Local Walks from Freshwater Bay car park
Lasting from 2 to 3 hours
These start and end at the Freshwater Bay Car Park. Mainly designed for a half day trip out and we have tried to construct them so they are resonably flat!
This walk takes you across to the other side of the Island to Totland and Colwell Bay. In a strong Southerly wind that side offers more shelter.
From the car park, turn right and follow Gate lane as it passes the toilets, Dimbola Lodge and the thatched St Agnes church. Carry on until you are opposite to the Freshwater Bay Post Office. Here you should find a footpath (F47) going left through the trees. Follow this path or lane and keep going under the old wooden footbridge at the back of the Farringford. This was the bridge used by Alfred, Lord Tennyson when he wanted to walk the Downs.
Follow the path onwards until it comes to Farringford Farm. Here, turn right and go down to Bedbury Lane. Taking care, cross the road and turn left so as to cross Queens Road. Follow what has become Moon Hill Road a little further, crossing the Middleton road, until you approach a bend with a thatched cottage ahead of you. Before you reach this there is a footpath going off to the right. It is also a access way for some houses further along, so has a tram line of concrete along it. Follow this past fields and small farms until you come to a farm entrance.
You will see directly ahead a stile into a field with a copse of trees ahead. Cross the stile and head for the trees. Here is another stile that leads into the copse. Go through the copse to a stile on the other side and then across the field. This brings you to a swing gate onto Summers Lane. Turn left by the Catholic graveyard and cross the road. Another footpath takes you down the side of one field to a point where it joins another. Turn left and go downwards to Weston Road. Here, turn right and proceed down to the small round about. The war memorial is on your left and just beyond that is Madeira Road. Follow this down to the waterfront.
Totland pier runs out in front of you with some toilets on the left. By turning right you can follow a path along the top of the sea wall. This goes right around to Colwell Bay. There are good views all along of Hurst Narrows. Colwell is a popular small beach with a range of seaside stalls selling all the usual items. There is also a couple of cafes and some more toilets by the car park. The road leading down to Colwell Bay is Colwell Bay Chine, so turn right and follow this up to main Colwell Road. Nearly opposite is the Colwell Inn and to the right of this pub, a pathway. Go along this until it reaches the back of Freshwater village. At the end of the path turn left down Silcombe Lane and then right into Princess Road. This will take you to the top of the Avenue, which is the main row of shops in Freshwater.
You have a choice, either turn left and go down the Avenue until the road turns right. At that point go straight on, across the small road island and up the side of Lloyds bank, into Queens Road. Otherwise, go straight across from Princess Road and follow Court Road until Clayton Road comes in from the right. This is a quieter route but the distances are the same. Take Clayton Road on the left down until this reaches Queens Road. Follow Queens road along the row of horse chestnut trees until you come to Pound Green, a delightful green with some interesting houses and cottages. The old pound into which stray animals were places, still can be seen on the right. When you approach the green, Queens Road goes off to the right but directly ahead, across Camp Road is a small path. Go up this to a field known as Granny's Mead. Cross this and on the far side is the Farringford Hotel.
Turn left into Bedbury Lane and follow this down to Orchards shop and the junction with Victoria road. Cross the junction and take the road ahead, Gate lane, past the thatched church and on down to the Bay.
This is a very poular walk and again goes from one side of the Island to the other. This follows the line of Afton Marsh and the Western Yar river to Yarmouth but is repeated a lot on the way back.
From the Bay car park, turn left and proceed across Afton Roadand up the Military Road. There are a couple of small roads on the left but at the Plot, Southdown Road goes off to the left and is marked as leading to the Freshwater Golf Club. Take the road left and follow Southdown Road until it reaches a junction with Manor Road. Turn right and follow Manor Road until it meets the Newport Road. Almost opposite is The Causeway, a small road that leads down to the barrier above the top end of the Western Yar. At the barrier a path goes off to the right, between the river and na small cottage. This is the old railway line that runs down to Yarmouth.
Follow this path along the river bank and finally, through the gate and down to the Mill. The path carries on along the river bank and around the car park. Where it rises onto the road a Yarmouth bridge, cross the road and head towards the quay. Yarmouth gets very busy in the summer months but is well worth a visit. There are some good pubs there and the quay is always a place to give entertainment. There is a castle and the only wooden pier still in commercial use, though this is only occasionally. Follow the path alongside the river back to the barrier at Freshwater.
This time go straight across and follow the path until it reaches Afton Road, close to the End of the Line Cafe. Cross Afton Road and go slightly left towards the entrance to Afton Marsh. Follow the trail through Afton Marsh and over the small bridge where the stream divides. This will bring you to Blackbridge Road. Turn right and go along the road for a short distance and you should come to the entrance to the path that follows the rest of the marsh down to the Bay. Turn left onto this path and follow it until it reaches Coastguard Lane. Proceed down the lane, past the back entrance to the Sandpipers Hotel and onto Gate Lane, opposite to the Albion Hotel. The car park is on the left.
See the Picture Gallery for sample views. The pictures in the gallery have been reduced in quality in order to speed up the site but we hope that they give some sort of idea of the views that you will see on these walks.