For an expedition with a difference, our Scouts went on a trip to the Isle of Wight. For many, this was their first visit to the island and for some, it was their first time on a ferry.
As a welcome change to recent weather, the whole day was bright and free from rain. This meant that we went home relatively clean!
After the 40-minute ferry ride, we arrived in Yarmouth and hiked out of the port and explored the estuary, River Yar and its nature reserves. This led us to the other side of the island to the picturesque Freshwater Bay, the birthplace of the physicist Robert Hooke and home to Poet Laureate Alfred Lord Tennyson. The beach offered the perfect place for a rest and play in the sand.
Taking a route up a nearby hill, we were rewarded with a 360-degree view of the entire area and led us to the awe-inspiring Tennyson monument that dominates the surroundings. Its exposed position meant it was open to cold winds. As practice for surviving in harsher conditions, the Scouts used this as a place to perfect using survival shelters and cooking a lunch!
Descending gently towards the Needles peninsular, we found interesting old fortifications and a wartime air-raid shelter. Unfortunately, the Needles park was closed and it felt quite spooky walking around all the closed shops and rides!
Setting back towards Yarmouth, the sun started to go down over the sea and the on the way the Scouts found a destroyed pier and a quirky hexagonal Victorian fort.
The ferry ride back was a well-earned rest for everyone after completing the longest hike that any of the current Scouts had attended and the first for our youngest member. Despite this, everyone had a smile on their face and remarked that it was one of the best they had done.