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Saturday, 26 June 2010

St Catherine's Hill circular walk via Whitwell

Our walk started from The Hermitage Country House, which is a lovely place to stay. 

Hoy's monument commemorates a visit by Czar Alexander 1 of Russia.  More info' at
Mrs Whitwell with the village of Whitwell in the distance.
Rather late bluebells were still in flower on St Catherine's Down.
The Round-the-island boat race was on and we just saw the last of the yachts.
Chale village from St Catherine's Down.
The lighthouse tower is all that remains of St Catherine's Oratory.
Click on any picture to enlarge it.
Descending the hill past the bull and cows with calves.
The view towards Tennyson Down and the Needles.
St Catherine's Point.
The Coastal Path was quite variable from wild meadows -- red with the sorrel seeds -- to dark, damp wooded tracks, lush with hart's tongue and other ferns.
 These small tortoiseshells were just two of many butterflies on the route.
Bee orchids were growing right by the bench at the top of the path down to St Lawrence.
Pyramidal orchids too.
We climbed down into St Lawrence for lunch at the pub, only to find that it HAS CLOSED DOWN!
There is a Post Office which sells food and alcohol but it was closed for lunch.
Hungry and thirsty we climbed up the cliff again...
... and took St Rhadegund's Path to Whitwell.
Mrs Whitwell at Whit Well.

The White Horse is a great pub because;
  • It has not closed down
  • Their crab sandwiches are lovely
  • and they serve Isle of Wight local real ales!  Heaven 
 Refreshed, we meandered back up to St Catherine's Down.
At Moorhills we passed a solitary orchid, which looks like a Southern Marsh-orchid.  It was in a boggy spot.
The walk was a little longer than planned due to navigational inexactitudes.
 Nearing the top of the Down you can see the Oratory and Hoy's Memorial if you know where to look.  Almost back now after a long and quite strenuous walk.
Finally, sunset with The Needles in view from St Catherine's Down.

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