Our February wander took us out to the beautiful West Wight. It was a clear sunny day and we decided to walk up Tennyson Downs to the monument. Parking the car opposite The Piano Cafe… We walked past the pretty thatched St Agnes church and just past Dimbola Lodge, former home of Margaret Cameron the Victorian photographer, we took the first gate on the right and walked across the field towards the sea, before turning right and following the path along the cliff edge… not too close to the edge mind you!
Be sure to stop several times and turn around as you climb, to admire the view behind you, Freshwater Bay and the back of the Wight guide your eye along the coast to the south of the Island.
Sweep your gaze the other way and you get a good view of the Solent, Hurst castle, Yarmouth and the estuary. Here you will find Kings Manor Farm with S/C Kings Lodge and Estuary Cottage. Further inland on the middle road you can clearly see Tapnell Farm, S/C, also pods and Glamping.
At one point halfway up the downs the monument disappears from view, hidden in a dip for a while, but soon comes into view again.
At the top surrounding the monument there are four benches facing all four directions. Each view is stunning. The monument is made of granite, erected in memory of Lord Alfred Tennyson. His house is below the downs Farringford House. Gardens and house open to the public March to Oct.
From the monument you get a good view of the Island. Brightstone in the distance, where you will find Little Pitt Place an excellent B&B. Having visited YoungWoods Farm B&B last summer, I know you can see the Tennyson monument from the upstairs there.
Having rested and enjoyed the views it was time to make a move.
For those so minded you can continue walking along the cliffs to the Needles and Black Rock… rocket launching site. We however took the track/ bridleway which heads back to Freshwater Bay below the downs. Turning left near the end of the track takes you behind Farringford House and brings us out nicely back at the car.
After a nice walk we had earned lunch. So a visit to The Piano Cafe for lunch rounded off a perfect morning.