Bembridge Harbours’ large expanse of water (or mud if the tide is out) lies between the villages of Bembridge and St Helens, and variety of interests can be found in and around the area. In the summer particularly the water is a hive of activity, local fishing boats coming and going, dinghies sailing in the harbour, and yachts arriving from, or departing to, other ports.
Bembridge Harbour Walk
A stroll around the harbour can prove interesting, and very diverse. Starting from Bembridge, if you keep to the pavement alongside the road you soon come upon an eclectic collection of houseboats. Though some of these are historic, including one WW2 motor-torpedo boat, increasingly more modern purpose built houseboats are appearing. Further along the road you can stop off at the Fishermans Pontoon, either to purchase fresh crab, lobsters or shellfish from The Best Dressed Crab, or a snack and drink at The Overboard Cafe. For a different perspective you can avoid much of the road by taking the path of the old railway, access to this starts just after the green metal fence just after the start of the houseboats. This path leads you through the northern end of the RSPB’s Brading Marshes Reserve.
At the western end of Embankment Road turn into Latimer Road, and then into North Quay. The path between the Old Mill and Bembridge Angling Club leads across the old mill causeway, and is not accessible at all states of the tide. Those who venture this far are rewarded by view back across the harbour. At the northern end of the causeway lies St Helens Duver today the sand dunes and scrub make a pleasant walk with little evidence of the areas interesting history. In 1882 the Royal Isle of Wight Golf Club was established on this spot, one of the very first golf courses in England. At the northern end of the duver the painted white remains of St Helens Old Church can be seen, a church existed on this site for about 1,000 years until the early 1,700’s when the church fell into disrepair and only the old tower remained.