high quality.
Further north we pass a ruined church which was standing when Nelson sailed from nearby to fight the battle of Trafalgar,a little further on we had our own battle where the path wended through very muddy paths to a private beach which we walked regardless, heading inland we passed the hotel the beach belonged to called "the priory" I always knew my addiction for walking would get me here one day! ;).
Into nettlestone we thread our way through twisting Allys just as the heavy grey skies opened up and started a prolonged rainy part of the day.
Into a pub at Puckpool point then along to Ryde watching as we went the hover craft zipping over to Portsmouth and back, going into a soggy Ryde we find the hover craft terminal (pic).
Out of town the path goes through a golf course then past the ruins of old Quarr Abby, with the rain finally abating we pass the more recent Abby with its little pig farm, Alfie was very interested in the pigs,we were more interested in drying out at the nearby pub externally at least!
Finally on to our camp site at kite hill for tonight.

Day three

From or cracking little camp site at the orchard (pic), we hit the road for St Lawrence walking below the cliff to path through lush woodland with various paths with closed signs due to erosion which became the standard for many parts of todays route including many changes of route for the coastal path. Including little mistakes in navigation for instance taking the road through the majority of St Lawrence until we found a path by the botanical gardens which carried us close to the cliff with stunning views along to Ventnor.
An early breakfast here fortified us all for the day ahead, coming out of ventnor we again walked below the cliff but this time following the correct path through seemingly jungle like woodland with vine hanging everywhere (no Tarzan tho!), what we did find was plenty of rare moths and butterfly, much to johns pleasure and out amazement at him naming them all!, further along we found the lesser spotted home made preserves stand! Blackberry jam in rucksack we wandered out of Luccombe village and into the flesh pots of Shankling and Sandown where the great white beached whale was in great evidence! ;),  pleasant beaches to fair and much bank holiday merriment was taking place.
The final push of the day was over Culver down past the Marlborough monument and taking a confusing side route to get to our campsite near Bembridge airstrip.packs of food sleep......

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Day two

After a great but windy night on Tennyson down we wake to a lovely sunrise, walking in the suns direction we pass the Tennyson monument, (a big Celtic cross).
Then on beautifully smooth grass (thanks sheep!) We head down to the pretty fresh water bay village where a tiny gift shop supplied us with a nice coffee, spending ten minutes to drink this in a prettily mosaiced shelter looking over the bay with fort redoubt built into the chalk cliffs to our right.
Now with a grey sky over us we head up hill along the side of Compton down, descending and progressing along the now crumbling clay cliffs we pass Compton, Shippards and Chilton chine's (little gully in the cliff) until we reach the pearl centre with its cafe where tea and bacon rolls were eaten in its cafe. :)
Coming back to the cost we pass more chine , (grange, Shepards,whale and black gang) with a stop at the white mouse inn at chale for dinner (bangers and mash for me and Alfie).
Moving onto St Catherines point we have a long view back to todays start point (pic) and down to the light house we could see blinking last night.
Down from the point and into pretty Niton village we follow the road out of town to the orchard camp site, a very basic but pretty site set in woodland.....now sleep yawn! :)

Sunday, 26 August 2012

End of day one

<p>Had a lovely lazy sunny morning wandering around Yarmouth (not great Yarmouth) and just on time at midday johns ferry arrives, and after a quick cuppa we hit the trail. wandering past the marinar and over the river Yar we then hit the coast walking anti clockwise on a varying gradient with Hurst fort on a promontory of shale from England to our right.following the coast around we come to the village of Totland with its tiny sea front, cheesy chips were had by all ;)
Wandering on we head uphill into beautiful heath land and around to the less than amazing Arum bay and on to the needles with its cold war rocket facility.
We're now camped up on Tennyson down for the night with lights twinkling at us from the main land.

Isle of wight coastal path.New forage!

Our first newly identified (for us) plant, sea parslane, as with most coastal edible plants this is just salty to the taste, but as I've not packed any salt that can only be useful!

Saturday, 25 August 2012

On our way again!

The first step on a walk is normally by train these days and this pic is us heading south for once, to meet up with John Parsons to walk the isle of wight coastal path :)