Isle of Wight

We got back from the Isle of Wight yesterday. We had a great time but as is traditional I need another holiday to recover! 

The trip to get the ferry was relatively painless, we actually left the house before 6am which is near miraculous. The M25 was horrible but we got to Southampton in time and the ferry trip wasn't too bad, Rory loved seeing all the boats (all boats are currently 'big big pirate ship boats').

The campsite was easy to find, but as seems to be the case with every campsite we visit the approach road was tiny - not what you want when you're towing a caravan! It was also a little tight on site but we managed to manoeuvre the caravan into place by hand.

The first day we stayed on site, the campsite was not especially modern but in a way this made it more attractive - everyone was very friendly and helpful. We soon became acquainted with the local ale (Fuggle became our favourite over the week) and had a go at the bingo.

Mmm, Fuggle...
On Thursday we first went to Ryde so Anna and Nicky could go to the Doctor Who shop - it's difficult to know who was more excited! We then ventured to Godshill. There's a pub there called The Griffin which is brilliant, very family friendly and the food was lovely. They even have a hedge maze in the back garden! Afterwards we headed to the model village and around the little shops. We then headed back to the campsite, and spent an evening being 'entertained' by a bad disco, musical bumps and kids bingo.

In the middle of the maze at The Griffin
On Friday we headed to Blackgang Chine. I hadn't been expecting much but it was actually pretty good, despite the good weather it was not crowded and we did not have to deal with many queues. The dinosaur enclosure sounded like it was going to be a bit rubbish but it was surprisingly good, whoever writes the signs has an excellent sense of humour!

The platform rumbled when the T Rex growled...
The 'big big pirate ship boat' was also a big hit, but some of the older attractions were a bit boring by comparison. Still, the water slides were a great way of cooling down! In the evening we headed back to the entertainment which was the same bored man doing the same bad disco, musical bumps and kids bingo, but afterwards they did a quiz which was surprisingly difficult - we got 6/15, the winners got 7, but we were robbed on one answer :-)

Saturday and Sunday were mostly spent at the beach, Saturday at Shanklin was really hot - a bit too warm for my liking, but I managed to survive without getting burned for once! On Sunday we went to Sandown, which by coincidence was having a regatta so we got to see the lifeboat and helicopter demonstrations. We also got the kids a rubber ring which they enjoyed floating around on in the sea! 

Nicky insisted that we bury him in the sand!
For dinner we went to the Caulkheads pub which was another excellent family pub, this one had a bouncy castle and wooden big big pirate ship boat in the garden and a ball area inside, and the food was also good. I ate far too much this week, to the extent that two pairs of trousers I took with me no longer fitted by the end of the week!

On Monday we went fossil hunting on a beach near to Brook. The guide, Felicity, was very passionate and knowledgeable about the area and was very patient dealing with everyone's questions about whether they were holding a dinosaur bone or a piece of sandstone! It was very interesting and we found some dinosaur bones and iron pyrite. Later that day we went back to Blackgang Chine (the ticket is valid for 7 days, yay) and went on a guided tour through the dinosaur enclosure which was entertaining if a little short.

We headed to the Needles on Tuesday which was the biggest disappointment of the week - the theme park was horrible and tacky and everything cost money, and for some reason it was really busy. The Needles themselves were pretty enough though. That evening we headed to the entertainment for the last time which was a massive improvement over the previous times, they had a different bloke in who actually engaged with everyone and got them involved - I even ended up doing limbo with Nicky and Kitty!

The journey home was very long, although we did stop off in Winchester for a while to catch up with a friend which was nice. I've done a lot of driving over the last week so will be pleased to have a rest for a while. Hopefully we'll go to the Isle of Wight again - next time I'll definitely take my bike as there were some great roads around the island.

Keane Ingram

A father of three and husband of one. I enjoy spending time with my family, staying active (especially cycling, running and capoeira) and playing video games. I also enjoy reading and watching films.

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