Monday, 8 October 2012

Another summer season is over!

My Guided Walks have been a little quiet this summer hence the lack of posts.
However my Western Yar Stroll has been the most popular especially with Warners, Norton Grange. At the beginning of September 17 members of the Concierge Club joined me for a very pleasant 4.5 mile stroll.

The weather was kind to us & we saw some of the local wildlife including an elusive red squirrel, a friendly donkey

plus plenty of birdlife along the Western Yar including several mute swans.

I've met some lovely people on my walks from all around the country.

I am available over the autumn & winter months as a private guide. All levels of walking experience catered for. Do give me a call or send me an email to discuss the various options:
Home 01983 761574
Mobile 07771 616540

Up on Tennyson Down

Newtown Estuary

Freshwater Bay with the Back of the Wight beyond!

Luccombe Down with Sandown Bay & Culver Down in the background

Hope to see you on a Guided Wight Walk with Michele sometime soon.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Salt & Pepper

Today I led my Salt & Pepper walk from Blackgang Chine with a lovely group of girls on a Hen Weekend.

First we headed up to the Pepperpot.  The UK's last surviving medieval lighthouse. Built in the early 14th century by Lord de Godeton. A man of the church who helped himself to wine from a shipwreck. He was almost excommunicated for his actions, instead he was given a penance to build a beacon & chapel.

Then we walked along the ridge with fantastic views across the Island in all directions to Hoy's Monument. Erected by Michael Hoy, a Russian merchant to commerorate the visit of Czar Alexander in 1814.

Next we headed down to the village of Whitwell where we stopped for a very tasty lunch at the White Horse Inn:

Our last stretch was along the coastal path above St Catherine's lighthouse where we enjoyed the view. St Catherine's  has the most powerful light in the UK, reaching 26 sea miles in clear visibility.

I have two versions of this walk 7 miles or 8 miles.
Both start & finish at the car-park above Blackgang Chine.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Monday, 19 March 2012

Summer Programme 2012

I am pleased to announce my Summer Programme of Walks is now complete.

These walks may not take place every week so it is essential you phone or email me in advance to check & make a booking on 01983 761574 or 07771 616540 or email

All walks cost:
Adults £5
Seniors 65 years plus £3
Children under 12 years £2

MONDAYS - from 9th April - On Top of the Island
6 miles
Meet outside reception at Appuldurcombe Gardens Holiday Park, Wroxall, PO38 3EP at 09.30
Approx 3 hours

TUESDAYS - from 3rd April - Smugglers & Shipwrecks
5.5 miles
Meet in the garden at The Sun Inn, Hulverstone, PO30 4EH at 10.00
Approx 3 hours

WEDNESDAYS - from 4th April - Back of the Wight
6.5 miles
Meet outside reception at The Orchards Holiday Park, Newbridge, PO41 0TS at 09.30
Approx 3.5 hours

THURSDAYS - from 5th April - Forts & Waves
8.5 miles
Meet outside reception at West Bay, Yarmouth, PO41 0RJ at 09.30
Approx 5 hours.  Bring a picnic.

FRIDAYS - from 6th April - Up High on the Downs
7.5 miles
Meet outside reception at Stoats Farm Caravan & Camping, Totland, PO39 0HE at 09.30
Approx 4.5 hours. Bring a picnic.

I look forward to meeting you on a Guided Wight Walk with Michele

Don't forget I am also available as a Private Walking Guide.
Cost per group:
2-3 hours/4-6 miles £25
4-5 hours/8-10 miles £50

Friday, 9 March 2012

On Top of the Island

This new exciting walk starts on Mondays fortnightly from 9th April.

We meet at Appuldurcombe Gardens Holiday Park in Wroxall at 09.30.
If you are not staying at the Holiday Park please park in the free village carpark 10 mins walk down the road or at the Appuldurcombe House car park 5 mins walk away.

6 miles
Up & Down & level walking
Approx 3 hours

We begin by walking to Appuldurcombe House. This once beautiful 18th century building was sadly bombed during WWII.  It was restored but only the shell remains. Now owned by English Heritage. Appuldurcombe means Valley of the Apple Trees.

We then head up onto Wroxall Down & past Ventnor Radar Station,  former RAF Ventnor built in 1938 to monitor D-Day Landings. It was repeatedly bombed during WWII & used until the early 1960's. Several bunkers still exist & are occasionally frequented by the local wildlife!

We reach the highest point on the Island at 241m.  On a clear day the 360 degree views are really impressive.  In the distance we can see Sandown Bay & Culver Down.
Out at sea off the south coast of the Island we often see passing cruise ships, cross channel ferries & cargo boats heading in & out of Portsmouth & Southampton.

We walk on Top of the Island as we head onto Luccombe Down & St Martin's Down. During the summer the heather, gorse & ferns are ablaze with colour. These Downs are an important breeding ground for several birds including the rare Dartford Warbler. New Forest ponies have been introduced as their grazing creates habitat for a variety of wildlife.

As we begin to descend we pass by the site of Cook's Castle. Originally built in the 18th century & designed by Capability Brown to create a romantic building to be viewed from Appuldurcombe House. It was never actually a defensive building but used more as a romantic tearoom during Victorian times!

The last part of our walk takes us along the old railway line which once connected Sandown to Ventnor via a tunnel through the Downs which was completed in 1866. Ventnor station was the end of the line.

Adults - £5.00
Seniors 65 plus - £3.00
Children under 12 - £2.00

To book:
Phone 01983 761574
Mobile 07771 616540

Monday, 5 March 2012

Forts & Waves

This new Forts & Waves walk will begin on 5th April & will be available most Thursdays until 25th October.

8.5 miles
Ups & Downs!

We meet outside the reception at West Bay Club, Hallets Chute, Yarmouth
at 09.30. Approx 5 hours. Bring a picnic.

First we head towards the Solent where our first fort sighting is Albert Fort & opposite on the mainland Hurst Castle built by Henry VIII.  Both were constructed to keep the French out.

We follow the coastal path passing Colwell Bay & Totland Bay with an impressive view of the famous Needles in the distance.

Next we head up onto Headon Warren.Once the breeding ground for rabbits in the 15th century. They were bred for their fur & meat. From the top we have good views looking down onto the Solent. We also pass a couple of Bronze Age burial mounds dating back 3500 years.

We continue up onto Tennyson Down & to Tennyson's Monument. Named after the Poet Laureate who lived in Freshwater Bay & often enjoyed strolling up onto the Downs where he would find inspiration to write poetry.

As we descend to Freshwater Bay we hope to have a good view along the Back of the Wight as far as Blackgang. This stretch of coastline was notorious for shipwrecks & smuggling & reached its peak in the 18th century. Fort Redoubt guards the entrance to the bay.

Our final stretch takes us past Golden Hill Fort & the country park which was offically opend by Lord Mountbatten in 1970 when he was the Governor of the Island. This Grade One listed building has now been converted into luxury apartments.

Depending upon the high tides in Colwell Bay we may do the walk in reverse.

Adults - £5.00
Seniors 65 plus - £3.00
Children under 12 - £2.00

To book:
Phone 01983 761574
Mobile 07771 616540

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Up High on the Downs

I'm pleased to announce I am reintroducing my popular Up High on the Downs walk fortnightly on Fridays commencing on 6th April.

This walk will now begin from Stoats Farm Caravan & Camping, Weston Lane,Totland Bay.

7.5 miles
Uphills, downhills & level!

Meet at reception 09.30.
Allow 4.5 hours.
Bring a picnic

We walk up the road past the High Down Inn & 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 hope to 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.

Next we see 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.

Then it's up to 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.

Our final stretch takes us past Dimbola Lodge, the former home of the Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron, the thatched church of St Agnes & behind the former home of the Poet Laureate Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Adults - £5.00
Seniors 65 plus - £3.00
Children under 12 - £2.00

To book:
Phone 01983 761574
Mobile 07771 616540

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Back of the Wight

This new walk, Back of the Wight will begin on most Wednesdays from 4th April until 24th October.
NOT 13th June

We meet at The Orchards Holiday Park in Newbridge outside reception at 09.30.

6.5 miles. Moderate. Uphill & Downhill twice! Approx 3 hours.

From the holiday park we set off across country, through Westover Plantation to Mottistone Down where we come across several Bronze Age burial mounds dating back 3500 years..

From here we hope to have some fantastic views looking along the Back of the Wight to Blackgang in the east & Freshwater Bay in the west. We then head down then up again onto Brook Down.  Behind us amongst the rhododendrons is Brook Hill House. Once the home of the writer J B Priestley between 1948-1959.

Up on Brook Down there are more Bronze Age burial mounds above us & more views looking across to the chalk cliffs below Tennyson Down. The Poet Laureate Tennyson lived in Freshwater Bay & the Downs were a favourite place of his to walk & be inspired.

Our final part of the walk takes us down to more farmland with views of the Solent & the location of the infamous 1970 Isle of Wight Pop Festival when 600 000 hippies descended upon the Island. At the time the Island only had a population of around 100 000!

Adults - £5.00
Seniors 65 plus - £3.00
Children under 12 - £2.00

To book:
Phone 01983 761574
Mobile 07771 616540

Friday, 10 February 2012

New for 2012 - Smugglers & Shipwrecks

A new version of my popular Smugglers & Shipwrecks walk will begin on most Tuesdays from
3rd April until the end of October.
NOT 5th June, 31st July, 9th Oct & 30th Oct.

5.5 miles. Grade moderate. Approx 3 hours. After a flatish start we have a gradual uphill climb then downhill.

Starting & finishing at The Sun Inn.  A 600 year old countryside pub with a sea view in the small village of Hulverstone, PO30 4EH.  A great venue for lunch & a drink after our walk either inside or outside in the pleasant garden.

We meet at 10.00 in the pub garden.  Our walk takes us to the village of Brook & the location of one of the very first lifeboat stations on the Island in 1860.

We follow the coast path along the Back of the Wight which is notorius for Smuggling & Shipwrecks to Chiltern Chine.  One of the 19 chines on the Island.  A chine is a word only used on the Isle of Wight, Dorset & Hampshire & means a ravine/steep sided river valley.

We make our way gradually up to the Long Stone.  Placed here by Neolithic people & marks the rising sun. En route we hope to have some great coastal views to Blackgang in the east & Freshwater Bay & Tennyson Down to the west.

Below us is the quaint village of Mottistone with it's pre-Elizabethan Manor & the 12th century church of St Peter & St Paul. Our final descent takes us back to The Sun Inn for a well deserved bite to eat & refreshing drink.

Adults - £5.00
Seniors 65 plus - £3.00
Children under 12 - £2.00

To book:
Phone 01983 761574
Mobile 07771 616540

Friday, 3 February 2012

Winter Walks

Take advantage of the crisp sunny days on a Guided Wight Walk with Michele.
Not only do I lead the walk but I give informative & interesting information along the way.

Do come prepared with lots of layers, hat, gloves, scarf, water/snowproof jackets, flask of hot drink & snacks/lunch. Plus something to sit on when we take a rest.

In February & March I am offering private walks.
2-3 hours/4-6 miles @ £25 per group
4-5 hours/8-10 miles @ £50 per group.

Do contact me on 07771 616540 or 01983 761574 to check my availability or send me an email

Looking forward to meeting you!