It’s that time of year when talk of the St Helens and Bembridge Fort Walk returns. There are two dates that are thought to be the best for attempting the walk out to St Helens Fort this year.
Take not of the no parking restriction on Duver Road
The first is this coming Saturday (3rd August) and again at the end of the month (31st August). In theory, the latter date may have a slightly lower tide than this weekend’s one.
For those taking part this Saturday, the recommendation is to begin the walk at around 6.30pm – 45 minutes before the point of the the lowest tide (which is 7.18pm) – but not anything after 7.50pm.
Safety advice from RNLI
Alan Doe, the Coastal Safety Officer from Bembridge RNLI shares this very sensible advice for OnTheWight readers and if you are planning on attempting the walk, please make sure you watch the video and read the tips beforehand.
Safety advice you should follow:
- You are walking at your own risk – this is not an organised event.
- Locally it is described as a ‘happening’.
- Check the weather forecast before you go. Do not attempt the walk in high winds or poor visibility.
- It takes approximately 30 minutes to walk from the shore at Bembridge Point or St Helens Old Church to St Helens Fort and 30 minutes to get back to the beach (i.e 1hr round trip).
- Do not leave the shore after Low Water.
- Aim to reach the Fort between 10 minutes before low water and 10 minutes after low water.
- The walk is more strenuous than you think.
- Be prepared to get wet, you can be walking in water up to your waist.
- Keep a close eye on your children (and dogs) – it is a good idea for children to wear buoyancy aids. Dogs may need to be carried or need to swim some distance.
- Do not swim in the Bembridge Harbour Channel (marked by the red & green buoys) – there may be deep holes due to dredging.
- Wear shoes as the causeway is stony; Flip Flops are not suitable.
- If you are circling the Fort, don’t stop to admire the view, keeping walking. It is deemed to be good luck to circle the Fort in an anticlockwise direction.
- Be careful of slipping on the rocks around the Fort.
- Do not leave valuables unattended on the beach.
- Please park responsibly in Bembridge & St Helens
- Carry a means of calling for help (ideally a mobile in a water proof case)
- If you need help call 999 and ask for the Coastguard
As long as there are no operational problems, Bembridge RNLI Inshore Lifeboat will be in the vicinity, as will Bembridge Coastguard team.
Image: © Christian Beasley / Beautiful Wight