Friday, 27 July 2012

The Isle of Wight

Last week we spent 5 wonderfully relaxing days on The Isle of Wight.
Warning: this post is photo heavy!
The trip down was extremely wet,  
but the rain had stopped by the time we arrived at Shanklin.
Although it was still dull and windy we ventured onto the beach.
"I love you this much", my husband drawing a heart in the sand 
and my son sending one to his girlfriend via a photo on his mobile.
More sand art by Jay.
The hydrangea flowers were huge along the coast.
Tuesday dawned hot and sunny.
Back on the beach for ice-creams to set us up for our walk.  I can really recommend the Bramdean ice-cream from the kiosk near the pier.  I had rum & raisin, J had bubblegum and S had liquiorice.
We walked along the coast to the end of the chalk cliffs,
hunting for fossils as we went.
Jay found these 3 pieces of a beautiful iron pyrite sunburst.
We walked for 8 hours and unfortunately got a touch of sunburn - were not used to the sun this year!
Wednesday the sea mists rolled in and we went for an atmospheric walk to St Catherine's Oratory aka The Pepperpot

and then strolled around Mottistone Manor Gardens,

before looking at The Long Stone nearby.
"Where to next?"
In the afternoon we visited the Fossil Forest at Hanover Point
Petrified Wood

and were delighted to find Dinosaur Footprints.
Thursday was a special day as we had a close encounter with Red Squirrels at Alverstone Nature Reserve.

They even fed from S and Jay's hands.
Once we were able to tear ourselves away from these endearing creatures we drove to Bembridge Down for a picnic with panoramic views.
Portsmouth on the mainland.
We had a quick look at Bembridge Fort and watched the Swallows diving though the air

before walking across the Down and admiring the Moths and Butterflies.
Six-spot Burnet Moth
Marbled White Butterfly.
We next headed to Hamstead Ledge
which was comprised of thick clay.  The sea was milky with the clay and it was very slippery to walk on.  I will never complain about the clay in my garden again!

We found some interesting fossils.

Friday was our final day and we headed first to Ventnor.

Fay on the Beach at Ventnor.
After Ventnor we took a look at the tiny 12thC church at St. Lawrence,

before driving to view The Needles.

We walked down to the beach to admire the many colours of the cliffs.

We wandered around Yarmouth

and walked along its pier.
We also managed a quick visit to Cowes before boarding the ferry back to Southampton.
The highlight of my holiday was watching my children playing together.

They have always got on well together and it was lovely to see them still being carefree and playing (even though they are 17 & 20!) on a swing. :)

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