Isle Of Wight Coastal Path : Gurnard To Totland
Coastal Path diversions caused us some confusion and lost time due to poor signage. If you plan to walk the path I would recommend checking the Isle Of Wight Council web site for details of diversions before you set off. These diversions meant that most of the morning was again spent on tarmac out of sight of the sea.
Porchfield was a point of interest for me as I had done some design work on the sewage pumping station there some 25 years earlier. I am pleased to report that it is still operational, unlike the pub in the village.
|Porchfield Pumping Station
||National Trust Newtown
More road walking was thankfully interrupted by a short detour for lunch in a bird hide at the National Trust site at Clamerkin. There were some more friendly cows here but rather less persistent than last night. Soon afterwards was a rather pleasant piece of countryside leading to Newtown and the ancient town hall, again maintained by the National Trust.
With tarmac underfoot once again, we arrived at Shalfleet where there is a heavily fortified ancient church with a tower dating from 1070. The walls are 5 feet thick and it was used to shelter the local residents during raids by the French. Originally it had no door at ground level, access was by ladder to the roof where a 3 pound gun was mounted to deter raiders.
There is a small shop in the village where we purchased supplies, note that it has limited opening hours. Following a consultation with the map we realised that we were well behind schedule and took the decision to take a bus through Yarmouth to Totland where, after consuming sausage and chips from Totties chippy we walked up to the camp site at Stoates Farm, paying a visit to the pub next door during the evening.
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