I’d only visited the Isle of Wight before on a team building sailing trip from a previous job. We had only stopped for lunch, so I barely got to see the island, so it was so lovely to head back for a few days with a jam-packed schedule full of activities.
We travelled across to the Isle of Wight on the Wightlink Ferry and had a lot of fun pretending to captain the boat (he even let us wear his hat!) It’s the easiest way to get to IOW and takes you straight across to the pier where the train took us straight down to our taxi that was waiting for us!
What To See:
During our stay we saw some incredible things. The island is surprisingly vast and so beautiful. Roaming countryside ends abruptly at beautiful coastline that differs in every bay. We did a quick stop on our cycle ride (see below) to Fresh Water Bay. The sun was shining and the water practically glittered turquoise against the pebbled beach, giving way to stone archways proudly standing over the ocean.
Being an island, the IOW gets incredible sunsets. We witnessed one from the lovely Three Bouys Restaurant (see below) and after finishing our meal, ran down to the waters edge to capture it as a gaggle of geese flew right across and into the florescent pink (see it here). Because it is quite a small island, you can also catch the sunset from most spots on the island, just perch yourself somewhere high and you’ll (probably) be able to see most of the island anyway!
A beautiful Saxon Fortress and central place of defence for over 1,000 years on the island. It was also the place that Charles I was held prisoner during the Civil War, shortly before his execution. There is so much more history to the Castle, but you should definitely go and check it out for yourself for the full story!
What To Eat:
You HAVE to try the Monkfish here. All the food is incredible, but my monkfish was cooked to perfection and the beetroot, asparagus and sweetcorn it comes with is delicious too. Saying that, not one person had anything bad to say about the meal or their food – it was all incredible. The views from this place too are amazing. We visited on a particularly hot summer’s day and everyone was still paddling in the sea past 9pm. They also have a Reggae singer on a Monday!
This is no surpise. Owned by the youngest Chef to ever be awarded a Michelin Star, the food is out of this world. We had the huge Taster Menu (just £65 per person, add wine pairings for a £45 supplement) and practically rolled out of the restaurant. The service, staff and food is all impeccable and the open kitchen adds an air of theatrics to your meal – perfect for a special occasion or anniversary. This comes highly recommended. I think I would actually make a trip back to the Isle of Wight, just to eat here again.
One not for the vegetarians (although there are also options for you, but you may be a converted carnivore by the end of the meal. Simple, hearty, comfort food that is the perfect lunch to an active day out on the island. I had the Matador Burger, minus the bun, the perfect balance of chorizo and delicious red meat smothered in rich cheese and served with perfectly cooked fries.
What to Do:
We popped here for lunch on one of the days, and if you like Garlic, you’ll love this. The food was incredible but they also have some beautiful cottages and yurts that you can stay in, perfect for a family trip. They also boast a Red Squirrel feeding station (I have still never seen one in the wild) and have Peacocks & Peahens roaming the grounds with their chicks* as well as black pigeons! Of course, they also sell an incredibly impressive array of Garlic
*Riddle for you (courtesy of my Dad): If my Peacock lays an egg in your garden, who’s egg is it? Comment the answer below!
Do a Cycle Tour of the Area
I am not a natural cyclist. I don’t mind cycling along flat pavements or flat rolling countryside at all, but when faced with an uphill pedal, I am useless. However, this is a great way of seeing some of the local area. We went right to the top of the cliffs with Wight Cycle Hire and then cycled down to Freshwater Bay. A beautiful route and not too difficult for my little legs to keep up with, even on the main roads! They make it so easy too, bringing all the gear to you and then taking it all away when you’re done!
Learn to Windsurf
Admittedly, I sat this one out with a cup of tea on the beach. I wasn’t feeling up to the cold sea on an equally cold, damp day and it brought up memories of my parents forcing me to learn to sail in North Devon as a child (which I hated). If you like watersports, though or are an active couple/family, this is definitely one for you. Everyone was fully suited and Booted by Tackt-Isle Adventures, and the guys that did get into the water had a wale (!!) of a time!
This was so much fun! I actually walked a Llama called Boycey who was feeling a little grumpy on the day and started jumping (higher than me with his front legs) so I gave him a cuddle, explained that we all have days like that, and ended up walking Woody the Alpaca with Ben instead. A brilliant experience that I would highly recommend.
We had such a fab time on the Isle of Wight. It’s definitely somewhere we’ll be going back to. Have you ever been?