Three days in the Isle of Wight …part 1

Our Reading friends, Kim and Ivor, have been extolling the virtues of The Isle of Wight for many years, as they stay there frequently, so on our return to London we had arranged a three day stay with them on the island. The European trip exceeded expectation in so many ways, and so did the Isle of  Wight – we absolutely  loved it!

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Wild flowers on the South Coast

We  took the car ferry from Southampton and since it was rather chilly, Kim and I chose to keep warm by staying inside, but the boys braved most of the hour-long journey up on deck …

The boys brave the chilly wind on the ferry from Southampton to Cowes

We weren’t able to check into our B&B until 4pm, so we set off on a bit of sightseeing,  heading towards Godsill where we were booked in at the Taverners Pub for lunch. Ivor insisted that Phil should try the Steak and Ale pie (with suet pastry) – he was right, it was delicious!

The pub has a real atmosphere
Loved the wide windowsill complete with red squirrel

After lunch we had time to explore the village – it is pretty and the C14th All Saints Church was a real delight. It is famous for the Lily Cross painted on one of the walls – it depicts Christ crucified on a Lily rather than a cross – sadly I neglected to photograph it. Members of the Worsley family are memorialised on the interior church walls.

We continued our drive around the island, stopping off at the windswept Southern Coast to take in the amazing view of the Jurassic shoreline.

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Kim chose Caledon Guest House as our base.  It is beautifully restored Victorian B&B within walking distance of Cowes town. Our room had a fabulous view right out to the sea. It was comfortable and well-presented and the owners, Mark and Andrea, are warm, welcoming and obliging.  We asked to tweak some of the things on the breakfast menu and it was no problem at all.

We decided  to  walk  to our first dinner, which was at The Little Gloster, on the seafront near Gurnard Beach, just 15 minutes away.  We sat outside for pre-dinner drinks – the view was  fabulous but is was a little chilly – no matter, blankets are  provided! We moved inside for our meal and our waitress was brilliant. Knowledgable about the dishes and wines,  she gave us timely and unobtrusive service.  As for the meal? It was superb!

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The bay where Little Gloster is located
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It great location but it was a bit too chilly to eat outside
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Fabulous cod dish
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Phil’s dessert
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The passionfruit souffle was superb!

After the meal,  we walked down to Gurnard  Beach and watched the setting sun.

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Seen on our walk
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Such pretty cottage
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Gorgeous beach huts
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Would like a wee hut
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The sun is going down
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Fabulous sunset

On our return to Caledon Guest House we walked through Northwood Park in the twilight, passing an historic site along the way…

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A little piece of history
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Rose Cottage
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Walking up to Northwood Park

The next day, after a lovely breakfast, we wandered into Cowes to have coffee before we crossed the tidal river to East Cowes via the Chain Ferry (floating bridge). While we had arrived on the island in style – courtesy of Ivor’s sleek new BMW, – we decided that a good way to get around the island would be with a 48-hour bus pass and this was a perfect choice. We managed to get on the top deck in the front seat a couple of times – perfect for taking photos. Once on the bus, we bought our passes and set off for Osborne House – what a great privilege to be in the summer retreat of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

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The grounds of Osborne House are expansive and beautifully kept. After looking around the garden close to the house, we wandered off down to the private beach, which sadly was plagued with what looked like large sandflies. Those wearing bright clothing or plain white, seemed to be targeted (me) and it made the beach visit a little unpleasant, though the stroll down to the beach was lovely.

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Exterior of Osborne House
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Checking out the seating
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Eagle on the balcony
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The Shell Alcove
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Fountain in the grounds
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Three visitors to Osborne House
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Lily pond
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Lilies in the pond
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Looking back to the House from the path leading to the beach
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Queen Victoria’s bathing machine
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The private beach
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Kim takes a break

Our next stop was Swiss Cottage –  the chalet-style playhouse built in the 1850’s to allow the Royal children a private space for play and where they learned cooking and gardening skills.

Our  last stop  was the pretty walled garden…

We left Osborne House to catch the bus back into Cowes, returning to Caledon Guest   House to freshen up before a picturesque bus ride to have dinner at The Hut in Colwell Bay…

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Ferry to Southampton

Next post – part 2

One thought on “Three days in the Isle of Wight …part 1

  1. The Isle of Wight looks like a very pretty place – I love the thatched cottages. Pity about the sandflies, but everything else looks perfect.

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