Godshill, IoW. Saturday 11-July-2016
Our friends Tim and Sarah retired to the Isle of Wight and this was the first opportunity to visit them in their new home. They do a lot of walking because they have a black Lab called Django. Since we are trying to fit in as much walking as we can before our charity walk next month it suited everyone to plan for a good long walk.
It is possible to buy a through ticket from home to Ryde Pier Head which includes the ferry and a two minute trip from the end of the pier to dry land. I just love that. We went down Friday afternoon for a boozy meal in.
Saturday morning, only slightly hungover, we went for a walk to Ventnor. As we left the village we passed a much photographed scene. There are many thatched cottages on the Island just like Hampshire across the Solent.
The countryside is much like the North Downs Way that we are part way through walking: rolling chalk hills, mixed farmland and woodland - very lovely.
Lots of sheep grazing meant Django had to go on the leash for these fields lest he decide he wanted to play with the sheep.
Part of the route was along a disused railway line, they make for good level paths.
We came across some Triffids. Turns out they are Echium Pininana, a native of the Canary Islands but we are clearly far enough south here for them to do well.
We hit the coast at Steephill Cove. A lovely little piece of very traditional looking seaside.
Sandy beach, boats, deck chairs, ice-cream and not a Kiss-me-quick hat in sight. Our hosts said it was busy but, for a sunny summer's day, it seemed to me to merely modestly bustling.
Along the coast into Ventnor for a crab sandwich lunch and then the return leg with an additional loop so it was not entirely retracing our footsteps.
Total trip 12.2 miles at a leisurely 2.7 mph in glorious sunshine
Sunday, after an enormous Full English breakfast, we headed off back to "The North Island" as mainland Britain is sometimes whimsically referred to by the islanders.
I love that the Island Line uses old tube trains for its rolling stock; a little flashback to early trips to London. The passengers numbers are such that a two-carriage train suffices.
An excellent weekend away with many thanks to our hosts.
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