Source to Sea
Call 01983 281662 now to book this holiday
|Day 1||Arrive in Chale|
|Day 2||Chale to Godshill||8.4|
|Day 3||Godshill to Sandown||10.1|
|Day 4||Sandown to Bembridge||10.4|
Call 01983 281662 now to book this holiday.
Source to Sea
Chale - Godshill
It is the small village of Chale which is situated on the south western coast that your journey begins. Following a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast you will set of over the hills in the next village of Niton to the source of the Yar. In the past Niton was renowned as a centre for smuggling and the table top tombs in the churchyard were a good hiding place for smugglers and their contraband. Until the 19th century the Yar flowed through the middle of the village as an open stream with mini bridges enabling villagers to cross. Pilgrims followed the trail along Ashknowle Lane to receive the healing waters at Whitwells holy well. The stream was a good supply of clean drinking water and iron cups were fastened to the arm of the pump for villagers to drink from. After Whitwell, the trail follows the Yar through fens and marshes alive with insect life and bright flowers in spring and summer. Godshill is the archetypal, picturesque Island village with by thatched cottages, tea gardens and an historic church perched high above the village on Gods hill. It is here that you will spend your second night.
Godshill - Sandown
Next morning you will wander through the central plains of the Island where the river demonstrates its importance to this rich farming area with medieval farm houses lining the route. The marshes around Alverstone are buzzing with wildlife. Look out for shimmering damselflies darting along the river in summer and the lush greens of reeds and sedges, punctuated with the flowers of meadowsweet, water mint and lag iris. In winter, the valley takes on more muted colours with willows and reed beds swaying in the wind. Alverstone mead Nature reserve, with its boardwalk and bird hide is right next to the trail near Alverstone Bridge. You leave the river itself and walk towards the town of Sandown where a warm welcome awaits your for your third night.
Sandown - Bembridge
Next day as you head across the downs you will able to see a wonderfully example of a Roman villa which has recently been the subject of a complete refurbishment scheme. This villa was a considerable trading post and grain grown here was exported to feed the Roman legions in nearby garrisons at Chichester and Porchester. Adgestone Vineyard takes full advantage of the south facing slopes of Brading Down to ripen its grapes on the very spot where the Romans themselves planted grapes, two thousand years earlier. For centuries, Brading was a port with sheltered waters deep enough for small cargo vessels to bring goods to and from the Island. By the 17th century the harbour began to silt up and Brading Haven was no longer able to sustain large barges. In 1630 the Haven was drained for the first time to create 700 acres of pasture but the dyke soon burst. It was not until 1882 when the railway line was built that the Haven was properly drained again and Bembridge grew from an isolated hamlet cut off by the flooded haven to become reputedly the largest village in England. Brading marshes are now a nature reserve managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Along with Bembridge Harbour at low tide, there are few better places for bird watching on the Island - or even in the country! You have now arrived at the end of your journey and will spend the night here before returning home in the morning.