Exactly a year after publishing an account of a scenic stroll from Ryde to Brading, the last Saturday of summer (31 August 2019) seemed like an ideal time to pay a return visit to the ever-charming Isle of Wight.
Arriving on the island by hovercraft once again, I began where I left off last year and took a leisurely four and a half-mile walk from Brading to Shanklin, during which my challenge was to find a few off-the-beaten-track places at which to photograph Britain’s oldest passenger trains, Island Line’s 80-year old Class 483 units.
Heading briefly north from Brading station, the first of six vantage points I discovered was where the Yar River Trail crosses the railway line and there is a view of southbound services taking a right hand bend as they approach the station.483006 approaches Brading with the 11.07 service from Ryde Pier Head
Returning to Brading station I crossed the line at the south end of the platform and took path B69 that runs alongside the railway for about half a mile to Yarbridge, from where there is a good view looking south towards Sandown from the bridge carrying the busy B3395 road.483006 at Yarbridge with the 11.38 service from Shanklin.
From Yarbridge there is no path towards Sandown, so the most direct route is to walk along the main A3055 road until the point where it turns left under a narrow bridge under the railway, bearing right here to follow Perowne Way for about 300 yards, before taking a left turn into Jeals Lane.
At the end of this cul-de-sac a gravel path continues to the right of the end house and, after crossing at the edge of open grassland, there is a tarmac path off to the left, passing houses on the right and taking you to an over-bridge from where there are good views looking both north and south, with Sandown station in the distance.483006 approaches Sandown with the 12.07 from Ryde Pier Head
Carrying on for 100 yards to the main road, I took a right turn to briefly follow the A3055 once again, turning right after 200 yards into Grove Road and then bearing left at a sign indicating the way to Sandown station and the Red Squirrel Trail.
483008 accelerates away from Sandown with the 12.18 Shanklin-Ryde Pier Head
After a right turn into Station Road I then passed the front of Sandown station and onto Simeon Path, staying close to the railway line and heading through an attractive avenue of mature trees until reaching another foot crossing of the line.483008 south of Sandown with the 12.49 Ryde Pier Head-Shanklin
Crossing the line here, I continued a short distance down to a road called The Fairway, turning left onto it and following it for about 300 yards before turning right on the main A3055 close to where it passes under the railway.
Continuing on the left side of the main road round a sharp left hand bend and then for about a quarter of a mile, I reached path SS63 opposite a turn for Cemetery Road. This led to another foot crossing of the line, just north of a road over-bridge on the A3055.
483006 has just left Lake with the 13.07 Ryde Pier Head-Shanklin
This proved another good vantage point, as did my final stop on the walk to Shanklin. Returning to the main road and crossing the line on the main road approach to the town, I then took a right turn into Alresford Road, where a footbridge over the line is visible from the main road.483008 nears journey’s end with the 13.49 Ryde Pier Head-Shanklin
Having got my final shots here, a fairly direct route to Shanklin station that avoided the main road involved crossing the line, turning left and then left onto a road called Oaklyn Gardens. After following this to its end, a left turn into Green Lane and then left again at a T Junction onto Landguard Manor Road brought me to the end of the line at Shanklin.
483008 sets out from Shanklin with the 14.18 service to Ryde Pier Head
My trip was once again planned using the Isle of Wight OS Explorer Map (OL29). Services on Saturday were operated by units 483006/8, with one of the two other serviceable sets (483004) standing outside the depot at Ryde St. John’s Road, along with stored units 483002/9. The fourth serviceable unit (483007) was presumably in the shed.
The account of my September 2018 walk from Ryde to Brading can be found here: https://railwayworld.net/2018/09/14/railway-rambling-on-the-isle-of-wight/#more-2297