Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Winter Break!

Hi everyone

My regular Guided Walks are now over until Easter 2012.
However if I am around & you would like a private Guided Walk do get in touch by preferably emailing me:
Or phone: 01983-761574.  If I'm not in just leave a message & I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

I have lots of new informative & exciting walks lined up for next year so if you would like to be kept informed do email me & I'll put you on my mailing list.

Thanks to everyone that has walked with me this year, do spread the word!

Happy Autumn! 

Thursday, 20 October 2011

What a week!

Led three walks this week in beautiful autumnal weather.

Up & Over which starts from the Apple Farm, Freshwater & as the name suggests we climb Up & Over Afton Down via Freshwater golf course & down to the coastal path with great views looking along Back of the Wight.

Then along to Freshwater Bay.

And back via Afton Marsh, the source of the Western Yar & The Causeway.

Our second walk was Solent Views
From Colwell Bay with views across the Solent to Hurst Castle built by Henry VIII.

Up onto Headon Warren & Hatherwood Battery, one of Palmerstone's Follies built in the 19th century.

Weather must have been warm as we even saw a slow worm basking in the sunshine!

Our last walk was Up High on the Downs
With more fantastic views.

The Needles lighthouse was the last in the UK to be automated.  It was continually manned for 135 years. The last lighthouse men left the lighthouse in 1994.

Tennyson would often walk up on the Downs. Here he would be inspired & wrote 'Charge of the Light Brigade'. One of his most famous sayings was: 'Tis better to have loved & lost than never to have loved at all.'

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Last two weeks!

My regular Guided Walks will be finishing at the end of October & will resume again Easter 2012.
However I will be available from time to time over the winter months for private Guided Walks.

I have a portfolio of walks which cover the whole Island.
From St Helen's in the east,

To The Needles in the west.

From Yarmouth in the north.

And Steephill Cove in the south.

Meanwhile hope the good weather continues & I look forward to meeting new customers on Guided Wight Walks with Michele.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Indian Summer

What amazing weather!
Maybe a little too hot for walking but we enjoyed the Western Yar Stroll on Sunday.

OK this is not a view on the walk but I wanted to include it to show you the Western Yar from Tennyson Down which is included on Up High on the Downs!

We visit the former Yarmouth railway station which closed in 1953 & walk along the former railway line. West Wight Railway ran between Newport to Freshwater from 1889-1953 but never made any money!

We walk as far as The Causeway which marks the tidal limit of the Western Yar. In the background is the tower of All Saints Church of Freshwater which was Tennyson's church as he lived just down the road. His wife Emily is buried there.

Back along the other side of the river past Kings Manor Farm. Here we see the Hebridean Saltmarsh sheep in the background enjoying a tasty graze!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Solent Views

Wow!!  Summer is back :)

Enjoyed a short 4 mile afternoon walk from Colwell Bay where we had perfect views of Hurst Castle on the mainland, the shortest crossing to the Island, just one mile.

From Colwell Bay to Totland Bay & the former lifeboat station.

Up onto Headon Warren & the location of a bronze age burial mound.

Unfortunately all these tombs were broken into so no treasures were found in recent times.

We saw the remains of Hatherwood Battery, built in the 19th century to keep the French out!! In the background The Needles & the Old Battery.

Plus the remains of Totland Pier, now being lovingly restored.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Guided Walks with Network Christians

We were certainly blessed with wonderful weather over the last three days as I guided three walks for a group of Network Christians staying at Norton Grange, Yarmouth.

Day One
Western Yar Stroll

Most of the group joined me on the first walk around the Western Yar.  This walk is a great way to introduce people to the Isle of Wight.

Day Two
Up High on the Downs

Fantastic views up on the downs & so much to point out along the way!

Visited the rocket testing site where Black Arrow & Black Knight rockets were tested before being flown or shipped to Australia & transported to Woomera in the desert where they were launched.  These important experiments led to man landing on the moon & satellites being launched including Prospero the only British built & British launched satellite which is still orbitting the earth & passes overhead twice a day!

We were lucky to meet Mike Elliott one of the Rocket Men who worked at the site in the 1950's & 60's before it closed in 1971.  He was fascinating to talk to.

Day Three
Shipwrecks & Smugglers

A great finale!  Enjoying the sunshine with views across to Freshwater Bay.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Up High on the Downs

More beautiful sunshine & impressive views Up High on the Downs.
A seven mile figure of eight walk.

From the start we make our way up onto West High Down & along to The famous Needles. There is a stunning viewpoint near the former rocket launching test site. Down below is Scratchells Bay, only accessible by boat.

In the distance we can see the chalk cliffs between Studland & Swanage on the Isle of Purbeck & Old Harry Rocks.  The chalk ridge once connected the island to the mainland until the sea level rose about 7000 BC & the River Solent as it was then broke through the chalk ridge & the Island first became an island.

The coloured sands of Alum Bay. Nearby the first permanent wireless station was established by Marconi in 1897.  He first exchanged messages with a tug in Alum Bay then with Bournemouth & Poole 40 miles away. 

The impressive Tennyson's Monument. The Down here was renamed Tennyson Down in his memory. Queen Victoria was an admirer of his works. In 1884 she created him Baron of Aldworth in Sussex & Freshwater on the Isle of Wight.

From the monument we head down towards Freshwater Bay with more impressive views along the Back of the Wight. Several fishermen were bobbing about on the water in their boats & light aircraft flying overhead all enjoying the sunny autumnal weather.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Autumn on the Isle of Wight

The worst of Hurricane Katia seems to have missed the Island so we are now enjoying some glorious sunshine & impressive seas.

Perfect weather for an invigorating walk.

Blow away those cobwebs & enjoy the fresh sea air on one of Michele's Guided Wight Walks.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

New Programme for September & October 2011

What a start to September!  Fantastic weather, long may it last!

Hope to see you on one of my my Guided Wight Walks this autumn.

There are 6 exciting walks to choose from.

Water & Woods - walk information

Water & Woods

5 miles
Grade: Easy
Gradient: some slight inclines & declines but mainly flat.
Several styles to climb over

Start & Finish: the public car park with the recyle bins next to the Horse & Groom Pub, Ningwood

10.00 – 13.00 approx

NOT 21st Oct & 28th Oct

This easy walk takes us through the
woods to Newtown River.
We continue to the shingle beach beside
the Solent where we enjoy views across to
the mainland then through the countryside
& trees of Hamstead where we may be lucky
to spot the Island's elusive red squirrels.

Up High on the Downs - walk information

Up High on the Downs

7 miles
Grade: Moderate
Gradient: uphills, downhills & some level walking

Start & Finish: former pit car park at the end of the road past High Down Inn, Totland

10.00 – 14.00 approx

Weather permitting we will enjoy some
spectacular views on this walk:
Hurst Castle on the mainland,
Fort Albert on the island,
'Back of the Wight' with Blackgang to
the east & The Needles to the west.
We see the former rocket engine testing
site, the coloured sands of Alum Bay
& Tennyson's Monument up at 147m.
On the return we pass by Dimbola Lodge,
St Agnes thatched church & Farringford
the former home of the Poet Laureate
Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Smugglers & Shipwrecks - walk information

Smugglers & Shipwrecks

5.5 miles
Grade: Moderate
Gradient: gradual uphills, downhills & some level walking

Start & Finish: Mottistone National Trust

car park, lower end of Strawberry Lane, Mottistone

10.00 -13.30 approx

NOT  26th Oct

Our walk includes the Neolithic Long Stone,
coastal views, the small village of Brook
& one of the Island's first lifeboat stations.
Next we follow the coastal path
then up to the quaint village of Mottistone
with it's 12th century church &
the pre- Elizabethan Mottistone Manor.

Solent Views - walk information

Solent Views

4 miles
Grade: Moderate
Gradient: gradual uphill, downhill
& some level walking

Start & Finish: Colwell Bay, by the slip-way near the beach huts

14.00-16.30 approx

NOT  25th Oct

This afternoon walk takes us along the
promenade to Totland Bay then up onto
Headon Warren with its Bronze Age
burial mounds & views over Alum Bay,
The Needles, Fort Albert & across to
Hurst Castle on the mainland.

Up & Over - walk information

Up & Over

4 miles
Grade: Moderate
Gradient: uphill, downhill then flat

Start & Finish: The Apple Farm car park, Afton Park, Freshwater

10.00-12.00 approx

NOT  25th Oct

This walk takes us up & over Afton Down
through Freshwater golf course to
Freshwater Cliff with impressive views
east & west, north & south!
Down to Freshwater Bay & back via the
source of the Western River Yar,
the old railway line & The Causeway.

Western Yar Stroll - walk information

Western Yar Stroll

4.5 miles
Grade: Easy
Gradient: some slight inclines & declines but mainly flat
Start: Yarmouth bus station by the visitor information kiosk

10.00-13.00 approx

NOT  9th Oct & 30th Oct
A gentle stroll to The Causeway & back to Yarmouth with lots of information including: the picturesque harbour town of Yarmouth;
the 18th century Mill House; the old railway line & station;
Freshwater Parish Church of All Saints; the 18th century Kings Manor Farm
& famous Victorian visitors.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Western Yar Stroll

Bank Holiday Weekend & the sun came out for our Western Yar Stroll.

We began by visiting the statue of a gribble! Fortunately not life size!! These creatures attack wooden piers therefore hard wood is used which takes longer for the gribble to attack, 40 years on average rather than 10-15 years. Yarmouth Pier is one of the oldest wooden piers in the UK still in use & a Grade II listed building.

The Western Yar estuary has been designated a Site of Scientific Interest & is also part of the Island's Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Before the Island became an island in around 7000 BC the source of the Western Yar was located in the hills much further south which no longer exist.

The sailors were also out enjoying the wind & sunshine. In the background beside the river is Kings Manor Farm built in the early 18th century & mentioned in the Domesday Book. The present owner is the grandson of Harry Ferguson, one of the 20th century's most celebrated inventors & pioneers. He is most famous for his 'Little Grey Fergie' tractor.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Up High on the Downs

What a glorious day!!  After waking up to the sound of rain it disappeared in time for our scenic walk
Up High on the Downs.

It is feeling autumnal already which meant we had some fantastic views from Tennyson Down.

Alfred Lord Tennyson who lived at Farringford in Freshwater Bay enjoyed walking on these Downs which were named in his memory & a monument built.

The Isle of Wight is blessed with fantastic views.

Alum Bay with its coloured sands. The fine white sand was once exported to Bristol & London to be used in the glassmaking industry.

After enjoying an early cream tea at Warren Farm Tearooms which has been voted one of the Top 10 places in the UK to have a Cream Tea we continued down to Freshwater Bay, past Dimbola Lodge the former home of the Victorian photographer & close friend of Tennyson, Julia Margaret Cameron & past the only thatched church on the Island & dedicated to St Agnes.