Isle of Wight

10 Apr 2010
Posted by Kiran
Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight is a small island to the south of mainland England. Accessible by ferries, the island is a picturesque holiday destination. Any tourist will immediately be awestruck by the natural beauty of this place.

Though this was our third stint in the UK we had never, before now, been able to make it to this island. Given that, we took the opportunity over this Easter weekend to make the trip to Isle of Wight. Since the island is a small one and we had ample time on our hands, we were assured that the holiday will be a relaxed get together with friends and the kids.

The planning for the trip began more than a month and half in advance. There were a lot of things to coordinate: travel, stay, sightseeing, entertainment for the kids, and most importantly food!

The Logistics

Travel: Isle of Wight is connected to mainland England by ferries, speedboats and hovercraft. There are three separate ferry routes: Lymington - Yarnmouth; Southampton - East Cowes; Portsmouth - Fishbourne or Ryde and is served by three operators: Red Funnel, Hovertravel, Wightlink. Since we had a friend staying at Southampton, we decided that the Southampton to East Cowes ferry would suit us best. We caught the train from London Victoria to Southampton while our friends drove over.

We had booked our Ferry in advance with Red Funnel using their website. Hence, it was a simple matter showing up at the scheduled time of the ferry crossing and driving our car on to the ferry; it took us — car, baggage and all — across from Southampton to East Cowes.

Cottages at Gurnard Pines
Cottages at Gurnard Pines

Isle of Wight has limited bus services on the island operated by Southern Vectis. However if you want flexibility, getting a car is highly recommended. We did not worry about this as we had the option of piling on our car-owner friends!

Stay: As far as stay was concerned, we preferred a location that would provide us with the right mix of kids' entertainment, independence and flexibility. After a bit of research we decided on Gurnard Pines. In association with Hoseasons, Gurnard Pines provides a wide range of activities for children as well as adults, in addition to independent cottages with all the basic amenities that a family would require. Each cottage is comfortably furnished, has a kitchen complete with utensils and crockery and even comes with a television and DVD player! The only thing that I did miss within the cottage was a broadband connection. To be fair though, a WiFi hotspot is available for us at the central leisure center. It all made up for a very comfortable and pleasurable stay.

Sightseeing

Let me tell you that just driving on the roads of Isle of Wight is a pleasure — OK, maybe not the driving but sitting on the passenger's seat and taking in the sights certainly is! Just as we began our sightseeing within Isle of Wight we immediately noticed the flowers and lush meadows on both sides of the roads. I couldn't resist taking these shots.

Roads in Isle of Wight
Roads in Isle of Wight
Hyacinths by the wayside
Hyacinths by the wayside
 
Lush Meadows
Lush meadows on the side of the roads
And Sheep
And sheep, lots of them!
 

Our first planned stop on Isle of Wight was the famous Needle Point, the western-most tip of the island with cliffs jutting out into the sea. It was a very cold and rainy day and that prevented most of us from really enjoying the scenery.

However, the weather did not put me off the essential task at hand — photography. Though there were cable cars that offered to take tourists down to the shore, I chose the scenic route and climbed down the several flights of stairs to the shoreline. Once there, I captured the following shots.

The Needle Point
The Needle Point
Flowers on the way to Needle Point
Flowers on the way to Needle Point
 
Cold and Rainy at Freshwater Bay
Cold and Rainy at Freshwater Bay

After having taken in the sights at Needle Point we did not waste time and headed out for Freshwater Bay which is not very far away from Needle Point. The shots I took there gives a very good idea of how cold and wet it was on that day.

The visit to Freshwater Bay concluded a very cold and rainy day for us. At the end of that day, all we wanted to do was to have a hot cup of tea and crash into the cozy sofas back in our cottages, all the while praying for better weather the next day.

The weather did not disappoint us and we set out for our main destination for the next day: Sandown Beach. While everyone decide to camp on the beach and play some volleyball, I decided to undertake a trek to as close to the Culver Cliff as I could get. We also stopped by at the Shanklin Beach that evening. Take a look at my best shots there.

The Culver Cliff as seen from Sandown
The Culver Cliff as seen from Sandown
Shanklin Beach
Shanklin Beach
 

If you are interested in seeing more of the pictures I shot while at Isle of Wight, hop over to the Isle of Wight Picture gallery. Don't forget to leave your comments and ratings.

All in all, the trip to Isle of Wight was a very pleasant and enjoyable experience. Three days out with friends on such a beautiful island was a fantastic way to recharge after the stresses day in and day out at work.

If you are in the UK in the summer, Isle of Wight is a destination you shouldn't miss.

Hey Kiran, I have been

Hey Kiran, I have been watching these snaps many times, while passing it to my friends, cousins etc. I was just thinking of ranking the snaps, but honestly each snap is special in its own way. Some of them are nature beauties, some of them are real beauties(us), kids special photos and many many. I really like all of them, congratulations to you and I am sure we will have more snaps like this together in future.


Thanks Pradnya

Hi Pradnya,

Thanks for your comments. And, thanks for passing the link around ;)

Yes, looking forward to more such outings.


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