In the previous article I said we visited somewhere on the Isle of Wight after having caught the tube train from Ryde Pier to Ryde.
While we were waiting for the fast ferry to arrive in Portsmouth we saw a poster in the departure lounge extoling the virtues of a visit to Quarr Abbey – a working Benedictine Monastery in a beautiful parkland setting. We consider ourselves regular visitors to the Island, and had not heard of this Abbey.
The poster said we could walk to it from Ryde. So that was going to be our visit of the day. We checked about this walk at the tourist office – usefully located by the Island Line train station and the bus terminus. The result of our questioning to the tourist adviser was one where she expressed mild surprise. Yes she knew about the Abbey, continuing said that walking there was not something to take on lightly as it wasn’t a quick walk.. She advised to take the number 9 bus, which we did, and had a thoroughly pleasant view of the island. I think the bus journey was 30 minutes or more. So the advice was clearly valuable.
The Abbey is indeed located in peaceful parkland. It has a café, farm shop, visitor centre, art gallery, and outdoor learning and discovery area where pigs and chickens can be fed.
Walking up to the farm shop we were greeted by the chair of the Friends of Quarr Abbey, which was a pleasant surprise, and after our lunch in the café garden we met her again where she was in the company of the Abbott. It’s always good fun to talk with such people. We noticed that there is a sound footpath by the Abbey that leads back to Ryde, so the poster’s suggestion that you could walk to it from Ryde wasn’t so far out. Anyway, all in all it was yet another grand day to the Island. Here are my two photos of the Abbey and interior of the Abbey Church.