My husband and I (OAPs) had a great holiday camping at Stoats Farm Caravan and Camping site, Weston Lane Totlan Bay, Needles.
met some lovely people, but the best bit was the bus ride from the village up to the Needles. Make sure you have a ride in the cable car down to the beach,on return have a look at the glass blowing, sand making, ice cream and fish and chips oooooh.
Had a great time would recommend it.
‘Welcome to Yarmouth; please reset your watches to 30 years ago,’ used to be heard on the cross-Solent ferry. Grange Farm offers the best of ‘Old Wight’. Views across the Channel and along the white cliffs to Tennyson Down are unspoilt; the children’s playground is happily free of the worst health and safety excesses of modern times; kids can get as close as they want to llamas, pigs and goats; and it’s a rough scramble to the beach. But this is all very deliberate in this friendly, family-run site, which harks back to simpler, unstructured British coastal camping. Amenities are all there and clean, there’s a great little shop, and you can get a ‘New Wight’ fix every night courtesy of mobile vans offering great wood-fired pizza or Indian take-away.
Two people, car and tent less than £20.
Alliumphobic? Take a trip to the Garlic Farm on the Isle of Wight and face your fear.Taste scapes, giant baked elephant garlic, breads, dips and chutneys. Garlic sculptures, topiary and murals satisfy the art lover. Ride on the farm tractor to tour the growing fields. Plait it, buy it, eat it, smell it. Learn curious snippets and historic facts at the heritage centre.
From the café watch the red squirrels scurrying past while sampling the menu of food cooked with …
If you’re feeling really adventurous, try some garlic ice-cream or a garlic Bloody Mary. And for the positively dedicated garlic lover, join in the festival frolics with 25,000 like minded enthusiasts in August.
A short ferry ride from Southampton, Portsmouth or Lymington will take you to one of the sunniest places in Britain. With over 500 miles of footpaths you can walk the Tennyson Way for an exhilarating view of The Needles or stroll along uncrowded coastal paths on the south east of the island. Explore ancient woodlands and get up close to red squirrels at the Alverstone Marsh hide. Follow the network of flat cycle paths suitable for all abilities and more challenging bridleways with barely 100m of flatness. Just remember that for every up there is a great view and a glorious down just ahead.
Holiday home of Queen Victoria and her family, an idyllic retreat on the beautiful Isle of Wight. The house, gardens and beach are all open to the public via English Heritage. It is a fascinating place to explore. Don't visit the Island just for the day - make at least a long weekend of it.
York Avenue East Cowes, Isle of Wight, PO32 6JX
Google map: bit.ly/PfK7k1
The Isle of Wight loves walkers. A favourite is to start at the Botanic Gardens to the west of Ventnor and walk along the coastal path and the undercliff towards Nitin, turning into St Lawrence - where the church is open and welcomes walkers with squash and biscuits. Then head north to reach the Stenbury Trail up on to the downs - where at Week Down the sea can be seen in all directions and you can imagine this is where Tennyson stood on his frequent walks there - then follow the paths back down to Ventnor. Reward yourself with an excellent meal in the art deco Rex Piano Bar in Ventnor with a view out along the coastal path you started on.
The Tennyson Mile stretches from the delightful unspoilt beach at Freshwater Bay to Farringford, the home of the Victorian poet laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
Fellow poets Robert Browning, Henry Taylor, Edward Lear and the American, Henry Longfellow stayed at the selection of holiday villas nestled beneath the downs. The lovely magnolia by the conservatory at Farringford was presented to Tennyson as a cutting by Longfellow in 1868. Other writers came too, including Darwin, Thackeray and Lewis Carroll.
All these famous people were photographed by the pioneer photographer, Julia Margaret Cameron. Dimbola Lodge, overlooking the bay, has excellent views across the Back of the Wight and is now a museum of photography. The tearoom serves delicious cream teas and excellent lunches that can be enjoyed on the terrace on a warm day.
This Victorian cultural circle was satirised by Virginia Woolf in her play Freshwater. Other 20th-century literary pilgrims include DH Lawrence, TS Eliot, John Betjeman, JB Priestley, WH Auden and Christopher Isherwood. Tennyson’s Gift, the novel by Lynne Truss, is set in Freshwater Bay.
The poets and pines walk (www.histreetrail.com) is a fascinating trail highlighting the trees that inspired Tennyson. It includes the Tennyson Mile but goes inland to Freshwater village passing the large property that the poet provided for his wife’s family. Hawkswood, now Freshwater Court, was built by Tennyson to complete his marriage vow. This stated that his in-laws could come and visit whenever they wished, for as long as they wished. But he did not want them under his feet at Farringford.
Recently stayed at the Royal with my wife for our wedding anniversary. The room was very well appointed and spacious, but the main draw for us was the outstanding food! We ate in every night!
Beautiful retreat from the stress of modern life. The site is a area of outstanding natural beauty a stones thrown form the sea.
If the weather's good there is plenty to do and it's beautiful. Might want to avoid festival periods as they can make some places very crowded.
Great holiday providing it's sunny. Nice hotels, B&Bs and cottages to stay at.
My favourite ferry journey in Europe has to be the car ferry to the Isle of Wight.
I have spent many happy holidays on the Isle of Wight and think that it has to be one of the most under-rated places around. There is lots to do and see. From the Zoo to the Needles, the model village or just sitting having a quiet drink in one of the many pubs and watching all the yachts go sailing by. The ferry journey is only a relatively short trip, but it gets the holiday off to a relaxing start.
Although the mud was bad last year, the line up is always great. Get the train to Portsmouth, then the car ferry and then a cab to the festival. Sounds mad, but it takes out all the waiting for buses.
A friendly, family-run, small hotel. Proprietors Rod and Wendy make all their guests very welcome. The hotel is well situated in Shanklin, handy for the beach, shops, a wide choice of restaurants and public transport. Accomodation is spotless and represents excellent value for money. A very good website will do more justice to the place than I can.
13, Queens Road
Telephone - 01983 862666
To fancy dress or not to fancy dress?
Some people just aren't that into fancy dress. As one of those people, I didn't see why I should do it at Bestival. Yes, it's a festival that celebrates one of the largest fancy dress parades in the country, but once a disbeliever in stupid outfits, always a disbeliever.
As one of only three people at the whole of the festival sporting normal, casual attire, I can honestly say I've never felt like a bigger idiot, ever. Bestival is a time to supress your dislike for the 'wacky', it's a time to swallow your misplaced pride and adorn something stupid. You'll feel much better for it ...
Robin Hill, near Newport, Isle of Wight
Bestival is a fab fancy dress festival where people are laid back and it isn't too big. Yes last year was a complete wash-out, but overall because Bestival is in early September it has a brilliant sunshine record, which really helps with the party spirit.
We all know to take loo rool and wet wipes, but some less obvious tips for festival goers are:
- Take dry shampoo, or specifically Batiste Tropical. It's an amazing conditioning spray that takes away any greasiness and makes your hair full bodied and shiny. It's usually used by old ladies but don't let that put you off
- Take wine in a box and once finished, use the bag inside as an inflatable pillow to sleep on
- If you can carry them, fold away chairs are a god-send at festivals
- Dig out your sparkly sequin bolero or jacket: great for the cooler UK evenings but keeps you looking like you've made a festival effort
- Always bring a bikini, you never know when the sunshine will come out, but also useful for the festivals that have saunas. A good sweat in a sauna will cleanse you for the next night of partying
- Pitching your tent in the quiet zone can be great if you need a good night's sleep and to be fresh for work on Monday
- Take a small over the shoulder handbag so you can put all your valuables in there, sling it across your body and dance the night away!
- Choose a festival that has the right party vibe for you. It doesn't have to have the major headlining bands and you never know, at a smaller festival you may get to see the next big thing
Bestival is at Robin Hill Country Park, Isle of Wight
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com