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The Isle of Wight in Spring

Tour Code: GBR46

A 4-day natural history break exploring the fascinating diversity of this scenic island.

4 days from £425(flights not included) Land Only Price: £0 SRS: £60


The Isle of Wight is England’s largest island. Known as ‘the island’, its southerly location, isolation and geology make it a haven for wildlife, much of which is at the northern limit of its European distribution. The northern part of the island is predominantly formed of impervious clays which give rise to wetlands and marshes such as the island’s only National Nature Reserve at Newtown Marshes, home to a variety of waders and wildfowl. The centre of the island is largely formed of high rolling chalk downlands, whilst the south coast is renowned for its soft sedimentary cliffs. Our visit in late spring is timed to give us the best chance of seeing some of the fascinating wildlife that the island has to offer. From our base in one of the island’s best hotels, we will enjoy the Isle of Wight’s range of habitats and special species, focusing particularly on the island’s rich flora and, provided we get some sunshine, its butterflies.

  • Look for the scarce Adonis Blue, plus Small & Common Blues on chalk downlands
  • Enjoy the island’s rich flora including Early Gentian, a near-endemic British flower
  • Glanville Fritillary occurs here at the northernmost limit of its range
  • Look for Green Hairstreak & Wall Brown plus both Dingy & Grizzled Skippers
  • Clovers, Yellow-horned Poppies, Wild Cabbage & Hoary Stock
  • Visit to woodlands in search of the island’s native Red Squirrel
  • Rare native Narrow-leaved Lungwort, & with luck the parasitic Greater Broomrape
  • Led by expert naturalist guide

Food

Breakfast and dinner at the hotel (lunches not included)

Accommodation

Based in one of the island's best hotels.

Glanville Fritillary (Dave Shute)

Glanville Fritillary (Dave Shute)

Outline Itinerary Download

The Isle of Wight, known to the ancient Romans as Vectis, is England’s largest island. Although separated from the mainland county of Hampshire by a narrow sea channel known as the Solent, ‘the island’ as it is affectionately known, has an altogether different, gentle pace of life — perfect for a holiday break. Its southerly location, isolation and geology make it a haven for wildlife, much of which is at the northern limit of its European distribution. The northern part of the island is predominantly formed of impervious clays which give rise to wetlands and marshes such as the island’s only National Nature Reserve at Newtown Marshes, home to a variety of waders and wildfowl. The centre of the island is largely formed of high rolling chalk downlands, whilst the south coast is renowned for its soft sedimentary cliffs.

Our visit in late spring is timed to give us the best chance of seeing some of the fascinating wildlife that the island has to offer. The downlands are home to a good variety of butterflies, including the scarce and beautiful Adonis Blue, plus Small and Common Blues, Green Hairstreak and both Dingy and Grizzled Skippers, whilst we may also come across the diminutive Early Gentian, a near-endemic British flower.

On the cliffs and chines of the south coast we will look for the rare and delightful Glanville Fritillary, which occurs here at the northernmost limit of its range. We should also see the Wall Brown, a butterfly that is in dramatic decline on mainland Britain. For those interested in botany, the cliffs and downs offer much to admire, from diminutive clovers to showy Yellow-horned Poppies, Wild Cabbage and mauve Hoary Stock, the latter thought to occur here in one of its few native British sites. We will also visit the island’s extensive woodlands to look for the native Red Squirrel. The forest rides are also home to the rare native Narrow-leaved Lungwort and, in places, the parasitic Greater Broomrape.

Based in one of the island’s best hotels, we will enjoy these habitats and special species, focusing particularly on the island’s rich flora and — provided we get some sunshine — its butterflies.

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DeparturesAvailableCost

Mon 4th June 2018 - Thu 7th June 2018

7

£425

more details

Flights: Flights are not included with this tourMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are limited. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £0 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Visiting: United Kingdom

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David Shute
Operations Manager

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01962 733051

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