Friday, 6 December 2019

Isle of Wight Holiday Diary #5 - Culver Down & The Bembridge Windmill

Hi there everyone 😀

It's December, the temperature has dropped and we are just back from a November break in The Peak District. It seems a little odd writing about the blue skies and sunshine we had back in September when we spent three weeks on the Isle of Wight, but I'm trying to keep some semblance of order to my posts ... so apologies if it feels a little strange ...

Having spent four very full days exploring West Wight and not having yet been near The Needles, Mottistone or Yarmouth ... we were saving those for when mum and dad joined us ... we decided it was time to head East ...

Day 7  Friday
We were heading for Bembridge but on the lookout for other more 'off the beaten track' places that might be worth a stop off.

It was another glorious day, we had been so lucky with the weather so far, and we branched off up to Culver Down, with no real idea what to expect.

We parked up right at the end of the headland and had a bit of a wander. The views were amazing ... we could see for miles. Looking North we could see the mainland and The Spinnaker Tower over in Portsmouth ...

... and to the South we could see the beach and the pier at Sandown ...

The area, including Bembridge Fort is owned by the National Trust, which sadly is not open to the public, though some pre-booked guided tours are available at certain times of year.

There is still plenty to see though, even without visiting the fort. We had a wander round the headland and had a good look at the old battery ...
We also had a good look at the very impressive Yarborough Monument, the tallest on the island.
It was originally built on the slightly higher summit of Bembridge Down, but was painstakingly moved, stone by stone, in the 1860s. It was to make way for Bembridge Fort, which was built as part of the island’s defences against invasion.
The Earl of Yarborough, 1781-1846, was born Charles Anderson Pelham in Lincolnshire. Thanks to the twin circumstances of birth and marriage, he rose to wealth and power. He received a baronetcy on the death of his father and, in 1806, married Henrietta Simpson. She inherited the estate of her uncle, Sir Richard Worsley, the largest landowner on the Isle of Wight.

It really is pretty impressive ...
The Culver Arms looked pretty welcoming but we didn't visit ... we had other plans for lunch today ... our first non-picnic lunch ...

There was one more thing that we pulled in to have a look at whilst up on the down and that was the compass point ... where we found another fabulous view ...
It was time for lunch and Martin had spotted a beach cafe on the OS map which looked like a possibility. We ended up wandering a bit further along the beach though ...

... and found The Crab and Lobster ...
The menu was amazing, though a bit pricey ...
Martin opted for a crab salad and I had a prawn sandwich and we both thoroughly enjoyed it ...
Refreshed and raring to go we headed that little bit closer to Bembridge, but couldn't resist stopping off at the windmill, which is a small National Trust property that we hadn't visited before.

Parking is basically in a layby on the side of the road and the windmill is accessed via a short track. The weather certainly showed it off at its best ...
The windmill is in full working order and, whilst it was not operational on our visit, we did go inside and climb the old wooden stairs up to the top level ...
We weren't there long, but it was definitely worth a look and I couldn't resist stopping for a play with the shiniest conkers on the way back to the car ...
I really do hope that I never get too old to be able to resist picking up these bright, shiny beauties ... I really can't help picking them up when I see them and pretty much every coat I own has at least one conker in the pocket 😁

By now time was getting on and we decided to save Bembridge village and the lifeboat station for another day.

We'd had another lovely day, not actually doing very much at all, but loving it all the same ... taking it slow is definitely just the ticket 😀

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