Today we had our annual trip to the Isle of Wight. There were two walks, one of six miles and one of ten miles. Forty arrived; twenty went on each walk. We travelled by train to Portsmouth Harbour, took the ferry to Ryde and completed the journey to the starts of the walks on the Island Line train service. This uses former London Underground trains. The ride on our train was so bumpy that it was a relief to reach our destination.
From Lake station those on the longer route walked along the coast path to Shanklin where they stopped on the sea front for coffee. After a half hour break (longer than the leader had intended) we set off west to the Appley Steps and climbed to the top of the cliff. Pausing briefly to shed jackets we continued on to join the Worsley Trail, passing St Blasius Old Parish Church en route.
We stayed on the Worsley Trail, crossed the A3055, branched right on a footpath to Winstone Farm, crossed the B3327 and headed for the donkey sanctuary, our stop for lunch.
After lunch we headed west on a bridleway, rejoined the Worsley Trail and continued to Gat Cliff. Here we turned south on a footpath that took us past an obelisk, the Worsley Monument, over Appuldurcombe Down and to the Worsley Trail again near a radio station. We continued south on the WT over Stenbury Down to Week Down and turned left (east) on a footpath that went across Ventnor Golf Course to the western edge of Ventnor. We then walked on pavements and along alleyways to the centre of the town. From here, after ice creams, we caught a bus to Shanklin and then the train to Ryde. Most stayed for fish and chips in the Long John Eater opposite the pier before taking the ferry back to Portsmouth.
We had a good day. The sky was overcast much of the time but, apart from five minutes of drizzle, there was no rain. By mid afternoon there was sunshine and it was warm enough and less windy for us to sit on the top deck of the ferry on the way back.
Maps: OL 29, LR 196