Cliffs, Windmills & Marshes

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There’s something about the coast that we cannot live without.  Even on a blustery, greyish day, it pulls us to it.  Today’s walk was a short one starting and finishing at Yaverland on the east coast of the Island.

Commencing at grid reference SZ 61165 85229, as this is free parking, head towards Yaverland Sailing Club where the real walk begins.

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This 7.88-mile walk takes in some of the dramatic cliffs of the East Wight with a nice bit of elevation gain in the first 2.5 miles.

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Additionally, for those interested once up on Bembridge Down you are at the site of Bembridge Fort.

As you make the walk up you will see bird life galore.

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On our walk, we were lucky enough to see Kestrels and Hawks soaring in front of us hunting but also smaller birds such as finches fluttering through the vegetation.

On this steady climb up don’t forget to look back and take in the sweeping views of Sandown and Shanklin Bay.

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Once up on the level stay close to the cliff edge and follow the path round until you can see towards Bembridge and Whitecliff Bay.

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From where the above image was taken there is a nice seat to take in the view from.  It should be at about SZ 63923 85636.  From here follow the path around and down until you pick up the signs for the coastal path.

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Taking the path down towards the holiday camp in the distance, be careful as you descend.  This path with take you past hidden weekend retreats until you reach the private slipway for Whitecliff Bay.

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This hidden bay is almost tropical in the right light.  If you feel you need a drink there is a small cafe down at the bottom of the slipway.  We carried on along the path.  Just round the coastline, you will see a signpost showing you information about Bembridge School.  This old school is now closed.  Here you have a choice – carry on on the coastal path right around to Bembridge Harbour or cut across country towards the windmill.

We opted to cut cross country and made it to the windmill.  This former corn mill is now managed by the National Trust and marks the point at which we started our return journey through the RSPB’s Brading Marshes.

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As paid up members of the RSPB we often wonder around here and the recent improvements to the paths certainly make this a great walk.  Keep your eyes peels for aerial activity from both feathered friends and planes as you will be right next to Bembridge Airport, which is on your left.

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When you get towards the end of the walk through the marsh, take the path found at grid reference SZ 61611 86839 signposted to Yaverland.  Straight in front of you will be a well-trodden path in the field, but stray right and follow the path that circumnavigates the small hill.  This path will take you along the line of the fence and follows the contour of the hill.

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When you get the gate at grid reference SZ 60876 86351 there is a small layby with an old WWII defence in it before crossing the road to pick up the trail further up the road, just before the bridge.

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From here you can almost follow the edge of the river until you see the houses on the estate where you parked and the path crosses a field to return you back to the start.  The walk heads along the back of the houses before forcing you to walk on the road for about 500 yards before seeing the turning back into the estate. os_maps-3

 

 

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