Thursday, 31 October 2019

Isle of Wight Holiday diary #2 - Exploring West Wight

Hi there everyone ๐Ÿ˜€

Welcome to #2 of our Isle of Wight holiday diary. 

A big chunk of our first week on the island was spent taking it slow and exploring the less well known parts of West Wight ... well, less well known to us anyway.

Day 3 - Monday
We started our day heading back through Yarmouth to Fort Victoria, where I got up close and personal with the old pier ...


Now, I pretty much love a coastal pier of any description and, whilst an old disused pier always holds its own particular beauty I do always find it quite sad to them having fallen into disrepair.

There were the most fabulous views looking across to Hurst Castle on the mainland … somewhere that is definitely worth the walk out along the spit for a visit, if you are over that way ...

Whilst a good chunk of the fort has been demolished ... in the days before thought was given to how interesting this kind of place is I guess ... and the remaining buildings are pretty much all occupied by all manner of 'attractions', none of which were interesting to us, the site is fascinating ...

Being right on the very edge of the coast, whilst it was a glorious day it was pretty breezy ... especially up on top of the fort, but we really loved having a good wander around reading about the history and looking at the remnants of days gone by ...
From Fort Victoria we carried on down the west coast heading past Fort Albert, which can't be visited, to Colwell Bay, where we made our next stop.

We parked up here in a pay and display car park for an hour and had a bit of wander down to the coast, where we had a great view of Fort Albert looking in one direction ...
... and an intriguing looking promenade in the other ...
We both really wanted to know what was round the corner in the distance so headed off for a wander past the beach huts ...

We weren't disappointed to find a cracking view of The Needles in the distance ...

We were also fascinated to find the evidence of the 2012 landslide, which had completely wiped out the coastal path ...




In September 2015 the new stretch of coastal path was opened, bypassing the landslide, so it was possible to once again carry on along to Totland Bay. Whilst it wasn't that far we knew we were short on time so retraced our steps and decided to move down the coast by car instead.

At Totland Bay I was able to get up close and personal with another beautiful, but disused pier ...

We decided this was a great spot for lunch so grabbed the cool box and found a bench in the sunshine, overlooking the sea ... where we ate our very healthy lunch of home made Tuscan chicken salad, consisting of crisp fresh salad, chickpeas and grapes ...

... cooked chicken, bacon and pasta ...

... and a home made ranch dressing ...

It really hit the spot and boy ... did we feel virtuous ...
After a short walk along the prom and a visit to the facilities ...
... we decided to call it a day and headed back to Bramble Cottage for the evening.

Day 4 - Tuesday
It was another absolutely glorious day, boy the weather was really doing us proud. We decided to carry on exploring the coast of West Wight and headed for Freshwater.

We have visited Freshwater a number of times before, but never for very long. We've always just called in on our way back from somewhere else. This time we wanted to spend a bit more time there as it is just so beautiful.

Our route took us into Freshwater along the Military Road and the views were just stunning ... we just had to have a photo-stop ...
We were soon parked up in the car park across from the beach ...
It was truly beautiful ...
We headed right first ... past the beautifully decorated rain shelter ...
... and along the promenade ...
We could have been in the Med ... crystal clear sea, clear blue skies, bright warm sunshine ... it was absolutely perfect ...
We walked as far as we could, both really intrigued by the steps leading up into a doorway in the cliff and wanting to get a closer look ...
After spending a while just sitting in the sunshine, soaking up the warmth and listening to the sea we made our way back to continue our meanderings along the coast.

There are a number of National Trust car parks along this stretch of the coast and we called in at each and every one to see what we could find.

On our way into Freshwater I'd spotted this wooden archway from the road and this was our next stop ...
I definitely wanted to get a closer look and I wasn't disappointed ...

We did have a little bit of a wander along the coastal path to see if we could get to the beach ...
... but neither of fancied quite this many steps ...
Our next car park stop was the main Compton Bay car park and access to the beach didn't look quite so daunting ...
... so we grabbed the chairs, our picnic lunch and found a nice spot, where we could have another nice and healthy home made lunch with a view ...


We are not normally ones for spending much time on the beach, but it was lovely ... really quiet and relaxing and we stayed a while, before I decided to have a bit of a wander ...
Finally, it was time to drag ourselves away and head back to Bramble Cottage for another lazy evening.

We spent another two days exploring more of West Wight, with a visit to Faringford and the Tennyson Monument and a good mooch round the picture book village of Brighstone, but I will tell you more about those in my next post ๐Ÿ˜€

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Monday, 28 October 2019

Isle of Wight Holiday Diary #1 - Settling in

Hi there everyone ๐Ÿ˜€

As you will all know, back in September we headed off for our third visit to the very lovely Isle of Wight. We stayed for three weeks in the not so lovely, but adequate, Bramble Cottage and I just have sooooooo much to share with you about our stay.

Day 1 - Saturday
We were up, packed and off early. It was the first time we've been away for a three week break and we were both really ready for it and were so looking forward to being back on the Island.

We had a lovely drive down from The Midlands in glorious sunshine ... just generally chilling, enjoying the warmth of the sunshine through the glass, listening to Radio 2, with Graham Norton interviewing Benny from ABBA, with the odd very cool tune thrown in.

The drive down through The New Forest was lovely and had us both hankering for a return visit. It looked lovely in the sunshine ... clear blue skies, lots of green and plenty of ponies and cattle to be seen. As we drove through Beaulieu it was lovely seeing the donkeys again, which brought back very fond memories.

Arriving at Lymington to catch the ferry was, as always, a real treat. There was a real feeling of calm and tranquility ...
There was time for a quick wander and our first holiday selfie ...

... before we saw our ride coming into dock ...

We were soon boarded and on our way, leaving Lymington behind in the afternoon sunshine ...

The weather was glorious and we sat out on deck for the whole journey thinking we would be quite happy with this if it stayed for the duration of our stay ...

Our first view of The Needles always lets us know it’s not far to go ...

... and before long we were sailing alongside the pier and into Yarmouth harbour ... time for the holiday to begin ...

It was about a half hour drive to Bramble Cottage, which was to be our home for the he duration of our stay, and we were both excited to see if it matched up to the pictures we’d seen on line when booking. We were both pretty disappointed to find that it most definitely didn’t and the less said about our first impressions the better ... we both just hoped it would grow on us as we settled in to our stay.

The view out back was nice though ...
It was bittersweet when Timehop showed me the very lovely West Holm where we’d stayed in Bude this time last year ...

Deciding that there was not much option but to make the most of it, we got unpacked and settled in.

Day 2 Sunday
This being our third visit to the island and with having a three week stay, with a visit from mum and dad for our second week, we were really looking forward to having that bit more time to get off the beaten track. We wanted to visit places we hadn’t seen before, as well as spending more time at some of our old favourites. 

For our first week we really did want to slow it down, saving all the usual touristy bits for when mum and dad were here.

With this in mind we spent our first full day in West Cowes. We had never visited before and we needed to do some food shopping so thought it ticked all of the boxes.

We parked at the top of the hill and had a wander down the pretty high street just generally mooching, with no real plan, just seeing what we could find ...

It was another glorious day and the high street was a real treat. Lots of little shops and plenty of bunting, giving a bit of a festival feel ...
We ended up on the promenade and thought we’d have a short wander, which turned into something just a little bit longer ... there were just so many interesting things to see ...

We ended up doing a spot of Geocaching, which was great for finding out a bit more information about some of the points of interest along the front ... starting with this ornate gift to West Cowes in 1864 from George Robert Stephenson, the nephew of the famed engineer ...
Our next stop was The Cabin on The Green, where we found what we were looking for and decided we would carry on a bit and then stop for an ice cream on the way back.

We carried on our way and found Rosetta Cottage ... where Churchill's parents met for the first time and got engaged ...

When we reached the lighthouse at Egypt Point, apparently getting its name from a colony of gypsies (known as Egyptians in 1897) that once lived in the area, we decided to head back ...
... stopping off for the first holiday ice cream at the Cabin on The Green, before having a wander back up the high street in the other direction.

It was then time for the slog back up the hill to the car and off to Aldi to get stocked up.

With the weather forecast looking to stay the same for the rest of the week we were really looking forward to making the most of it ... starting with exploring the nooks and crannies of West Wight, but I'll save that for my next post ๐Ÿ˜€

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