Friday, 9 March 2012

On Top of the Island

This new exciting walk starts on Mondays fortnightly from 9th April.

We meet at Appuldurcombe Gardens Holiday Park in Wroxall at 09.30.
If you are not staying at the Holiday Park please park in the free village carpark 10 mins walk down the road or at the Appuldurcombe House car park 5 mins walk away.

6 miles
Up & Down & level walking
Approx 3 hours

We begin by walking to Appuldurcombe House. This once beautiful 18th century building was sadly bombed during WWII.  It was restored but only the shell remains. Now owned by English Heritage. Appuldurcombe means Valley of the Apple Trees.

We then head up onto Wroxall Down & past Ventnor Radar Station,  former RAF Ventnor built in 1938 to monitor D-Day Landings. It was repeatedly bombed during WWII & used until the early 1960's. Several bunkers still exist & are occasionally frequented by the local wildlife!

We reach the highest point on the Island at 241m.  On a clear day the 360 degree views are really impressive.  In the distance we can see Sandown Bay & Culver Down.
Out at sea off the south coast of the Island we often see passing cruise ships, cross channel ferries & cargo boats heading in & out of Portsmouth & Southampton.

We walk on Top of the Island as we head onto Luccombe Down & St Martin's Down. During the summer the heather, gorse & ferns are ablaze with colour. These Downs are an important breeding ground for several birds including the rare Dartford Warbler. New Forest ponies have been introduced as their grazing creates habitat for a variety of wildlife.

As we begin to descend we pass by the site of Cook's Castle. Originally built in the 18th century & designed by Capability Brown to create a romantic building to be viewed from Appuldurcombe House. It was never actually a defensive building but used more as a romantic tearoom during Victorian times!

The last part of our walk takes us along the old railway line which once connected Sandown to Ventnor via a tunnel through the Downs which was completed in 1866. Ventnor station was the end of the line.

Adults - £5.00
Seniors 65 plus - £3.00
Children under 12 - £2.00

To book:
Phone 01983 761574
Mobile 07771 616540

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