In April 2019 we had a short holiday on the island staying at the HF hotel in Freshwater Bay. We took the opportunity to opt out of the organised walks on a couple of days to continue our sojourn around the island.
Our walk started at 10:00. The path was well marked and defined and we had views of the Needles from early on.
The HF Hotel overlooking the bay with the view from Room 44!
4. Yarmouth to Freshwater Bay
There was just one tricky moment where the signpost had been turned round with the path pointing inland and uphill.
We had a wonderful lunch stop on the top of Headon Down followed by a horrible steep path down to Alum Bay. All the holiday makers were now out in force and we joined them for hot chocolate and ice creams! Oh and a little jewellery store…
We walked to the Needles on the the first day of our I.o.W. break catching the bus from Freshwater Bay to Alum Bay ….. and the first lesson of the day was that we couldn’t use our bus passes until 9:30! The second lesson was Freshwater turned out to be a surprisingly long way from Freshwater Bay. Alum Bay at 9:45 am was almost completely empty of people, cars and coaches. We followed the coastal path to the Needles and the Old Battery which is NT owned, and skirted the edge of this to the New Battery. We found the Coastguard Watch which is manned by volunteers and from there to the defunct rocket testing station which was in use during the 1950s and ‘60s. From there we found a stunning view of the Needles with a vertiginous drop to the shore, and as it was quite hazy, with foghorn accompaniment (pitched to B) from the lighthouse.
We then had the iconic walk on Tennyson Down towards the Tennyson Monument on the highest point, and even with low cloud and haze we could appreciate how stunning it would be in fine weather. From here it was downhill all the way back to the hotel, and we made it just before the rain started, and had our picnic lunch in our room!
To be further investigated another time ... hopefully when the sun is shining!
And then we completed our day by following the Tennyson Trail and back to Freshwater past the Monument again but this time in the most glorious weather with wonderful far reaching views. What a perfect day’s walking.
Over two days we decided to tick off probably the most scenic leg of the path. We caught the No 12 bus from Freshwater Bay, which turned into the No 7 to Yarmouth.