Isle of Wight – a great hike off the Southern Coast

Click here for impressions of the Isle of Wight

How to get there and back – take the train to Lymington Pier and then the ferry to Yarmouth – takes almost 5hours
How long it takes – a whole day
How much I paid – £50
Where to stay – N/A
Where to eat – Yarmouth deli
What to do and see – Take a long walk across the island

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Sailing around the Isle of Wight

Stock up on delicious treats at the deli in Yarmouth

Our first stop of the ferry was the deli in Yarmouth. After this long journey onto the island it was time for lunch and we were starving. The deli serves lovely fresh foods including a variety of hand-made Scotch Eggs (worth a try if you never had one). I had some great Goat Cheese Pizza.

Walk from Yarmouth to Freshwater Bay

There is a lovely public footpath running along the river in to the island. Follow the signs directing you to Freshwater Bay. At times you will have to cross a bigger road and it can be a bit tricky to find the path again. It is much easier if you have an Ordinance Survey Map or GPS to orient yourself.

The path from Yarmouth to Freshwater

The walk from Yarmouth to Freshwater Bay is serene next to water, through forests and next to colourful summer flowers. The path ends behind a hotel and if you walk through the parking lot you will hit Freshwater Bay.

Freshwater Bay

Enjoy Freshwater Bay

Freshwater Bay is a cozy little bay facing the ocean. The pebble beach will be lively (but not too crowded) on a sunny day. It is nice and secluded and will be nice for a break. Just bring beach shoes so you can walk across the beach without pain. Take a dip if the sun is out.

Walk to the Needles

From there you can get onto the Coastal Path. It is a bit of a climb and you will have to ignore the cows on the hill. After a bit of a walk you will reach the Tennyson Memorial – a lovely cross erected in memory of Alfred Tennyson, one of the most influential poets of Victorian England.

Tennyson Memorial

If you follow the path beyond that you can walk all the way to the tip of the island. Here you will find the old battery – a World War II fortification to protect the narrow stretch of sea from attacks. Beyond the battery you can be amazed by “the Needles” beautiful rock spikes that stand in the ocean.

The Coastal Path

Walk back to Yarmouth along the Coast

Normally you can catch a bus back to Yarmouth from the Needles or not far from it in Alum Bay. However, the buses stop relatively early and you will have to walk to Totham for a bus. The walk to Totham is mostly along country roads which is not ideal, but they aren’t too busy. In Totham you can catch a bus or take a left down to the pier and then walk along the ocean path. It will lead you off the ocean after a while and you can follow the public path through green, beautiful forests. From one of the lookouts you can see Hurst Castle on the spit, which is a cool fort next to Southampton. If you follow the path you will end up in Yarmouth where you can have dinner in one of the pubs. From there you can take the ferry and the train back to Cambridge.

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Images taken from: http://www.wightcyclehire.co.uk/images/Map_Tennyson_web.jpg

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