Around twenty-seven years ago, I visited the Isle of Wight for the first time. It was a family holiday as a child and I instantly fell in love with the place. We went back a couple of times when I was small and I visited a couple of times when I was in my twenties. But I hadn’t been back with my family, with ‘my boys’.
We have been wanting to go as a family for the longest time. We always said we would and this year, we finally got around to going. I have been looking forward to it ever since we booked the accommodation and the ferry. There’s something extra exciting about boarding a car ferry to go on holiday. It adds that extra ‘something’. Almost like going overseas but without the hassle of a foreign language and different currency.
The day we left we had beautiful weather and the crossing was perfect. Little Man had never been on a ferry before and so he really enjoyed it. We sailed from Southampton into Cowes and we arrived on the island for lunchtime.
We stayed at Whitecliff Bay Holiday Park in Bembridge. This has always been a favourite part of the island for me. I have fond memories of staying in an apartment overlooking the harbour in St Helens. Memories of going to sleep and waking up to the tinkling of the boats. It makes me smile thinking about it even now, all these years later. So, going back to Bembridge was something I was really happy about.
Whitecliff Bay really is a sight. You could be forgiven for thinking we were abroad when looking at these pictures. Sadly by the time we got to the beach the tide was right in and we couldn’t even paddle, but it was nice to be greeted by such a pretty sight on our first day.
We spent that first afternoon in the outdoor pool. I say ‘we’, what I really mean is the boys spent their time in the pool. I just sat and enjoyed an ice cold beverage and took in the beautiful weather! The facilities at Whitecliff Bay are great. Lots for the kids and adults to do and you really don’t have to travel far if you don’t want to.
Sadly this weather didn’t hold out for our whole visit to the Isle of Wight. We had three fairly cloudy days and a bit of rain thrown in. It wouldn’t be a UK holiday without a bit of drizzle though, would it?! And of course, being the true unorganised Brit that I am, I forgot any kind of coat, let alone raincoat, possible!
Who goes away on a holiday in the UK & doesn't take a raincoat?! ☝🏼🙈
— Jaki (@jakijellz) June 28, 2017
We didn’t let the weather stop us. It was still warm – that’s the important thing. We spent our time exploring the island and taking advantage of having a beach only a few minutes from us at all times. When you live as far away from a beach as we do, we would be foolish not to!
We paid a visit to Monkey Haven in Newport of which there is a separate blog post coming! Keep an eye out for that in a few days time!
The one place I wanted to visit whilst we were on the Isle of Wight was The Needles at Alum Bay. You may know of The Needles. If you don’t – you will likely have seen a photograph and not realised what it was. They are the three iconic white rocks that are so frequently photographed. Even the official Needles website quote them as ‘a photographer’s dream’.
There are chairlifts available, or a bus. But with a husband afraid of heights and a four-year-old not too keen on hanging that high above the cliffs and water, we decided to walk. Jeez, I need to up my exercise! It was a bit of a trek but I had to get that shot. I think you’ll agree it was worth it. And the views along the way were something pretty special too.
Alum Bay hosts a variety of attractions and is brilliant for kids. So to go was a no-brainer. Again, I remember going as a kid and just knew it was somewhere I wanted to take the Little Man. With glass blowing demonstrations (that I could watch for hours!) and the Sand Shop where you can fill your own glass shape with layers of different coloured Alum Bay sand, there is so much to do. That’s if you’re not too tired after the long walk to see The Needles.
Four days on the Isle of Wight simply wasn’t long enough for me. I could have spent a fortnight there. There were so many more things I want to go and revisit and this just makes me super excited for our next visit. I sure as hell won’t leave it so long next time.
Thank you, Isle of Wight. for the memories past and present. I’ve a feeling we’ll be seeing much more of each other in the future.
We ended our mini break with a little trip back to Torquay. If you’re a regular to this blog you will know that we visit at least once a year. We stay at a friends bed and breakfast of which you can read a little more about here.
Well. The sunshine we missed on the Isle of Wight, certainly didn’t let us down in Torquay. We had two beautiful hot days spent by the beach and it was the perfect end to our UK holiday.We all spend so much money going abroad for our holidays because we are normally guaranteed the weather. But this last week has proven to me, that this country is truly beautiful. You only have to look at my pictures to see that.
With the Little Man starting school in September, it is likely we will spend more holidays in the UK over the next few years and I can honestly say, I’m really excited by that thought. We have a gorgeous country and I can’t wait to see more of it.
What is your favourite UK holiday destination? Have you been to the Isle of Wight? Let me know in the comments.