Archive for July 2014

7 Night Walking Itinerary   Leave a comment

Wight Walking

The IOW is absolutely superb for walking whether it’s the coastal path, country walks, hilly walks or along the old railway lines – there’s something for everyone. Shanklin is a good base with all it’s restaurants within walking distance (see our website for recommendations) and lots of walking trails running through it and excellent bus and train links for those who want to leave the car at home.

This itinerary is not for the faint hearted, although the hardy walkers will probably walk on the rest day as well. We’ve tried to make it accessible for those not wanting to bring the car.

We use our own walks and the ‘Favourite Walk’ books, which are £2.00 each & contain 12 walks in each (available at OSGH or online).

We have given refreshment stop ideas, but you may want to take a packed lunch, which we can arrange and don’t forget your walking gear – water, hat, waterproof & good comfy boots.

Day of Arrival

A nice relaxing afternoon. You could walk down to the seafront through Shanklin Chine for a bit of a warm up.

Day 2 OSGH – Culver Down – OSGH

This walk starts from the house and can be shortened to Sandown and back.

We follow the esplanade to Sandown and continue past Dinosaur Isle and up over the bay onto the downs to Culver Haven.

On the way back you can take the lane down and keep turning left along the roads, but it’s a bit hazardous, so we recommend coming down the same way and you get a different perspective and wonderful views.

The walk tracks the same path back to the Beach Shack past Sandown pier. Next to this is a slope going up to the coastal path back to Shanklin.

You could do the coastal path there and Esplanade back, but the Esplanade loses the sun in the afternoon and can get a bit chilly.

 

Refreshments: at the end of the Esplanade at the Beach Shack, Sandown and Culver Haven at the top of the down. There are also various refreshment points along the way there and back.

Day 3 Option 1 Compton Bay Walk 6 – 8 miles

Option 2 Freshwater – Yarmouth no car needed 9 ½ miles (or shorter to the Needles)

Option 1

WWCompton Farm Walk1

This lovely walk from Compton Farm goes through sheep and big fat black cow fields, but they seem friendly enough. Then through Hulverstone and passing the long stone over Brighstone the walk passes coastguard cottages and follows the coastal path back to the farm. It’s quite a climb initially, so quite downward on the way back.

 

Refreshments at The Sun in Hulverstone. We recommend checking opening times as this is the only stop and although the book says it’s a 6 mile walk it seems more and the coastal path back is further than you think.

 

Option 2 Freshwater – Needles – Yarmouth

 

You can take the bus to Freshwater and the coastal path goes up over the bay to the West. It’s a well trodden path and a busy one too. You can either walk to the Needles and stop to take in a pleasure boat ride or fill up your coloured sands or carry on.

 

The walk goes up over the other side of the ‘pleasure park’ to Hedon Down through Totland Bay and Fort Victoria Park to Yarmouth. An extremely scenic walk.

 

Refreshments Red Lion Freshwater Village, Needles café, The Blue Crab & Minghella ice cream & Gossips cafe on the pier, both Yarmouth

 

Day 4 2 options today or you could use option 2 from yesterday

Option 1 Shorwell, Rowborough, Dukem 9 miles

Option 2 Americas Woods 5 ½ miles – shorter and no car needed

 

Option 1 from Shorwell

(Take a packed lunch.) This is quite a strenuous one, which is why we give you a 2nd option!

Starting from Shorwell this walk goes so far you can see Carisbrooke Castle. It goes up and down and up and down again. There are no refreshment opportunities either, but you’ll certainly feel like you deserve that extra Scotch egg you take with you! It makes my feet ache just thinking about this walk!

 

Option 2 Shanklin, Borthwood & America Wood

This walk goes from Shanklin and you can walk to the start. Good one for a really hot day, as it’s quite sheltered in the woods. It’s not a long walk, so you can get food in Shanklin before and after if required.

 

Day 5 Rest Day

A good opportunity to take in one of the sights – Osborne House, Carisbrooke Castle, The Needles, Godshill etc

 

Day 6 Stenbury Trail Newport to Ventnor 10 miles

Don’t be fooled by the beginning of this walk!
Take the bus to Newport where the walk starts the beginning of the walk follows the old railway line. A short diversion off the walk to Godshill is well worth it for this quintessential English Village.

From Godshill the walk is more hilly, going over the downs over Appuldurcombe and finishing at Ventnor Botanic Gardens.

Refreshments Godshill at the Taverners, The Essex or there is a large selection of tea rooms.

Day 7 OSGH – St Boniface – Ventnor – Steephill Cove – OSGH

Walk St Bon 12.2.12

Using our written walk this goes from the house past St Blasius Church over St Boniface Down (the highest point on the Island), down into Ventnor to the Esplanade, then follows the coastal path to beautiful Steephill Cove. If this is enough for you there is a local bus from Ventnor Botanic Gardens above the Cove or from Ventnor Town Centre.

Alternatively you can follow the coastal path back to Ventnor sea front and keep going past the Island paddling pool, round Horseshoe Bay and continue along the coastal path back to Shanklin.

 

coastal path to VentnorRefreshments Steephill Cove have a variety of eateries all serving freshly caught crab, lobster and mackerel (when available), The Plantation Room at the Botanic Gardens, Phileas Foggs, Cantina & El Toro in Ventnor, Bonchurch Inn, Bonchurch (a climb up from Wheelers Bay) and during the summer there are a couple of places on the coastal path from Ventnor to Shanklin.

 

Day 8 Homeward Bound

Posted July 4, 2014 by shanklinrocks in Uncategorized

7 night General Itinerary -Getting to Know the Island   Leave a comment

 

We would highly recommend, as usual, checking the individual websites for opening times, making reservations where you want to plan ahead (many of our favourite restaurants get booked up even in the quieter months) and also using your own head when it comes to where to eat. My choice may not be yours and I take no responsibility for any chefs having a bad day.

These are just suggestions and if you don’t think you’re going to want to do something just don’t do it – it’s your holiday. You wouldn’t stick your head in the oven if I told you to now would you? Don’t miss out on anything just because Mrs OSGH hasn’t mentioned it here.

Due to us having such a diverse and fabulous Island I couldn’t fit in everything, so I apologise if I offend anyone or have missed anyone out. Due to the fact that we only take humans over 12 years old and very rarely have children come to stay I have based it on adult entertainment.

** We recommend checking out Shanklin Theatre for what’s on. THis brilliant theatre attracts worldwide acts and also excellent local performances. At the time of going to press ‘Best of the West End’ is a Thursday highlight during the summer months.

Day of arrival – Godshill & Shanklin

20140427_152637

Head to Godshill and if you’re in time for lunch the Taverners is a great introduction to food on the Island – grab a fish finger sandwich or something more substantial, like venison haunch or their fabulous suet pastry pies. If you’ve already filled up there are plenty of places for an afternoon tea or light bite or ice cream in the many tea rooms on offer.

There is surprisingly lots to do in this quintessential old English village; the model village of the Island, which has a lot of the Shanklin area, The Olde Smithy gardens and photography exhibition of old Godshill, Chocolate Island shop, an Island glass blower’s shop, the Cider Barn selling local produce, a fair trade shop and many others.

The walk to the medieval All Saints Church is a must. You’ll see why when you get there. The lane is just by Chocolate Island.

Then check in at OSGH from 4pm.

Once you you’ve unloaded and settled you can have a rest or go for a stroll around the Old Village, which is just around the corner (right at the end of our road) and stock up at the Rock shop on your favourite sweeties. Check out where you want to go for dinner in the Village or in town (left at the end of our road). You can also have a stroll down to the beach (right at the end of the road and immediately left – you’ll soon see the sea). Roughly the beginning of April to end of September you can walk through the Chine and come out just above the Fisherman’s Cottage thatched pub on the beach and just under the Chine Inn.

For dinner we recommmend Fine Nammet, in town, Pendletons just round the corner or the Chine Inn, half way down to the beach.

Day 2 – Compton Bay, The Needles, Alum Bay, Colwell Bay, Yarmouth (wet weather day Osborne and/or Carisbrooke)

Rise and shine and up for breakfast. We head out west today. This can be weather dependent. On your drive west if you get to Blackgang and it’s foggy you may want to head to the wet weather destination instead.

Take a drive West towards the Needles. (Or you can catch a bus via Newport). On the way you can stop at the Pearl Factory and even if Pearls aren’t your thing they have fabulous views of the west coast from the café, which sells a wide range of foods; cakes, savoury or sweet cream teas, baguettes, more substantial meals & daily specials. They also have a fossil and gem shop and opened in 2014 another Chocolate Island.

When you reach Freshwater you can park the car and walk around the coastal path to the Needles. This saves your parking charge to get to the Needles and is a beautiful coastal walk. You can then either walk back to Freshwater or get the bus. Alternatively you can drive there.

Once at Alum Bay/Needles take the chair lift (or walk) down to the beach to see the coloured sands. We recommend the boat trip from the beach to the Needles. You can also walk up to the Old Battery, which is an interesting historical point (even for me!). There is also a café at the top and great views over the Needles. In the main area of the ‘Needles Pleasure Park’ there is a glass blowing studio (it’s pretty warm in there and you can fill up your chosen glass shape with coloured sands. Don’t expect a memorable lunch here. You are better off eating at the Red Lion in Freshwater or at Colwell Bay afterwards, where there are a selection of better eateries, one being The Hut on the beach.

The Needles Pleasure Park is more for kids, but the natural beauty is still there.

You can also walk up the other side to Hedon Warren (on the right as you enter the car park), which is where our resident artist gets some of his inspiration.

Then depending how much time you have you could take a drive to Colwell Bay or into Yarmouth, a beautiful market town where many an Admiral retired to.

freshwater bay

Dinner at The Blue Crab in Yarmouth (or lunch) is highly recommended. Fish for all tastes and budgets. They also do take away. An IOW Minghella ice cream at the pier is highly recommended. Or for dinner head back south to Shanklin or maybe Phileas Foggs at Ventnor. At the time of going to press Phileas Foggs have a Seafood Sunday.

Quite a busy day!

Day 3 We go East

Take a drive to the Garlic Farm in Newchurch where you can take a tractor tour (seasonal), taste their products and if you’re there until lunch it’s worth staying for. Or head to Seaview for a stroll around this pretty seaside village. Lunch here can be taken at the Seaview Hotel or the Old Fort, overlooking the busy Solent.

Seaview

*The Garlic Farm is not easy by bus, so if you do not have a car you can take a train to Ryde and walk around the coast (right along the seafront), through Puckpool to Seaview. It’s a lovely walk and well worth doing even if you do have a car. Then you can take the train back to the Steam Railway.

An afternoon at the Steam Railway – suitable not just for overgrown boys (check timetable). If the railway isn’t running you might be able to swap days 2 & 3. They often have events that you may want to head to or avoid. It is all volunteer run and they have won the Queen’s award for volunteers.

If you are driving you may also have time to visit Rosemary Vineyard and/or Sharon Orchard next door and maybe a trip to Quarr Abbey nr Ryde.

If you fancy staying out Michaelangelos in Ryde on the bottom corner of Union Street is a fabulous Italian, though their lunch menu is more limited. If you are travelling by public transport check your return times. Trains stop quite early, but the buses run later. Or head back to Shanklin for dinner. There’s plenty to choose from.

Day 4 Ventnor & Steephill Cove Walk

We would recommend a walk to Ventnor and Steephill Cove (walking guides are available written by our fair selves, so there’s no cost).

Going up over the St Boniface Down (the highest point on the Island) and into Ventnor taking in the views then on to Steephill Cove where you will find lobster and other seafood (lots of mackeral) fished that day and served in their restaurants. It’s a lovely cove and a bit of a local’s secret. You can either then walk up to the Botanic Gardens and get the bus back or walk back through Ventnor and back to Shanklin along the coastal path.

To extend the walk you could go out to St Catherine’s lighthouse and the Buddle Inn. You can then catch a bus back if necessary.

If you would like to walk, but want something a little easier you can walk to Sandown along the Esplanade. We would recommend that you head for either the Beach Shack, where the Esplanade ends before the road, Belamy’s in the High Street or The Reef or Ocean Deck further along the seafront for a bite to eat.

If walking is not your thing you could have a wander around Cowes (Coast Bar and Restaurant and the Union Inn recommended). Or maybe a drive to St Helens and something to eat at Baywatch on the Beach, visit Bembridge Windmill and maybe drive up to Culver Haven or a poke around the forts and take in the views.

Dinner at the Bonchurch Inn, Bonchurch. Taxis can be arranged. Or if you fancy staying East maybe Lockslane in Bembridge.

Day 5 Osborne House/Mottistone Manor and or/or Brading Roman Villa (Yes you can choose for yourself!)

If you haven’t already done so, take a trip to Osborne House. Don’t make the mistake of waiting for a rainy day. The beach is beautiful and the gardens are well worth taking the time to relax and enjoy.

If you are a garden enthusiast Mottistone Manor is well worth a trip (out West) or Ventnor Botanic Gardens, which isn’t as far. The Plantation Room is a lovely eatery for lunch.

Brading Roman Villa is an interesting and well preserved piece of Island History. Take up the offer of a free guided tour. The guides are very well informed and make it much more interesting.

Dinner in Shanklin on the seafront for a change, maybe The Fisherman’s Cottage. Or if you want a really nice treat, The Royal in Ventnor – we recommend their tasting menu.

Day 6 Compton Bay Walk OR Owl & Monkey Haven

Add a walk from Compton Bay. Starting at Compton Farm (walks available at OSGH) this hilly 6 – 8 mile walk (depending if you believe the walking book or not) has breathtaking views with a stop at the Sun Inn at Hulverstone, where lunch is recommended.

WWCompton Farm Walk4

While you’re out this way have a wander round Brighstone then maybe a quick drink at the Buddle Inn on the way back and a look at St Catherine’s lighthouse.

Or again if walking isn’t your thing take a trip to Owl and Monkey Haven, which is a family run ‘sanctuary’. It’s exceptionally well kept and a very popular animal lovers destination. Then maybe the Lavender Farm.

For dinner the walkers may want to limp into Shanklin or venture to the Taverners in Godshill.

Day 7 Carisbrooke Castle, Priory & Newport Farmers Market (Fridays), Quay Arts and IOW Museum

This can be juggled to fit in with the Farmers Market.

Firstly drive in to Newport and park up to take in the farmers’ market. This old market town is now full of high street brand shops, but have a stroll and you’ll discover some secrets overlooked by the shoppers – the old town hall housing the IOW museum – it’s small but well done. Walk down to Quay Arts on the Medina River.

Lunch can be taken at Olivos (Italian influence bistro), French Frank’s Sandwich bar or Quay Arts.

Then onto the beautiful Carisbrooke Castle, which was built in 1100 and famously held Charles I prisoner when he fled here thinking he was amongst friends.

On the grounds are a museum, chapel and display of donkeys bringing the water up from the well (if they are in the mood). This could take up quite a bit of your time.

During August they have jousting displays – check their website for details.

Then pop in to Carisbrooke Priory nearby.

Dinner at your favourite of the week.

 

 

 

Posted July 2, 2014 by shanklinrocks in Uncategorized