Cliffs at Freshwater Bay by boxplayer

Cliffs at Freshwater Bay

S and a view across to the cliffs at Freshwater Bay from the coastal path, our constant companion sea thrift dotting the grass all around.

Slept well on the comfy bed even if it was a touch rocky - very dark in the early hours. Rather startlingly, the heating came on in morning - the radiators were set at max.

Ended up being a very hot sunny day, we hadn't expected it to be so hot. Showered and breakfasted then started the walk from the apartment. Ended up being a hard 11 miles for me, and nearer 14 miles for the others.

Walked through Brook, with its nice village hall, to the coastal path. A lovely terrace of coastguards' cottages looked out over the sea. Walked 4, not 3 as I first thought, miles to Freshwater Bay with the most beautiful views across to the chalky cliffs, and green downs rising above.

Lots of beautiful flowers, horseshoe vetch, umbellifers of all sorts, and lots and lots of thrift on the cliff edges. We had views down to lovely looking beaches, the yellow sandy stone showing signs of lots of erosion.

There were surfers at Compton Bay, and a few swimmers. Having reached the bay, we looked for somewhere to get a cup of tea and a bit of lunch to take away but it was very quiet on the front with nothing obvious other than a closed cafe and the big rather scruffy looking Albion Hotel.

Checked out the bar here but it looked deserted and wasn't doing food anyway according to the woman that eventually appeared at reception. So we walked inland a few metres to Dimbola, the home of Julia Margaret Cameron, with its Jimi Hendrix statue outside.

This looked lovely and inviting with outdoor tables, a bookshop, but the staff were a touch ditzy. As I waited for our takeaway sandwiches, some women came up from a table inside where they'd been waiting ages for food - they thought the serving staff had taken their order at the table and staff swore blind that they hadn't and that everyone had to order at the counter.

Got our takeaway cheese sandwiches which were nice but of course Dave's cheese and pickle didn't have any pickle in it when we finally sat down to eat it up on the downs. Time was rushing on so we didn't stop for drinks. Headed straight up the road onto the downs and onto a golf course that went on for quite a long intense bit of up. It was quite tiring and of course very monocultural scenery other than lovely views out to sea.

Finally we reached the end of the golf course at Compton Down, and instantly the landscape transformed, filling up with different plants and shrubs and beautifully lots of singing larks. We even saw a lark in the low undergrowth.

From here it was up and down over several downs, Brook Down and Mottistone beyond that. We stopped to eat our sandwiches at Five Barrows. Very tired and drained after this and I started to fall behind. At the turn off for Brighstone, Dave and I went straight down the hill to the village while T and S continued a bit further over the downs.

It was still a long way down and very hot so hard going and I felt rough half way down so Dave kindly took my bag. Finally the sun getting to me - hotter than expected and I hadn't put my hat on, any sunscreen or drunk enough. And we'd walked near enough 11 miles.

Ended up at the Three Bishops - Dave went to the bar and I went to find seats outside. Chose the arbour, but then some armchairs came free so I rushed to grab these. Very comfortable and under a canopy these were and I sipped my martini rosso and lemonade, relieved to be no longer walking.

T and S appeared and had a drink then they and Dave continued the walk back along coast, leaving me in the pub with the papers and another drink. T and S were back in an hour and we drove to Sainsbury's in Freshwater, where there were actually quite a few shops away from the sea.

Picked up stuff for a buffet: salad, party snacks, crisps, salmon, tinned mackerel, olives, garlic bread, and wine. Drove back to try and work out how to watch the Champions League final as was only on BT Sport. Managed to get it on my tablet via BT Sport's YouTube channel and left Dave watching the preamble while S and I prepared the buffet.

Dave watched the footie (Liverpool won) and we ate and drank. All very tired though and I was asleep soon after retiring. Had to get up at 12ish though to take some Aspirin.

Dave was up at 4 to go to the loo and said were bats flying around outside the bathroom window. Rather entertainingly he suggested we go for a walk. I said no - I think he was quite pleased.

Glanville fritillary https://365project.org/boxplayer/extras/2019-06-01

1 June 2019
Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight
Such beautiful scenery, you were so lucky with the weather because it’s terrible now! Sea thrift is such a pretty flower. What a long walk you had...sometimes one forgets you have to walk back too! I doubt I’m up to 11 miles these days!
June 12th, 2019  
Such a lovely place to be walking, lovely scenery
June 15th, 2019  
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