Travel: The Isle of Wight
Our summer holiday was spent in the Isle of Wight this year. We had heard lots of good things about the island but were not expecting to love it as much as we did. There is so much to see and do that we came away feeling like we need to visit again soon. The island has a nostalgic charm and feels very unspoilt. It also hasn't been ruined by too many crowds and over priced accommodation and restaurants. Here are my five favourite places that we visited so that if you ever visit (and I recommend that you do) you will make sure that you see these five top spots.
1. Getting a slow boat to see The Needles.
We were a bit wary about going to The Needles as the cliff top near is covered with arcade games and cheesy tourist shops. It looks from a distance that you have to pay a fortune to get through but it is actually free and you don't have to walk through any of the amusements like you do in other tourist attractions that I've been to. There is a cable car to the beach but we decided to walk down which isn't very far. Once on the beach we decided to get a boat to The Needles which was wonderful and well worth the money. It was so much more special to get up closer to the impressive rocks and the birds sitting on them.
2. Have a crab pasty at The Crab Shed, Steephill Cove.
Steephill Cove is such a special place. It had been recommended to us by friends and Instagrammers and we were so glad we made the time to visit it. You can park in the car park of Ventnor Botanical Gardens and make the short walk down steps nearby. When I arrived at the cove it literally took my breath. It's so cute. There are a selection of individual cafes and restaurants. The cove is bright because of the fishing nets, buoys and colourful beach huts. As we arrived the waves crashed against the rocks, causing large splashes and loud squeals of delight from the children trying to dodge them. We went to The Crab Shed for lunch but also The Boathouse and Beach Shack come highly recommended. There was such a happy atmosphere in The Crab Shed and everyone seemed really pleased with their orders. Our food was simple but fresh and well done. We could hear the sea as we ate and the see the sparkle of the sun reflecting off the water. It was really special.
3. Have a relaxing afternoon on Ventnor Beach
Ventnor has a Mediterranean feel to it. There are a range of good bars and restaurants along the Esplanade plus a cute shack on the beach that sells snacks and drinks. The beach is long, made up of small pebbles and sand and the sea was warm(ish) and really clean. Even though this beach is so lovely it isn't too overcrowded as a Cornish equivalent would be. The sea is not too far and doesn't get too deep making the beach perfect for families with younger children. We stayed on the beach until 6pm and weren't the last ones to leave. The children just loved playing on here. There are vintage deckchairs to hire as on a lot of the beaches on the island that have been the business of the same family for years.
4. Visit Osborne House for the day
Osborne house was the holiday home for Queen Victoria and Albert and their family. They spent their summer here entertaining away from the public eye. The house is opulent and has a feel of the Mediterranean with its orange exterior and brightly planted gardens.
The path from the house leads down to the private beach. There was a male choir singing when we visited and there was an amazing, happy atmosphere. The view of the sea can be seen from a lot of rooms in the house and the grounds are tranquil and beautiful. Visitors can walk down to the beach or get the minibus that runs very regularly.
The stunning building of Osborne House houses opulent yet homely rooms throughout. The tour gives you an extensive look at family life here.
Watching Punch and Judy on the beach. There is also a playground for the children and a trail to follow around the house. Visiting here has something for everyone and definitely needs the whole day to see and do everything.
5. Have breakfast at The Garlic Farm
The Garlic Farm is an institution on the island. It's recommended by everyone but until you visit it's not obvious why. The farm is so well kept and presented. It is an excellent example of how to do a tourist attractions. The grounds are so beautifully green surrounded by wild flower fields. You can get on the farm tractor trailer and have a tour around the farm which is packed full of education about the history and nutrition of garlic.
We visited the farm for breakfast which is served until 11am. I had the bacon sandwich on ciabatta which was so delicious with the mushrooms cooked in garlic and herbs and the bread rubbed with garlic butter. The restaurant also serves lunch and dinner but booking is essential due to it's quality and popularity.
So that's a little snippet of our wonderful holiday on The Isle of Wight. There is so much more to see and do than what I have mentioned here but these were my highlights. If you have any other recommendations for island I'd love to hear them as we will definitely return soon. I'd also love to know what you think of my post. Please leave any comments below or on my Instagram.
Thank you for reading!! Rebecca xxxxxx