Today’s blog is by Steven Rittey, Leisure Cycling and Walking Holidays Manager at Wheel2Wheel Holidays based in Manchester. Steven writes a monthly blog for OS to tell of his adventures and ‘Tales from the Cycle Trails’, a weekly newsletter for leisure cyclists. Here he describes a ride around the Isle of Wight…
I have lived in Manchester for over ten years, but my ‘family home’ is Gosport on England’s South Coast. As I have grown older, I can clearly see the benefits of growing up there – A beachside school, lots of open green spaces and one of the most nicest harbours in the country to watch the ships pass by. It is also a peninsula and has a proud Naval heritage with close links to Portsmouth. However, one place that always seemed strangely distant and very different to the ‘mainland’ was the Isle of Wight. Less than ten miles from Portsmouth by catamaran or hovercraft and clearly visible right across the Solent area, the island has always felt like another place altogether.
Later this month walkers from across Britain will descend upon the Isle of Wight for its autumn walking festival. With plenty of routes around the island – both countryside and coastal – as well as quaint villages to call into along the way, there’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained.
This year marks the 16th anniversary of the annual Isle of Wight Walking Festival, which has grown to over 200 planned walks, making it (we think!) the biggest in Europe.
Starting on 3 May, the walking festival boasts 16 days of walks for people of all abilities, from toddlers to great-grandparents, and experienced hikers to casual walkers. All the planned walks will be led by the knowledgeable walk leaders who help to make the most of the scenery and history of the area.
Today’s guest blog was written by Richard Cardy of the Snows Isle of Wight Balloon Challenge 2014.
My involvement with the sport of Hot-Air ballooning goes back some 27 years or so to 1987, starting at the Great Southern Balloon race on Southampton Common, this was the forerunner to the latterly named Southampton Balloon and Flower Festival.
It was a couple of years or so after I’d settled into lighter than air as a hobby and finally finding a regular use for my trusty Zenith 12XP SLR camera, that I became aware of the importance of OS Landranger Maps in ballooning, for both plotting and marking flight progress.