Today was a beautiful hot sunny day on the island, and as my people are off work they decided to take #MiniBreeze on a long walk with lots of climbing.
We started in Shanklin, one of the most popular holiday resorts, in the south east of the island. This is St Blasius church in the old village at Shanklin. We had to walk around this church to start the walk.
Behind the church we climbed over this stone step and onto the wooded path ahead. Then we started climbing.
This is about half way up. The climb starts steadily and at this point it had become steep. We climbed on until we reached the trig point on the top of Shanklin Down.
From here #MiniBreeze could see how far we had climbed, the town at the bottom is Shanklin. There were also views over the Arreton Valley where they grow strawberries, sweet corn and garlic.
We carried on just behind the trig point and climbed a style, then the view changed.
This is looking west towards the downs around places like Blackgang Chine where we went with @TourGuideTed, @MarthaBBear, @ReddyTeddy1408, @TabithaTeddy, @BooBooBearGreen and @KennyBear, back in July.
#MiniBreeze could see some interesting masts in the distance. We carried on along the top of the valley.
Along this path, looking at the valley from different angles.
We could see as far as the cliffs at Freshwater in the west of the island.
You can just see the white cliffs in the distance, although being a warm, September, sunny morning, it is a little misty.
The path carried on around the valley.
#MiniBreeze looked back at the view and the heather. He wondered whether our dear Aunty Kathleen (@pasikas) and @mogsbear would think this looked like the highlands of Scotland.
Great excitement when #MiniBreeze got to the radar station. This was built in 1938, used throughout WW2 (although it was bombed in 1940), and later was used to guide planes into Gatwick and Heathrow airports. It is closed now and there is an application to build holiday accommodation on the site. That would give great views.
We had climbed and then walked on the flat ground along the top of the valley and now it was time to come down again. We came down along the downs road and down lots of stone steps from the little town of Lowtherville (great fish and chip shop) and upper Ventnor, to Ventnor, a seaside resort on the south of the island.
Finally we got to Ventnor and coffee at the Metro Bar on the seafront. We like this place because they give chocolate flake with the coffee.
After coffee #MiniBreeze looked at Ventnor beach.
This is a nice beach for swimming in the sea. The sea here is the English Channel. We walked on, along the seafront, towards the next village, Bonchurch.
#MiniBreeze checked out the bay between Ventnor and Bonchurch, it is very beautiful.
The seafront and beach at Bonchurch are very nice. There is more to Bonchurch than just the seafront but we still had a long way to walk and it is quite a climb up to the very old church and vicarage garden. A notable thing about Bonchurch is that Charles Dickens wrote David Copperfield at East Dene house in Bonchurch. There is also a pottery and some cafes on the seafront.
#MiniBreeze befriended this Bonchurch cat who lives nestled up to a warm sunny wall.
Bonchurch and Ventnor are serious fishing places. #MiniBreeze found these lobster pots, which he said smelt good.
We had to climb back up onto the cliffs to get back to Shanklin but we went an interesting way via the landslip. The cliffs slipped sometime in the 18th century, leaving this interesting wooded area that was said to be used extensively by smugglers to bring their goods ashore and to hide them.
We climbed up and down, up and down through the landslip, seeing interesting trees and plants everywhere. This last picture is the wishing seat, that is near the Shanklin end of the landslip. #MiniBreeze sat on it and made a wish.
After leaving the landslip you come to Luccombe Common which has a small village, just houses, no shops or church, but you can buy jam. There is a Luccombe Jam Man, who makes jam and puts it out for people to buy, you can find jam there almost any day of the year. We bought a jar of greengage and a jar of damson jam this time. It is specially good jam!!
We walked onto the road and down towards Sandown bay and the town of Shanklin.
When we got back to Ryde we all felt that we deserved an ice cream, we had walked eight miles with lots of climbing and we were hungry. #MiniBreeze couldn't choose between salted caramel and millionaires shortcake flavours so he had a bit of each, sharing it with our people.