The Slow Travel Guide to the Isle of Wight has been researched, written and curated by Mark Rowe. Mark is well known and well regarded for his active travel journalism. He’s the editor of BBC Countryfile magazine news pages and writes a regular column in the Independent. Here’s what Mark has to say about slow travel on the Isle of Wight:
“Let’s be honest, when we visit a rural area or an island, most of us assume that a car will be as indispensable as our credit cards and phones. Things are different on the Isle of Wight. A good bus service and an incredibly dense network of footpaths and cycle routes, topped up by a rail line down the east side of the Island, all mean that car-free travel is both a feasible and extremely practical option.
Walking, cycling or taking the bus (or train) around the Island will enable you to slow down, visit all of the Island’s ‘headline acts’ and explore many of its lesser-known but delightful spots. Along the way you will come across hidden beaches, nature reserves and tight-knit communities, where artists and other creative types thrive and which will enable you to get under the skin of the Island. Perhaps above all, you will encounter an incredible number of local food producers who grow a wide variety of mouth-watering breads, cheeses, fruits and much more.”
‘Local resonance is very important,’ says Paul Armfield, local writer and musician. ‘The Island has a very defined sense of place and belonging. Being an Island allows us to look slightly askance at things – there is no doubt that we have a different perspective from the mainland.’
The Slow Travel Guide to the Isle of Wight features eight touring routes, each based in a different geographical area of the Island. All the places of interest along the routes are accessible either on foot, by bike, bus or rail (and sometimes by two or more of these). The routes are circular but not prescriptive: at a push you could ‘do’ each of these routes in a single day but that, it could be argued, would be to miss the point. Slow down, perhaps see less than you would in the same time in a car, but see more of what you do visit.
So, leave the car keys at home, take a ferry across the Solent and step out onto an Island where the pace of life is less hectic than what you may have left behind.”
Welcome to Slow Wight.