Crossing the Bar

Crossing the Bar 2023

9th 10th and 11th June 2023

The full walks programme for this year’s Crossing the Bar event is now live.

Crossing the Bar is a 3-day varied programme of walks, highlighting the Tennyson Heritage Coast, celebrating 2023 ‘Year of the Coast’. It is supported by the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Lottery Heritage Fund, and Arts Council England.

As always there will be a variety of walks over the three days including longer linear walks enabling you to walk the whole length of the Tennyson Heritage Coast, shorter family friendly circular walks and a range of accessible walks too. All of these stunning walks through the breathtaking landscapes of the south west coastline of the island will be enhanced with creative interventions created by New Carnival and young people taking part in the education programme that is a key part of this project.

New Carnival shines the light on IW Coastal Heritage

What is Crossing the Bar?

New Carnival shines the light on our celebrated Island Coastal Footpaths – with animated trails, community arts participation and coastal heritage venues all joining together to create a unique three-day mini walking festival called Crossing the Bar (XTB).

XTB will culminate in 2023-24, as the Isle of Wight joins in with National Year of the Coast celebrations and the opening of the new national trail – the England Coast Path. The England Coast Path will be the longest marked and managed coastal path in the world at over 2,800 miles. 80 miles of this will be on the Isle of Wight including a new extended route down the Medina Estuary.

Frankie Goldspink, freelance Creative Producer for New Carnival said

“The opening of the new National Trail is such a great opportunity for us on the Island to shout out about what we have to offer. As well as encouraging more people to visit and discover for themselves, we want local people, and our children especially, to be proud of our UNESCO Biosphere status, to learn about their local environment, to look after it, and ultimately to immerse themselves in it”


Did you know?

Our project is named after a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson written in 1889 whilst he was crossing the Solent to his home at Farringford. The literal ‘bar’ he refers to is a sandbar (or spit) which forms part of the Island’s NW heritage coastline. Penned 3 years before his death, he uses ‘crossing the bar’ as a metaphor for his own passing, contemplating the afterlife. The title for our project emerged through Covid as we were contemplating our own futures, facing our own vulnerability and an urgent global climate crisis. We wanted to give the phrase a positive spin – heralding a green recovery. Tennyson was a keen walker, with a great fondness for nature as well as the creative arts, and our project celebrates that connection.