~ NEWCHURCH VILLAGE~
Newchurch very much retains the traditional English village atmosphere. Development within the village has been, and still is, tightly controlled - so much so that there is hardly a village on the Island with a more rural atmosphere - and Clematis is at its very heart. It is the kind of village that most people have never known or have long since forgotten.
It stands on high ground, dominating the Yar river valley, in the central eastern part of the Island and is approximately equidistant from Newport, Ryde and Sandown/Shanklin (about ten minutes drive in each case). Newport is the capital and commercial centre of the Island, whilst the others are attractive towns - all with safe sandy beaches.
Traditionally Newchurch has been the centre of the horticultural industry on the Island and there are numerous nurseries and garden centres in the area. In recent years it has become famous for the garlic and sweetcorn farm at the bottom of the hill - (fortunately Clematis is upwind from it!). The third weekend in August every year heralds the now famous two-day Newchurch 'garlic festival' (an event not to be missed or to be avoided at all costs depending on your liking for garlic!). At the farm shop there are all sorts of garlic products, seasonal asparagus and sweetcorn together with a wide range of other Island products. Within the village you can still have your milk delivered daily by the local farmer and there are opportunities to buy genuine fresh produce.
Newchurch is an ideal centre for walking and cycling with its extensive network of footpaths, bridleways and cycle tracks which link into the all-Island network. Should your route return you to the village from the northerly direction then you will be particularly pleased by the welcoming sight of The Pointer Inn!
If wildlife is an interest to you then both Newchurch and the Island generally offers great opportunities. You might see our local barn owl doing his 'Yar Valley' hunt or see red squirrels in the nearby Alverstone Nature Reserve, or green and greater spotted woodpeckers the other side of the churchyard wall - alternatively walk just a little further to Brading Down (near Adgestone Vineyard) and follow the butterfly footpath. The 'Needles' are on the migration path of many birds and the Island is the only place in England where the Glanville Fritillary butterfly can be found.
For the star-gazers amongst you there is a corner of a Newchurch field which now boasts the Island's only observatory - and should you visit in May then you could well meet some of our French friends on their twinning visit - we are twinned with a village in Normandy, to which we once exported snails and from which they bring calvados (we think we get the best deal!)
If you are here at the right time you could listen to the Newchurch male voice choir and/or the ladies choir in concert - or attend a production of the Newchurch drama society.
The above is an attempt to give you a 'taste' of life in Newchurch and indicate that despite its rural nature it is an extremely active community of which the residents are justly proud and to which you would be most warmly welcomed.