Thought I'd start with the map and say that it's just off the south coast of England for anyone that's never heard of the Isle of Wight. Just 27 miles west to east and 13 miles north to south.
This was the day before our holiday so apart from ironing and packing I did some baking to use up food that wouldn't keep.
The round loaves are half-wholemeal using up the last of the cheddar topped up with the last bit of parmesan and lots of finely chopped spring onions (thanks Hubby for the chopping) two of them were packed to come with us. Far right is a sweet bread filled with the last two bananas and the last wrinkled apple grated and lots of cinnamon. The dozen buns are cinnamon and raisin which I iced four of and we ate and the rest together with the banana loaf and other cheese and onion bread all went in the freezer.
FriendsN&T came to get us at 10am and off we headed on our holiday 😎
Very warm and sunny, reading up to 26C on the car dashboard, but unfortunately lots of traffic jams so instead of taking a leisurely lunch stop we headed straight to Lymington Ferry port and had half an hour in the nearest pub for a sandwich, then onto the 4pm crossing to Yarmouth
Unfortunately our double is the most uncomfortable bed ever and I didn't get much sleep, but everyone else seems more than happy which is good. It was a wet start to the day but that didn't stop us and we drove out to Osborne House. Actually it barely stopped drizzling all day but nothing heavy.
Wet start so we made it a lazy start. We ventured out midmorning when it was dry but windy. Our first stop was to Yarmouth Castle but it's closed on a Monday so we've planned that in for Wednesday. So we just carried on our walk along the coast to Fort Victoria, or what remains of the fort. As we walked back across the bridge the gates came down, the traffic stopped and the bridge swung open to let three boats pass through which was very entertaining.
Today was another English Heritage visit to Carisbrooke Castle, our first stop being the donkey demo of bringing up water from the well by walking the wheel
There was so much to see that we wandered around in really lovely weather for hours.
Us girls headed out to do the two local markets, they were very little craft markets and didn't take long at all. We bought some hand made cards and friendN bought some chutney and was told by the lady that made it that with two of her friends (sitting there too) they had been national chutney champions for the WI four years running. We then rang the men to meet us and we went into Yarmouth Castle using our English Heritage membership, small but very interesting and while we were outside on the upper battlements looking out over the Solent, we watched the lifeboat go out on a rescue and come back. Then it was a lovely walk along the last remaining fully wooden pier after which it was time for lunch. Then buying provisions for later we headed home and out again to walk the marsh land that starts at the old railway station behind the house.
So on through fields of thistles (I said ouch a lot and they laughed) and over styles (I got stuck and they laughed) and bridges then back along the road and beach and back to the harbour. Love the variety! Back home and we made full use of the little garden summer house for our cream tea.
Of course we needed to work off all those calories so a game of KUBB before another yummy pub dinner.
All this relaxing is exhausting lol.
The Needles, and we were all a little underwhelmed.
The whole site has become too commercial, the Needles are too far away to look impressive and the little cable lift chairs are expensive and don't really go over more than Alum Bay, however not a total disappointment as we all enjoyed the glass blowing demo, I could watch that sort of thing for hours. Yesterday I'd bought friendN an "I-Spy" book for the island and she'd ticked lots of things that we'd already seen but today she wanted to see the oldest standing stone which we wouldn't even have known about if it hadn't been in her book, so a long walk up Strawberry Lane and the stone got a big hug as the information board said it was probably "the most misunderstood prehistoric monument"!
Then we drove to find lunch and found a lovely pub called The White Mouse and we sat in the big bay window with views of the coast and cliffs. More driving round the coast road and a stop at Ventnor then a stop at Shanklin. We'd all had big dinners at the pub so decided to buy a few provisions to help use up what was in our kitchen already for a snacky super out in the garden. The weather had been glorious all day and soon after we came inside it rained, so it was another silly trivia game before bed. Confession.....I only bragged about winning that first scrabble game because I seriously lost everything else hahaha.
Our last day and we had to tick off as much as we could in the i-spy book, so first another English Heritage property Appuldurcombe House which none of us could pronounce so when someone called it Applecrumble House it stuck. This one was actually free as it was just a shell of the old building and while we were there they were setting it up for a wedding.
We would have gone into the falconry centre (which we would have had to pay for but the man at the desk when asked if there were toilets was so grumpy we didn't go in. Next stop was Brading for the Roman Villa, and we had lunch there, then to Bembridge but drove through as nowhere to park, and onto Ryde for a walk on the prom, and saw the hovercraft go back and forth a few times and the ferry and the old London underground train they still use along the pier (tick tick tick). Time to sit with an icecream people and boats watching. Then following the coast road to East Cowes and across the estuary on the chain link ferry (sometimes called the floating bridge) then last we could do on the ticklist was Newtown for the oldest townhall in constant use, and we found it but there really was nothing else there to see. We managed to book ourselves into the very popular fish restaurant in Yarmouth and so pleased we did as the food was very yummy and we finished the evening in the nearest pub.
Doesn't a week go by too fast when you're on holiday! So packing up and going home day and the men had hankered all week over the full English breakfast on offer in the pier cafe so that's what we had before getting on the ferry.
The verdict was we'd all definitely go back to the Isle of Wight and we all prefer Yarmouth side to stay for its uncommercial relaxed atmosphere especially as it's so easy to get around the rest of the island to sightsee.
Lovely holiday with very lovely people and we thank them lots and lots for doing all the driving!