For someone that loves to travel, it’s somewhat surprising, even to myself, that I’d never visited the Isle of Wight before now.
My partner and I love the outdoors and were looking for somewhere we could take our dogs and get in plenty walking, and, if we were lucky, some beach. The IOW fitted the bill perfectly. We found a superb cabin, Woodside Retreat, which was five minutes from the ferry and, literally, just three minutes from the beach – a dog friendly one at that!
In fact, with the odd, and understandable exception (public beaches and Osbourne House), everywhere was dog friendly.
We really were lucky with the weather and were able to sit outside with our boys and enjoy the sunshine as the ferry weaved its way through the ‘Folly forts’ on its 40-minute journey to Fishbourne.
We spent three nights on the island and managed to travel around almost all of it. We enjoyed some excellent food – I had the best crab sandwich EVER at the Pier View Hotel in Cowes – and the locals were very friendly and accommodating.
On our penultimate day, we walked from Tennyson’s memorial on the Downs to the Needles and back before another superb pub lunch. The weather helped, of course, but the views were absolutely stunning. And SO uncrowded. We ended each day either walking or laying (or both) on the beach in the late afternoon sun.
We shifted our return ferry crossing ‘til late afternoon so that we could take-in Osbourne House. Firstly, walking the boys around the beautiful grounds and private beach, then popping them in the car (in a shady spot!) so that we could tour the house and walled garden. It was definitely worth risking hitting the M25 traffic – how lucky was Queen Victoria and her family to have lived in such a gorgeous home.
Every now and then you visit somewhere and know you’ll be back – the IOW is one of the places. We already have a list of things to do next time…