I’m sure you’ve all seen the coloured tiles with a rope knot on them dotted around (West) Cowes and East Cowes. You might even have noticed some numbered knotty signs attached to buildings here and there. Well if you didn’t know what they are for, let me educate you!
Many years ago (OK it was actually at the turn of the century!), two organisations, the Cowes Community Partnership and the East Cowes Community Partnership, got together to create a heritage walk around both towns which highlighted some of the many places of historical interest, particularly the marine based ones. They called this route The Boat Trail.
With the help of several organisations and businesses, and the design skills of Sara Philo, they created a leaflet which showed a map of both towns and details of what you could see as you walked around. Some of the original leaflets still exist today and you can download a scanned copy of the leaflet here but remember that it is quite out of date.
Moving on quite a few years and many of the signs have disappeared, as have some of the sites, particularly in east Cowes where there has been a lot of redevelopment. This spurred us on to revive the walk as it is great to wander round the towns and get a feel for their history.
What we have done is document the remaining route markers and rewrite some of the stories, although we have made heavy use of the original wording where it is still accurate and we acknowledge the work created by the original team.
The biggest change we have made is to make the walk accessible online as most people use smart phones these days and are happier using their screen than a piece of paper. This will also allow us to update the route as things change or we learn about new things to tell people about.
Don’t panic if you prefer the old fashioned way! You can still print off our walk if you want to have a physical copy to walk around with and it comes in a larger print if you need it. Bear in mind that it obviously won’t be kept up to date once you print it and you should be mindful of wasting paper or littering so please dispose of it sensibly.
You can start the walk in (West) Cowes or East Cowes and you can begin at any of the points on the route as each walk is circular and has directions to the next point.
Good luck, enjoy your walk and the beautiful views of (West) Cowes and East Cowes!