Monday, 13 April 2015

Isle of Wight Walks (Part Three) - Yarmouth and Freshwater

For a relaxing walk inland and away from the pollution and activity of the busier population centres, this 4 mile (6.3 kilometer) route is one of the more interesting, embracing an outward stroll beside the River Yar and a return journey taking in a historic church, a farm and some woodland, with an abundance and wide variety of wildlife almost throughout the walk.

1. Starting at the large car park by the roundabout on the Yarmouth seafront by the Wightlink terminal, head inline beside the Yar and join Footpath Y1 passing the Old Tidal Mill. After a short walk along the path with the river to your right, pass through a gate to join Footpath Y19. Bear right and follow this path all the way until reaching Freshwater Causeway Bridge – the first and only inland bridge that you will encounter. Please note that wheelchair users will need to turn at this point and complete the route by heading back alongs Footpath Y19 and Y1, as the remainder of the walk is unsuitable.

2. Once across the bridge, climb the hill and pass the church, stopping before reaching the Red Lion pub (unless the call of the aforementioned hostelry is too great, in which case by all means stop to refuel). Take Footpath F1 which runs immediately beside the wall of the church and then continues as a fenced path between two fields (if you're lucky you may see some pheasants!). Pass through a gate and continue along the line, with a row of houses to your left. Immediately before the farm turn left through a gate, and then bear right into and across the field towards a belt of woodland, where Footpath F1 is again indicated.

3. The path soon leaves the woodland into more open terrain and a dedicated track, passing over a small hill before reaching a tiny footbridge into the woods, out onto a field, through another gate and then another field, with an improvised track and a small continuous fence immediately to your right. This leads you into Saltern Wood, which is entered keeping the wood to your left.

4. Soon a narrow access road is reached at which one should turn left, continuing along to the main road. From here you will see the car park to your right, which can be reached by crossing Yarmouth Bridge. Then either continue into Yarmouth town to conclude your walk with a well-earned drink or cuppa, or simply return to the car park by the roundabout.

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