Letter: Three mile inland detour for coastal path after English Heritage object

English Heritage appear to be blocking a route along the 500yd coastal edge of the Osborne House Estate, resulting in a three mile inland bypass to the road and back to the coast. Mike Slater from the IW Ramblers writes in response.

coastal path

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This letter from Mike Slater, IOW Ramblers Footpath Secretary. Ed

I would like to comment on recent concerns about a proposed route for the National Coast Path through Whippingham.

England is a small crowded island and we need to share the use of land to cater for a range of societies requirements. Helping the General Public to share access to our coast and countryside for healthy recreation is clearly one example.

The Parishes of East Cowes and Whippingham are ill-served in this respect, they have only one short stretch of public footpath.

New public path to coast a benefit
Residents of the Heights housing estate may have reservations about the particular routing of a proposed public path, but surely they can see the benefit of a new public path from their estate across countryside towards a part of the coast which previously had no public access.

Recently in my Parish of Freshwater, residents campaigned for a path to be established through a new housing development to provide easy access to the countryside!

The England Coast Path seeks to provide a complete coastal route and improve shoreline access around the Island.

Three mile inland bypass
English Heritage appear to be blocking a route along the 500yd coastal edge of the Osborne House Estate, resulting in a three mile inland bypass to the A3021 and back to the coast.

This potential diversion could affect the Heights estate.

Read more about the Island Coast Trail on the Ramblers Website.

Thursday, 25th April, 2019 5:06pm


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11 Comments on "Letter: Three mile inland detour for coastal path after English Heritage object"

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Commenting in a personal capacity unconnected to Island Labour, I’d have to say that English Heritage, of which I’m a member, should pull their necks in. One of the great joys of our island is the coastal path, and I’ve nearly completed it all. But by far the worst section was between East Cowes and Wootton, largely because it isn’t remotely coastal, and is often down a… Read more »

I think you’ll finds that Ventnor Botanic Gardens have an issue with leakage where walkers access the gardens without paying – it undermines their admission income. It’s an open secret that you can access the gardens in this way. It’s a shame as the gardens could do with all the admissions income it can get in order to improve the attraction.

A path through the Norris and Osborne estates following the coast would be most welcome and I would certainly make frequent use of it. I would also mention that I have been questioned by hikers trying to circumvent the Island along the coastal path who have been very disappointed at the current arrangements. We have stunning coastal views and walks and as a tourist destination we should… Read more »

This is absurd: a Coastal Path should be a Coastal Path and not have a 3 mile detour. Osborne House could put a fence up along the 500 yards and perhaps a gate so visitors to the House can access the beach. I know that this might be abused by people getting into Osborne House grounds but it worth the risk IMO.


This would appear to be a case of the peoples representatives vs the people!


Heritage could make it toll path, that would be no worse than the floating bridge and even a paying entry point on the coastal path. The coast is part of everyone’s heritage as well.
strikes me as spiteful bullying forcing a long inland detour away from the beaches beauty.


I have just realised with some amusement that The Mass Kinder Scout was held on April 24th 1932 – or 87 years ago yesterday, and of course the Ramblers Association were very much key players in that event.

Mark L Francis

What is he point of English Heritage if they prevent people from accessing their heritage?

Allowing walkers to access the stretch of coastline along Queen Victoria’s beach would undermine Osborne and English Heritage’s business model and security. Without admission income the property wouldn’t survive as the organisation is now a charity and doesn’t have government funding. Opening an admissions point along the coast wouldn’t be cost effective, and a turnstile would be costly to install and maintain. Why would people pay the… Read more »

England’s heritage includes it’s coastline and everyone should be able to have access to it.

Do you perhaps work for English Heritage?, most walkers and I include myself in this, much prefer to walk by the sea and as far away as possible from the snarl of the motorcars.

The section of Island Coastline that is concerned here, is actually a SSSI, and under private ownership. The existing guardian of this site, does value its interest, but also values that fact it needs to be protected. The people who live on the estates where access is being sought, value their privacy, and do cont consider that having to fence off land that is not in public… Read more »