St Helens Fort Walk

St Helens Fort Walk - Copyright © IoW Life

One of the most bizarre events that take place in summer is the Fort Walk. It usually occurs in August when the tide is at its lowest (low spring tide). During this period the causeway is exposed from the sea making it possible to walk across from either St Helens Duver beach or Bembridge Point over to St Helens Fort and back. This is not an organised event - so walking is at your own risk. It has become increasingly popular and crowded so safety should be an important factor for anyone attempting this annual event.

Safety Advice (from RNLI):
  • Weather forecast - check for visibility and wind.
  • Walk takes 30min or 1hr return.
  • Do not leave the shore after Low Water.
  • Aim to reach the Fort between 10 minutes before low water and 10 minutes after low water.
  • The walk is strenuous and wet. Be prepared to get wet, you can be walking in water up to your waist.
  • Keep a close eye on your children (and dogs) – it is a good idea for children to wear buoyancy aids. Dogs may need to be carried or need to swim some distance.
  • Do not swim in the Bembridge Harbour Channel (marked by the red & green buoys) – there may be deep holes due to dredging.
  • Wear shoes as the causeway is stony.
  • If you are circling the Fort, don’t stop to admire the view, keeping walking. It is deemed to be good luck to circle the Fort in an anticlockwise direction.
  • Be careful of slipping on the rocks around the Fort.
  • Carry a means of calling for help (ideally a mobile in a water proof case).
  • If you need help call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

More Safety Tips @ RNLI - Bembridge