After packing bags we left Harrington House and the ever helpful Tony, the house manager. We had been well fed and the weather had mostly been very kind to us. Some went back via the Crab and Lobster and had a good lunch before catching the ferry at Fishbourne. For those who wondered what the 14 tall yellow posts were doing in the Solent, the answer is - not very much. They are actually lights to guide the new Queen Elizabeth Class carriers safely into Portsmouth harbour. The lights are powered by a combination of solar panels and batteries and will only be lit when the carriers are either approaching or leaving their berths at Portsmouth. Many thanks to Marian, Jane and Peter for additional photos.
All week the forecast had been poor for Friday 7th June so we decided it should be a Rest Day. Some went to Osborne House whilst others went to the nearby Quarr Abbey. For lunch we headed for Arreton Barns but sadly the Dairyman's Daughter pub on the site felt that buying a drink did not qualify us to eat our food on their empty outside tables. However, we did find seats elsewhere. There are a lot of retail opportunities on site but the more interesting part was an industrial unit a short stroll away where The Isle of Wight Sudio Glass have an extraordinary museum and workshop. Several of us were fascinated by the slow transformation of a red hot blob of glass into a beautiful vase. Well worth another visit. Also nearby was the 12 century Church of St George with a remarkable Burma Star window. We returned to Harrington House for the last time and this night was the big raffle night, a painting produced in front of us on a previous evening being one of the prizes.
The walk started from the very picturesque village of Godshill. Although only about 5.1/2 miles there was some slightly more difficult uphill stuff involved. Nevertheless a determined party set out to reach the Worsley monument, near to the top of the island's third highest hill. The route took us through some very pleasant farmland, with the views improving as we climbed up. The final stile was really a challenge, we have never seen one quite as high. However by the time we had surmounted this obstacle some of the less young walkers had rushed ahead and made very good progress. We eventually reached the monument, not the most beautiful pillar but with amazing views. The next destination was Appledurcombe House, supposedly the most haunted place on the island. Work started in 1702 and carried on being developed by the Worsley family for the rest of the century, including a garden designed by Capability Brown in 1779. With family scandals and debt, it gradually declined and was a ruin by 1950 but is now being looked after by English Heritage. It is also one of the finest lunch stops on the Isle of Wight. The walk back was through farmland and eventually along Godshill Park Road back to Godshill.
The base for the walk was Ventnor Botanical Gardens and from there we walked along the coast path towards Niton. At the Undercliff we turned north and found a sign advertising free refreshments in a church. This obviously needed checking out and we eventually reached the 12th century St Lawrence Old Church. Happily the sign was correct and the neatly kept churchyard was also a good place for a mid-morning snack. We decided against climbing up a large hill and decided to walk back along the A3055. This road is little used as it became a no through road as a result of a landslip in February 2014. Once we reached the Botanic gardens, they kindly allowed us to use their eating area so we could tuck into our packed lunches. They also sold delicious coffee. A leisurely walk around the gardens followed before we headed back to Harrington House. Two of us went by car to somewhere near Cowes and were rewarded with a distant view of the Red Arrows display over Portsmouth in commemoration of D day 75 years ago
The walk started from the Hotel and heading through the middle of the golf course. We had to wait a few times as the ladies in their big competition played their shots and this may well have made us miss our path. By the time we had re-grouped we decided we needed to carry on rather than risk upsetting the golfers. To get back on the intended path we had to take a route on Compton Down not normally walked on, but we survived the diversion. Crossing the Military Road brought us back onto the Coastal Path and we then headed for Shippards Chine. Along this part of the island there has been much erosion and the footpath had a few diversions where the cliff had eroded. Lunch was at Shippards Chine but the rain was trying to spoil our day. Some elected to catch the bus back to Freshwater Bay, whilst the rest used umbrellas and coats to stay reasonably dry for the walk back along the coastal path.