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Published: November 24th 2021
Castle Cove footpath
Easy stroll along the coast
A leisurely start to the day again. We were dropped at the Ventnor Botanical Gardens
, which were built on the site of a former TB hospital. The gardens were arranged down a hill, giving graceful terraces and views. The first section I visited was medicinal plants, but they gave no information on the uses of some quite common plants, so it wasn’t as interesting as it might have been.
My eye and my camera were drawn by some elegantly tall, showy flowers of red, yellow, and orange. After some searching for their name, I discovered them to be Canna Lilies
, yet another plant I’ve now seen from books I have read. The “Black Knight” variety was splendid with very dark red/green leaves and brilliant orange/red flowers. They rose over my head.
From here we walked along the Ventnor beach front, well populated with holidayers enjoying the sea, the sand, and the English beach attractions. I don’t remember seeing such things at other beaches, although most of them are reminiscent of Stampede carnival games.
Along the coast there are public works underway, which made for a wide path, except where it is closed altogether by the continuation of works. Erosion-prevention is
Ventnor Cascade Garden
the main goal, and since houses sit right on the cliff edges, this is probably of critical importance.
We walked up a variety of stairs and roads that service endless holiday flats and houses – presumably some people actually live here. We ate in a small common near the church. I showed Jacob the video from the morning, featuring him, which thrilled both him and his mother.
From Ventnor we walked along well-established paths to Shanklin
. Quite a few times we walked up and down muddy steps made from 2”x12” boards set vertically into what otherwise would have been a slide.
We walked a long stretch under the foliage of what was really a rhododendron
forest. I wouldn’t have recognized this except for walking last year with Andrew, when he explained that these bushes are taking over the natural woodlands.
We had tea at a garden that was set on the side of a hill. I had coffee and some cookies from lunch – seemed a divine way of life! Lots of flowers and bushes defined various sections of the garden, which allowed for our noisy group to dominate one area while other people could
Cottage Tea Room
Quaint, thatched-roofed cottage and exquisite garden
sit more quietly elsewhere.
From the tea garden it was very quick to walk 1 ½ miles to Shanklin. It was a bit of a disappointment from the vision I had, based on the write-up from the first Isle of Wight walking company I had considered. Although there is one short street of very pretty shops and thatched buildings, the traffic was incessant – obviously a very popular resort town. Also, in our brief time there (1/2 hour), I couldn’t find where the sea was, although I assume it was only a few blocks away.
I am writing this on August 27, having taken a day off from walking to enjoy our hotel, a fine beach resort. Unfortunately, the clouds are rolling in, belying the forecast for a fine sunny day. View map of locations on this tour.
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