A Trip to the Isle of Wight - 2000

In 1974, when I went with my brother, Michael, in his Ford Zephyr, we always seemed to be in a traffic jam. The only jam this time was on the M3 - it delayed our arrival for the ferry by an hour. Not to worry.though, the ferry operators got us on the next ferry. The island in 2000 was now very quiet traffic-wise. But there was not much I remembered from the previous visit.

This time we stayed in a self-catering maisonette at St Lawrence just outside of Ventnor. On our doorstep we had the Rare Breeds and Wildfowl Centre, just next to Ventor Botanical Gardens (a must-do). Ten minutes away was Blackgang Chine - another must-do if you have children under the age of 10. East of Shanklin we visited the informative Tiger Centre, a small zoo featuring lemurs, monkeys, tigers, and small reptiles.

The pretty village of Godshill is quite a tourist attraction, so be prepared for crowds, get lashings of cream teas, and look out for artists. Godshill has a fascinating model village which has a model in the model in the model of the village, and so many cream scone and tea-rooms you are very spoilt for choice.

The visitors route around Osborne House, the former home of Queen Victoria, is now completely different. It is open to the public and well worth a visit. Our infants, enjoyed everything.

Alum Bay and The Needles is now The Needles Park featuring Children's World, a host of childrens' rides, as well as demonstrations on glass blowing and, sweet making (which we missed due to length of queues). We were fortunate enough to see the free Punch and Judy entertainment show. We gave the pricey chairlift and the many steps to the beach a miss, but we did venture along the windy coast towards the Old Battery which hides The Needles.
Steam Trains at Wootton, Isle of Wight, UK close to the timeshare resort.

The weather was very kind to us. Rain had been promised to us by the weathermen on several days, but they were wrong every time. It was only a few spots of rain that had us moving off for cover from Ventnor beach one afternoon. The tv weatherman had promised a deluge.
We picnicked most days, eating lunch in pretty locations, or even on a rug by the car. Al fresco eating seems to give the children a much bigger appetite.

You could never do everything on the Isle of Wight in one week, or even two come to that. But I think that is the beauty of it. You know you won't be disappointed when you go back the next time.
tennis ball hit his head!

feeding the goats

Have you visited The Isle of Wight?