Isle of Wight trip 2019
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If you are thinking of joining a walking group read the write up on the group trip to The Isle of Wight ( May 2019 ) and you will see lots of good reasons why we are the group to join. Not only do we enjoy walks each weekend which alternate between Saturday and Sunday, ranging on average of 6 miles but we have fun together and you will be assured of a warm welcome. We are an open and friendly group and we do welcome newcomers at every walk. See our Programme Page for details of our walks.
The Isle of Wight May 2019.
Following detailed instructions we arrived at our designated pick up points at the early hour of 0715 onwards on Sunday May 19th. We were greeted by our host and organiser Brian Adams springing off the coach. Brian had thought of every possible thing. To say that every last detail was organised for our enjoyment is an understatement. As we began to relax in to our carefree irresponsive state then tiny misdemeanours began to occur. Where Brian led we followed. It actually wasn’t necessary to think at all. We crossed over to the Isle from Portsmouth and commenced our seaside saunter from Yaverland, where our able driver Wayne dropped us off. This was a lovely 5 mile walk along the coast to our hotel. Ice creams were eaten en route and best of all we could see and smell the sea and some chose to walk on the beach. Arrival at our destination was as smooth as could be with suitcases arriving ahead and delivered to our rooms. Of course there were drinks in the bar before dinner and three course meals each evening to set us up for the walks to come. Our first day Monday May 20th. Following instruction we boarded the coach at 0930 and set off on the Tennyson Trail. This was a 9 mile walk with high points at Headon Hill leading up to the Tennyson monument. We took in the beautiful views of The Needles and really enjoyed some spectacular views and wonderful coastal walking. The Tennyson monument is the perfect place to sit and relax and contemplate the world in absolute peace but sometimes in life you can be just a little bit unlucky. Two innocent souls, unbeknown to us, chose just the wrong time to do just so. Unfortunately for them along we came. There was “discussion” about a group photo, light angles, clouds and positioning and it is true to say that like Brexit there were those for and those against. To the utter amazement of this innocent couple, whose only crime was to have lunch at the monument, no photograph was taken and the photographer went on strike. Anyhow, anyone who wasn’t there could ask anyone who was and there will be thirty or so different versions of the story. On we went to Freshwater Bay and enjoyed our lunch overlooking the sea and later our afternoon ramble. Hilarity and spectacular views ruled the day. After this point things became a little bit dark. John Churchman introduced a system of fines for our misdemeanours and this system was very unfair. There was interest on unpaid fines overnight and 50p at tea time could cost you heavily if unpaid. This just brought out the worst in people, even those you previously liked. The snitching and collaboration that went on was positively shocking and the desire to inform was quite ruthless. Pam and Brian were fined for hogging the back seat (don’t ask why they wanted it), Ronnie for missing the pick-up point and Elaine (only the leader and therefore minor job) for asking John where we were going the next day. Also we were on an island so what could we do. It really was quite unfair and we had no prior knowledge of this dastardly plan. Tuesday, gave us fabulous weather and saw the group divide into two. Twelve decided to tackle the 9 mile `three peak challenge`, which having passed the Pepper-Pot, (the only surviving medieval lighthouse in England), then proceeded through a field of blue-bells, another magical sight to add to the memory banks of the holiday, before reaching Hoy monument. From here it was downhill to our lunch stop at the White Horse Inn in Whitwell, (reputed to be the oldest pub on the island). Having achieved two peaks, just one to go. At one stage we passed a field of donkeys and convinced Mary, they were for taking people to the top, she didn’t find it funny when it proved to be untrue. Upon reaching Stenbury Down, another rest and yet more glorious views, then downhill all the way, passing Appuldurcombe House into Godshill. The other twenty two went off to visit Osborne House and this is well worth a visit, after which Wayne collected us from Osborne to meet the remainder of the group in Godshill where cream teas and ice creams were enjoyed in the prettiest English setting. It was particularly enjoyable to travel together and eat together back at the hotel in the evening and this was how everyday was arranged for us. Wednesday was another beautiful day and again we travelled together to Niton. This walk was, in my opinion, especially nice. The views from the cliffs were superb, the properties we saw enjoyed some extremely scenic views and we ambled through some charming little coves. Lunch was at Ventnor after a bit of a climb up and down. We were fortunate to meet a red squirrel as we walked alongside the botanical gardens. The climb after lunch was a little bit steep to the highest point on the Isle, but definitely worth the effort and spectacular views were enjoyed thereafter. We happened upon ( delightfully arranged by Brian ) a fabulous little tea shop in Bonchurch with supreme views of the sea so of course another cream tea just had to be eaten. The end of this walk was through a charming and very dense wood and in the afternoon sun we were positively spoiled. Unfortunately all good things come to an end and on Thursday we left the hotel and enjoyed the Wroxall wander. Both the start and end of the holiday were arranged so that we could walk to and from the hotel and therefore pack as much walking in as possible. This last walk over Shanklin Down and St Martins Down gave us one last chance to soak in the marvellous scenery. It goes without saying therefore that none of this would have been possible without our hosts Brian and Elaine. The amount of effort and energy that went in to planning this holiday was truly incredible. Not only did Brian think of every last thing but he led the walks too. We all know that this isn’t as easy as it was made to look. People came and went in the mornings and afternoons and Brian just made sure we all had a great time. Without exception all group members were in awe of the planning and energy that went in to this trip. This was a truly successful and wonderful holiday with absolutely great walking and the group were very pleased to say a resounding thank you to Brian and Elaine. So to anyone reading about this holiday do think about joining our group. We are open and friendly. We often have lunch after Sunday walks but not always and we also enjoy some lovely summer evening walks too. If work is stressful there is nothing better than walking it out of your system at the weekend or on a summers evening. We don’t even break the bank at only £5.00 per year membership and only then if you walk a couple of times and find us ok. Have a look on our walking programme and come and join in the fun.
Denise James & Brian Adams