Extra Walk 72 – Yarmouth Circular (Isle of Wight)
Length: 19¼ km (12 miles). Toughness: 5/10 08:35
* Weymouth train from Waterloo
, changing at Brockenhurst
(arr 10:04, dep 10:12) for the branch line to Lymington Pier
, arriving at 10:22
. Catch the 11:00
Wightlink ferry to Yarmouth
The Weymouth train's first stop is Woking (dep 09:00) so from Clapham Junction you'd need to take an earlier train and change there. The latest connection is the 08:27 Exeter train (arr 08:45) but that's likely to be crowded; the 08:22 Haslemere train (arr 08:41) would be better.
* Journey Planner says that you could take the 09:05 train (which does
stop at Clapham Jct) but this only gives you 8 minutes to make the ferry connection. As you'd have an hour to wait if this didn't work I recommend getting the 08:35 and having a leisurely coffee in the Costa at Lymington Pier.
Tickets: A normal day return from London to Yarmouth (IoW) includes the ferry crossing and is about £39 with railcard discount. Although the South West Trains 'go anywhere' £16 Summer ticket does not
include the ferry crossing, you can still do better by buying this (before midnight the day before) plus a separate ferry ticket, which is £14.60 (£11 seniors) for a day return. [SWT don't sell a ferry-only ticket but you could sneakily buy a discounted train+ferry day return ticket from Lymington Town
to Yarmouth for £11.40, booking this at the same time as the £16 ticket.]
On the way back the hourly ferries leave Yarmouth at 05 minutes past to 18:05, then at 19:10 and 20:10. The last one will get you back to London at 23:30; the connections on the others are better but the total journey time is still around 2¾ hours.
It's been three years since the last SWC expedition to the Isle of Wight and some walkers have been hankering for a return visit, hence this complicated set of travel and ticket instructions. You might of course like to stay overnight and devise your own Sunday walk on the island, but I'm told that UK holiday bookings have been heavier than usual this summer and it may be difficult to find accommodation.
The walk itself includes swimming opportunities at Colwell Bay and Totland Bay (sandy) around lunchtime, plus Freshwater Bay (shingle) at teatime: the first two of these are in the Solent and so relatively sheltered: Freshwater Bay is a lovely scenic cove but could have higher waves if the wind is in the south west. Sea temperature is 18 degrees (= about as good as it gets). Low tide is at 3.30pm but as far as I know even Freshwater Bay is swimmable at low tide, so this should not be an issue.
This isn't a walk which gets checked very often so the instructions on the Extra Walk 72
page are rather sketchy and possibly out of date (I'm told the landslip at the end of §1 has been repaired). Still, the first three sections are on the well-waymarked Coastal Path and the final section through a nature reserve and along the Yar estuary shouldn't present too many problems. T=swc.72