Destinations Magazine

A Short Break to The Isle of Wight

By Wanderlust23

This has been the year of short breaks and day trips for me.  Even though I had little choice in the matter as my passport was held hostage earlier this year, I’ve really enjoyed taking these jaunts.  One of the huge perks of traveling around England is the ease of good travel links throughout the country.  For strictly overland travel a bus, train or ferry can get you to some of the farthest corners of England and the UK.

A trip to the Isle of Wight has been in the back of my mind for a while as D’s father was born there.  Even though his stories about the island haven’t inspired a great deal of wanderlust I knew it was best to venture there and experience it for myself.  After a harrowing flight to Guernsey (slightly dramatic but the plane was small and a bit shaky) I was happy to stick to overland travel for this trip.  My travel mates were Mandy from Emm in London and her husband Stephen and I’m glad they offered to drive.

Shanklin Beach water view - Isle of Wight

Red Funnel ferries depart from Southampton and arrive at the north point of the island in Cowes.  We left on a Saturday on the 12:00 pm ferry to try to maximize our exploration time.  The ride over was smooth and we didn’t even realize that the ferry had begun to move at first.  The trip lasted about 50 minutes which gave me plenty of time to read the magazine available on board featuring things to do on the island.  Passengers are well catered to with good amenities, food and drinks and free wi-fi.  On our ferry back there was entertainment for children on the top deck for which I’m sure tired parents were grateful.

With just over 24 hours to explore I didn’t think we would be able to see much but I have to say I left on Sunday feeling like I had a good taste of the island but I will need to go back and spend a few days.  My highlight of the weekend was Osborne House.  I am not a royal history buff and I don’t watch the many period dramas or read books inspired by the royal family either.  However I have to say I was completely fascinated by learning about Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s family life.

Warthog - Entrace at Osborne House

The house was a quiet space for the Queen and Prince to get away from the hectic life of royal duties and raise their children, of which they had nine.  In the one of the children’s room a display showing the family tree details how all of the modern day royal families in continental Europe can trace their lineage to the Queen Mum.  If that isn’t an attempt at partial world domination I don’t know what is.

On Sunday Mandy was keen to visit the Bus Museum which displayed vintage buses previously operated on the island and in other parts of the UK.  Besides the musty smell from the upholstery I really enjoyed it.  Visitors are also allowed to climb aboard the vehicles for a closer look.  Bus signs, old schedules, pictures of former employees and adverts completed the display.  The museum however would benefit from a bit of a written or audio narrative to guide your visit.  It was essentially a warehouse with vintage buses and associated paraphernalia.

Souther Vectis - Isle of Wight Bus Museum

Rather than try to fit in another attraction after the museum we decided to have a leisurely lunch.  Flipping through the Isle of Wight summer guide at the museum I came across an advert for the Pearl Cafe in Brightstone.  When we arrived it became clear that the cafe was actually connected to the Isle of Wight Pearl which houses the largest collection of pearl jewelry in the UK.  On the way to the cafe we drove past a few tents and I thought that actually camping on the island would be a great option.  D and I don’t have any camping gear but it might be time to start buying equipment so we can.  Red Funnel also offer camping and ferry packages that you can check out here.

The views at the Pearl Cafe were stunning.  Sunday started as a wash out but by the time we arrived the sun broke through.   After lunch we relaxed by the cliff edge and watched the world go by for a while.  On my next visit I must see the needles and spend more time in the old town located on the east side of the island in Shanklin which is quite picturesque.

Brightstone - Isle of Wight

I’d love to do some more extended travel in the near future but for now I do appreciate how easy it is to get away for a day or two to recharge away from the the city.

* We partnered with Red Funnel who funded our ferry tickets.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog