Isle of Wight - Totland Bay
Sunday 06 May 2018

Day Two Tennyson D. Freshw. Bay Compton D. Long Stone Mottistone Maps Bus Ride Evening Read Me

Day Two

On our second full day it seemed nice to combine a sunny walk high up on the downs with a visit to a National Trust property. We took the Tennyson Trail along Tennyson Down going eastwards from the Tennyson Monument. Tennyson loomed very large! After descending to Freshwater Bay, we went up again to the next section of the Tennyson Trail, enjoying fine southward views from Compton Down across to the sea. We then came to the Mottistone Estate and the ancient "Long Stone". From here we reached the picturesque National Trust Gardens at Mottistone Manor. Later, we took a scenic bus ride along the coast back to Totland. On our second full day, we again enjoyed fine sunny weather. We rounded off our day by an evening visit to the Waterfront Inn in Totland Bay, where we also enjoyed the impressive sunset over the sea and the yachts.

Here we are on the cliff top between the Tennyson Monument and Freshwater Bay.
We are enjoying the walk and the weather. The weather was especially made for us!

Tennyson Down

From Totland we climb up to the Tennyson Monument, which, at 147 metres, gives us a good all-round view from Tennyson Down. Tennyson seems to reign supreme hereabouts. On our way up, we passed Highdown Inn which used to be Tennyson's local. As you will gather, he lived nearby. His house became the Farrington Hotel, and now it has reverted to being Tennyson's house, which one can visit, albeit only by prior arrangement - so we left that option to another time, especially as we were here to enjoy the Great Outdoors and the good weather. At the Monument we took a few "we woz here piccies" and then made our way along the cliff tops to Freshwater Bay.

Here we are at Tennyson's Monument.

Here we still are at Tennyson's Monument.

From the Monument we could also look towards the west
and the way we took on Saturday to the Needles and Yarmouth.

Tennyson Down is also the place to enjoy a scenic horse ride.
In the background we see the Mainland and Hurst Castle (English Heritage).

We make our way towards Freshwater Bay
I'm photographing against the sun, so it's more a question of appearing in silhouette!

We stop for another "piccy", and this time and photographing away from the sunlight.

On the last picture we missed Jan out, but now, here she is!

Another view back the way we came.
It's a chalky landscape!

Freshwater Bay

Freshwater Bay is about 1½ miles away from Freshwater. Perhaps after a few hundred thousand years, the River Yar will have forced its way from Yarmouth through to Freshwater Bay, thus making West Wight into an island, cut off from the rest of the IOW. Anyway, we are involved with the here and now. We do a "down and up" through Freshwater Bay to stay on the Tennyson Trail. At sea level in Freshwater Bay we see some rocks standing in the sea, rocks which are reminiscent of the Needles.

We start our descent into Freshwater Bay.

Freshwater Bay

Freshwater Bay

Down on the beach at Freshwater Bay we get close to these rocks which remind us of the needles.
Apparently, at one time, the rocks formed an arch which fell into the sea. What a pity!.

We climb up to Compton Down and can look back from the east
towards Tennyson Down and towards Freshwater Bay and its sandy beach.

Compton Down

We stay on the Tennyson Trail above Compton Down, until we descend to the Mottistone Estate. The open sky, the views towards the sea, and the sunny weather, all combine to make this an exhilarating part of our walk. The Great Outdoors indeed!

On the Tennyson Trail above Compton Down, we see a number of these pretty purple flowers. The girls immediately knew what they were, and put my scanty botanical knowledge to shame!
By the way, what were these flowers? Would I recognise them if I saw them again?

Freshwater Bay, nestling in the chalky landscape, is still with us.

Onwards we go, enjoying sun, sea and sky.

The Long Stone

We now enter the Mottistone Estate. First come the woods and then "gorse strewn" open landscape. We stop for "piccies" at the 6,000-year-old Long Stone before we descend through more woods to the entrance of the Mottistone N.T. Gardens and the Manor. The Manor dates from the 15th or 16th Century (nobody knows for sure).

Yellow gorse, yellow gorse,
You are so pretty, of course, of course.
Everywhere you are out in force,
But oh your thorns ... show no remorse.
(Verse by yours truly. Sorry, not A.L. Tennyson this time!)

Here we are at the "Long Stone".

The "Long Stone" is what remains of
a 6,000-year-old Neolithic communal "long barrow" or burial place.
Our thoughts or more of the here and now. Nice weather and nice walk!


Mottistone Manor and gardens belong to the National Trust. The present manor house dates back to the 15th or early 16th century, with additions in the 17th century. History is writ large. Alas, the manor is only open two days a year, the next open days are a week after we leave the IOW - "you can't win 'em all". However, the gardens are open. Time for some Earl Grey tea and cake, or other suitable National Trust refreshment, as well as, of course, a walk around the attractive gardens.

Here is Mottistone Manor.

Above the main entrance we can see the year 1567.

Here is another view of Mottistone Manor before we go for our afternoon tea.

Having enjoyed our afternoon tea, ...

... we can enjoy the gardens ...

... and the colourful flowers ...

... that grace them.

In the gardens there is also an adventure trail for the children.
It's a long time since I have seen a "Flowerpot Man"!

Here is a time-honoured stone seat ...

... from which one can admire ...

... the avenue of chestnut trees.

Mottistone Manor ...

... nestles in the landscape ...

... as it has done for centuries.

"Someone else" the children should look out for is this "straw gardener".
The message here is probably that gardens require a lot of hard labour. Indeed, the National Trust employs a lot of voluntary labour, without which it could not really keep its properties going.

Chestnut Tree Avenue.

Manor House and carefully tended garden with box hedges.

Manor House with more low-level box hedges. Very nice!

Main entrance with the date 1567.This is before the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar.
The year, in our modern reckoning, may not actually be 1567.
So what is it? Answers on a postcard please.

The Manor seen from the south-west.

"The Shack" was designed and used as "their summer drawing office by architects John Seely (2nd Lord Mottistone) and Paul Paget". Date unknown! It stands in the middle of the tea gardens.


Steps leading from the garden to the Manor.

The nearby parish church of St. Peter and St. Paul dates from the 12th century, and is closely linked to Mottistone Manor. Unfortunately, we did not get any sense of history exuding from the supposedly mediaeval building. However, the wall memorials were obviously significant to the families of those whose names and lives the memorials recorded.

The Aisle looked heavily restored - perhaps by the Victorians.

Old tomb without any description!

Old chair nearby!

Memorial circa 1858.

Memorial circa 1986.

Memorial circa 2011.

Return to Totland Bay

We returned by the two-hourly number 12 bus, first along the coast and then, after Freshwater Bay, inland to the Totland war memorial. The scenery on the coastal stretch was - in this case - made all the more dramatic by photographing against the evening sun.

View along the coast road towards Freshwater Bay and Tennyson Down.

The road is somehow built into the landscape, high above the sea.
Careful driving required!

Our Evening at the "Waterfront Inn"

For our final evening Jane had arranged a visit to the "Waterfront Inn" on - would you believe - the sea front of Totland, looking straight out on to Totland Bay. The fare and service were good. The position enabled us to witness the fine sunset over the sea and the sailing boats anchored there upon. A good omen for future CLOG away breaks!

We are enjoying a good natter about our respective daytime doings
as we sip our chosen pre-prandial beverages.

Here we are again with our respective pre-prandial beverages.
Dinner will shortly be served.

Not to be outdone, the second table is doing the same!

In the course of the evening ...

... we can also enjoy nature's evening spectacle -

- the setting of the sun over Totland Bay.

The sun gets smaller and smaller ...

... as it disappears over the horizon.
A nice way to end a nice CLOG away break!