Family activity – walk to Quarr Abbey, Ryde, Isle of Wight
Well, we love a bit of a family walk and one with a cup of tea and cake at the end of it has to be a winner! If you’re looking for a Ryde activity, you can’t beat one of our very favourite local walks to Quarr Abbey.
Wander your way to Quarr Abbey
If you start at Ryde Esplanade, it should take you around an hour depending on how many small children you have with you. It’s about 3.5 miles and a bit hilly, particularly through Ladies Walk. It’s a long way for little legs from Ryde, so we often park in Church Road (near Holy Cross Church) Binstead and walk from there. Fit adults can easily walk to Quarr and back to Ryde or the Number 9 bus stops outside the Abbey grounds.
From Ryde, you’ll stroll along exclusive Spencer Road and pop out by Ryde Golf Club. Most of the walk is off road on footpaths and the roads are very quiet. At the dip of Ladies Walk take a detour and turn right down to the beach. It’s not a scenic beach like ours, but it’s usually great for beach combing.
Carrying on, most of the walk is tree lined, you’ll see Ash, Oak and Hazel trees, not great for tree climbing, but they create lovely shade and you might even see a red squirrel scrambling along the branches.
Quarr Abbey – past and present
As you come in to open farmland you’ll spot the Abbey ruins on the right hand side. There’s been an Abbey at Quarr since the early 12th century and it enjoys stunning views across the Solent.
The Benedictine monks of Quarr are an order who originally came to the Island from France at the beginning of the 20th century. The current monastery and church were built by 1914 by local builders. Designed by Dom Paul Bellot, the buildings are recognised for their Moorish design and their scale; the like of which had never been seen before on the Isle of Wight.
In 2014 Quarr Abbey launched a great new Visitor Centre which has been beautifully laid out, it has lots of information about the Abbey and it’s history, the Benedictine way of life and also about the local wildlife. We really recommend a tour with Father Luke; he’s got a wealth of knowledge and a great sense of humour – it’s much more enjoyable than you might think!
Once at Quarr, our favourite activity is to feed the pigs ( you can buy food in the tea room) and count the piglets. There’s a new Woodland Walk through some of the grounds. Hire explorer kits from the tea room and hunt for animals; real and wooden!
Tea and cake
Down to business! The tea and cakes at Quarr are a vital part of our visits! The tea garden is tranquil yet offers enclosed space for a bit of a run around. There is more than cake on offer, some of it made with produce grown in the Abbey gardens.
We heartily recommend a trip to Quarr Abbey for a relaxing and peaceful day out!