Skip to content

A family trip to the beautiful Isle of Wight

Shortly after getting back home I was on another flight. This time to the Isle of Wight as my step-grandmother passed away just before I arrived back in the UK. I was able to Skype with her from Melbourne which I am grateful for, technology is certainly a blessing at times. The funeral was held where she lived and I went down with my mum and sister.

This involved a train ride up to Edinburgh as our flight was cancelled by EasyJet. This meant instead of getting to Bristol on the morning (where we were getting the train to Southampton and then a ferry across) we had to wait all day for an evening flight. This was pretty damn annoying but a quick gin and tonic at the train station helped.

IMG_1231

My sister lives up in Edinburgh with her boyfriend, meaning I have been up a couple of times to see her. Edinburgh is a gorgeous and very historical city not too far north of the Scotland/England border, and my mums place of birth. And would a trip to Edinburgh be complete without trying haggis?

IMG_1242

This restaurant receives great reviews so we thought we would try it. It is right in the city centre and if you would like to try some local delicacies this is a great place to head.

IMG_1244IMG_1245

If I remember rightly I had the beef haggis with heather honey and turnip puree. It was very good.

IMG_1250IMG_1253

It was nice to stroll through the streets again, despite being a very short trip. But I had longer in the city recently after my recent trip to Berlin via Edinburgh Airport and have more pictures from that trip coming soon. The new The Fast and the Furious movie, Fast & Furious 9, is currently being filmed in the city. And I have some shots of the filming in an upcoming post!

IMG_E1258IMG_E1265

IMG_1259

IMG_1267

Time to board…

IMG_1296

IMG_1270IMG_1288

And we finally made it to Bristol.

IMG_1290

The next morning after a good breakfast we made the train ride to Southampton. The flight the previous night was only around 55 minutes so wasn’t bad at all. Southampton and Portsmouth are cities that are a short ferry ride from the island, however we had to fly into Bristol on those dates.

Southampton is a lovely city, however upon leaving the train station I couldn’t help to notice how bland and concrete the buildings were. I have always thought that about rail travel, despite being a great mode of transport for getting right into the city centre, the views from the windows are often some of the worst arriving into any city. The graffiti, barbed wire, rubbish… never gives a good first impression for a tourist.

IMG_1291

But after a fast ferry (around 40 minutes) we arrived on the Island.

IMG_1294

The Island is great. And bigger than you would think. It covers 150 sq miles and has the population of a small city, roughly 141,000. Recently the Isle of Wight was mentioned on Britain’s Got Talent as a reggae singer and resident of the island, Derek Sandy, performed on the show. His song ‘Welcome to the Isle of Wight’ received four yeses from the judges, a song my uncle wrote and produced with him!

Hovertravel is another travel option getting onto the island. There isn’t a commercial airport for tourists to use, so currently water is the only way. This hovercraft service is the worlds only commercial passenger hovercraft service and gets you to the mainland in only ten minutes.

IMG_1299IMG_1303IMG_1307

You see the object in the water below? Nope, not the guy, behind to the right. That is one of a few forts that can be viewed from the coastline, built in the 1800’s due to the threat of invasion. You can actually book a trip there for a luxury retreat today, one of these trips can be viewed here, named No Man’s Fort. It is pretty amazing to think how these would have been built at sea, especially in choppy waters.

IMG_1319

IMG_1354

The weather down there was lovely. Which meant for a lovely send off to my gran. The funeral service was on the day we got there, but we landed with plenty of time to spare. As my gran was born in the north east, half the people at the funeral were in fact travelling from the same region of England as us. It was strange going south and hearing a church full of locals accents on the other side of the country. And it was lovely to see some people we haven’t seen in years.

The next few shots are from Appley, on the north of the island. I have fond memories as a kid walking down here past the cute little Appley Towers, overlooking the south coast of England.

IMG_1320IMG_1321IMG_1324IMG_E1334

IMG_E1337

I put on Instagram I was ‘back home’ however I don’t think too many people were fooled by my supposed house

IMG_1343

IMG_1344

My sister having a fun time next to the picture frame that is used by many to get a nice picture of the house.

IMG_1345IMG_1347

Some very eagle-eyed readers will notice a tower on the English coastline in the shots below. This is the Emirates Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, a 560ft observation tower. I really like it and can be seen all the way from the Isle of Wight.

IMG_1350

spinnakertower

My mum, sister and auntie underneath the tower just before my sister took part in the Tall Ships Race from Portsmouth to Amsterdam a few years back.

IMG_1361

The tower is to the left of the cruise ship

And speaking of cruise liners, this was one of the last places the Titanic was seen before it’s doomed journey. There is a photograph from the island of the liner, one of the last photos taken. It wasn’t the very last as the ship made its way to Ireland before the journey across the Atlantic.

IMG_1364

You can see one of the ports I mentioned earlier out to sea…

IMG_1365

I have always been lucky with the weather here. A few years back I went to the Isle of Wight Festival with my sister and some friends and the weather was perfect. It is one of the UK’s biggest festivals and attracts some very big bands and thousands of music fans. It is a great opportunity for many people to see the island for the first time and the beauty on offer.

IMG_E1367

Similar to the forts above, procedures were put in place on land to protect the Isle of Wight and the UK from invasions. We walked around some sites that haven’t been touched since the world wars, where huge guns and weaponry would have been fired during Nazi bombings. It was fascinating to see, and a reminder of how terrible and terrifying war must be to experience in person.

IMG_1370IMG_1372IMG_1373IMG_1375IMG_1376IMG_1378

And before we knew it, we were back at the ferry terminal and sailing back to the mainland. It is always a beautiful trip to this part of the world, and even though this visit was in sad circumstances my gran had a beautiful send off and we had a lovely family reunion. There is something about just being next to the ocean that is very calming too, and this helped a lot for all of us.

IMG_1380IMG_1382

IMG_1399

Becky and her antics again…

IMG_1389

We spotted a ship named ‘Blade Runner II’, pretty cool!

IMG_1391IMG_1392

IMG_1395

Time to sail…

And that is it from my Isle of Wight trip. A fairly quick trip with plenty of miles covered, and we got to explore Bristol for a day before the evening flight back. Some posts from this trip, as well as Edinburgh and Berlin to come soon.

Thank you for reading, have you ever been to the Isle of Wight? Let me know. Pat, I know you have recently told me you have a friend on the island, I hope they share plenty of beautiful pictures with you! It is a fascinating island with beautiful landscapes and plenty of history.

I will see you all soon!

IMG_1386

 


 

Connect with me

@onechancetoseetheworld– Instagram

@octstw– Twitter

Introduce yourself– a place to share your blog and find new ones

samoctstw

29 replies »

    • Great!! You will love both, Edinburgh has great connections from London and the Isle of Wight isn’t too far away from London. If you are flying into London that is! But I would highly recommend both.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh lovely! It seems like the island is a must for families. I have such fond memories of caravan parks and drives around the island from my childhood. I’m pleased you have fond memories of the island with family, especially from such a young age!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Ok, grandfather was from Edinburgh! Separate grandparents….he was father’s father, the Darlington grandmother was mother’s mother. They got to Canada, but never knew each other.

    What a great Isle tour, Sam, thank you!!! No photos from my new friend as she is in a care home so doesn’t get out. She’s mentioned a few things, but no pics. I think your ”home” is great!

    Water is very calming & a good idea around a sad occasion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nice to know your family have walked the same streets as I have! Glad you liked the post Pat, sadly I didn’t take a picture of ‘The Needles’ for you as that is a popular tourist attraction on the coastline and I am sure your friend knows it very well 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • My new e-pal hasn’t yet said much other than one comment about some of the animals there. She’s quite disabled & has mostly spoken about hospital & care homes. She’s mentioned her father, & her dog, a number of times, so I’m taking it she’s quite a bit younger. I never question her about anything as I don’t yet feel free to ask anything. I don’t even know what the disabilities are other than she’s had to move to the care home this summer.

        I just heard mention of The Needles a couple of days ago, so know nothing about it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry to hear about your grandmother :* I’ve been to the IOW once in July 1985. I’m trying to get hubby to agree to a holiday there as I loved the Needles, Alum Bay and the cable ride down to the beach – Cowes is pretty great too, although I imagine much has changed in 34 years, plus it’ll be interesting to see it with adult eyes!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry to hear about your loss, Sam, and sorry to hear how Sleazyjet messed you round although not at all surprised to be honest.

    A day in Edinburgh is a good compensation though as it is one of my favourite cities and one of only a couple of places in UK I could live if I ever left London.

    I have been to IOW although it was many, many years ago. I have just finished writing up my Malta trip here and was wondering what my next project here might be. Perhaps I should dust off the images of the island and do it next.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sleazyjet xD I am not surprised either to be honest, however I have found the service on board has been okay in my recent experiences, from the friendly pilots to the cabin crew. Maybe it is just everything around it that goes wrong often haha.

      Like

  4. Looks wonderful. I remember going as a kid but I don’t remember too much of the place itself. I have a friend living there now so overdue a trip. Might try get over there next summer 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to jasonlikestotravel Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Thank You!

  • 163,271 views
Follow One Chance to See the World on WordPress.com
%d bloggers like this: