During this year I shall be posting photographs from places around the UK, many of which have not been published before. Where I have previously blogged about a location I will provide a link to the post, though you won’t be able to comment on it as I restrict comments to six months.
I is for IOW – Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is a small island measuring 23 miles by 13 miles off the coast of Hampshire in the south of England. Regular ferry services cross from the mainland at Portsmouth, Southampton and Lymington. Passengers can also choose from catamarans and hovercraft options to Ryde. We went over for a few days break during August in 2008. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t on our side.
There is a lot packed into such a small island from the busy seaside town of Ryde on the north coast to the quieter south coast. The Military Road which runs along the coast between Chale and Freshwater Bay was built by the military in the 1860’s as part of the defence of the Island.
Also known as the Dinosaur Island it is regarded as one of the richest areas for Dinosaur discovery in Europe. There are picturesque inland villages with thatched roofed buildings, traditional seaside resorts, beautiful beaches and a botanic garden and miles of footpaths and cycling tracks.
On the north coast is the lovely town of Yarmouth with ferry crossings over to Lymington (New Forest). The historic port town sits at the mouth of the River Yar and contains some of the oldest architecture on the Isle of Wight, including a 16th Century castle.
A little further east is the Newtown National Nature Reserve with several bird hides which is a nice place for some quiet time.
And if you like visiting historic houses then there is Osborne House. Queen Victoria and Albert bought the Osborne estate in 1845, and built a new mansion here as an escape from court life in London and Windsor.
There are extensive grounds to explore including a walled garden and the ornate terrace garden which is a riot of colours in spring and summer. Take a walk to the private beach where Victoria and the royal children used to swim.
The Isle of Wight has been known as a holiday destination since the Victorian era and it is definitely worth visiting.