Sometimes I look back on my youth and think I really misspent a a lot of it. Take for example the fact that I lived in Portsmouth for 18 months and never once actually bothered to visit the Isle of Wight. It’s a crime! I actually rectified this a few years ago when I got the hover craft over for a few hours and visited Ryde which was a lovely little seaside town. It gave me the bug to want to go back and visit for longer and 2019 was the year for it to happen.
We got the train down from Bristol direct to Southampton after work on a Friday and met my parents who drove us over on the ferry to Cowes. It gave me the first opportunity to use my new Tripp suitcase and Disney Cruise luggage tag, of course, I’m always repping the Disney Life. The ferry barely took any time and what a great way to start a holiday. There was a lot of other people also heading over for either their holiday, or back home I guess, and this meant that the facilities onboard were busy. I think we queued for about 80% of the time just for a hot chocolate and some cups of tea. Thankfully we were rewarded with a sensational sunset on arrival into Cowes. Our drive to the apartment we booked was relatively quick and easy as the island isn’t very large. Our apartment was located in Freshwater Bay and overlooked the actual beach itself. When we arrived it was pitch black but when we woke up and looked out…just wow. A perfect location.
After taking many, many photos of the scenery we headed to one of the main attractions on the island, The Needles. This is a natural area of beauty and is basically three giant chalk stacks on the edge of the headland. This area of the island gave me mixed feelings. I loved the natural beauty but the parts surrounding here were total tourist traps. For starters, the car park has a fee and is quite a distance from the Needles FYI. It’s located next to the area where you’ll find the cafes and the chairlift down to the beach. Everything here has a charge, and I mean everything. Even going to watch them make old fashioned sweets you’ll need to pay. I have never seen anything like this and can only imagine how expensive it gets if you come as a family and actually visit all these things. Thankfully we just walked through this area to see the Marconi Statue. The significance of this has been lost amongst the shops selling coloured sands and the 4D cinema showing dinosaur films. This is actually where Guglielmo Marconi completed his pioneering work which led to radio and all telecommunications as we know it today and the sight of the very first wireless transmission. This accomplishment is celebrated with a block of stone and some inscribed ironwork. I’d recommend just avoiding this area
That night we briefly went to Yarmouth for a walk around the harbour, it was fairly quiet other than a few people outside the pubs drinking. We found a great pub to eat in called The Bugle Coaching Inn. The food was fantastic and it was a nice relaxed atmosphere. We quickly checked out the pier area but after all the food and the day spent walking we called it a night and went back to the apartment to play some board games.
We only had one more full day on the Isle of Wight and spent most of this at Shanklin which is a cute little seaside resort. We played some crazy golf here and ate one of the largest ice creams I’ve ever had. This was a bit of task as it just kept melting in the heat, what a mess it made! Overall this was a fun afternoon out and if you are visiting I’d recommend a trip here, it seemed a lot calmer than some of the other resorts on the island, and a lot less tacky.
Before we knew it our short trip was over and it was time to head home. I loved the Isle of Wight and can’t wait to go back and explore more of the island. I feel like we barely scratched the surface but we had such a good time. Our drive home wasn’t uneventful though. We decided to drive back through the New Forest as my husband hadn’t ever visited and I wanted to show him the wild ponies. We saw so many! There were even loads of foals around and a baby donkey, also called a foal. The traffic through the area was insane, we spent ages just sat in the car in a queue of traffic but once we turned off the main road to one of the smaller villages it thankfully got a bit quieter. I love it here and I’m never disappointed with the amount of ponies you get to see. It was a great way to finish our little staycation.