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Steve Darch completes round the Island walk

Day 1

A hard walk really in this heat, it does sap strength so much. After leaving Newport he headed up the cycle track to Cowes to meet the proper Coastal Path, turning left he found a cake shop selling enormous rock cakes, even he couldn’t eat the whole thing at once, then sugared up he went through Gurnard, got a little lost there but found a pub instead, so after a swift half he rolled on towards Newtown, Shalfleet, Hamstead (long way round there), Bouldnor cliffs and down into Yarmouth, Declan bailed out at this point with back pain, so Steve carried on. I met him at Brambles holiday camp, having walked from Alum Bay, then we dropped down to the beach at Linstone Chine so Shep could have a cooling swim and onwards through Colwell and Totland and the last stretch uphill over Headon Warren to Alum Bay at 8.30 pm. 12.5 hours, at least 25 miles. 

Day 2

It’s been a long day for Steve; Starting from Alum Bay around 7.45 in the lovely coolness of an early morning. His walking buddy today was Stephen Brown who planned to get to Blackgang.

A hard day, followed yesterday’s marathon. A long climb up to Tennyson monument, down to Freshwater Bay, up the other side, down to Compton then along the cliff tops towards Blackgang, veering round or up and down all the chines between. A cream tea rest at IOW Pearl, extra scone of course, then up to Blackgang viewpoint for a late lunch. The other Steve left him at this point and our Steve soldiered on to St Lawrence and in to Ventnor where I met him armed with a very chocolaty rocky road slice to boost his sugar levels for the last 3 miles back through the woods to Shanklin.

Today’s walk took 12 and a quarter hours and covered 26.8 miles. Quite a feat for his feet. Not exactly a stroll that!  The weather helped to show what a beautiful island it is but it had it’s vagrancies – sunny to start, fog along the middle bit, then windy then hot and dry at the end !!


What a DAY. The hottest bank Holiday on record and Steve’s longest day, a massive 31 miles in 13 hours! Steve’s walking buddy today was a very fit Jenny. Steve’s brother Martin also joined him for a short while. Today started at Shanklin chine at 7.45 for a lovely walk along the Shanklin Sandown Yaverland seafront, then over Culver down into Bembridge and eventually into Ryde. A tea and cake stop at the lovely Quarr Abbey teashop then into Wootton Bridge and a slightly miscalculated diversion via Woodside which added a mile or two!! Then into East Cowes along roads. Here the Coastal Path crosses the floating bridge but Steve took a left and followed the banks of the Medina back to the FOTA base at Riverway arriving at about 8-45pm. Hot, tired, sticky we made him and Jenny pose for a couple of pics.

PLEASE  support Steve’s efforts by either :-

  • Making a donation via PayPal using the button below
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  • Send a cheque to 17A Riverway Newport PO30 5UX

Posted on September 4th, 2019

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