Holidays with a family (especially now my son and daughter are adults) involve compromise because not everyone wants to do the same sort of thing! On the Wednesday I was hoping we could visit Osborne House, Carisbrooke Castle or the NT nature reserve at Newtown but the rest of the family had the idea of visiting Ryde on the east side of the island. Don't get me wrong Ryde is a lovely town but walking around seaside town centres and along sea fronts is not really my idea of fun - unfortunately for me my family love Ryde and visit every holiday so I was outvoted 1/3 and Ryde it was!!!
Before leaving D's photo of September Cottage reflected in a garden ornament.
Ryde is the largest town on the island and has a feel of Victorian and Regency grandeur - perhaps a little faded now. There is evidence of there having been a settlement here since the Neolithic Period and from the late Bronze Age. During the Medieval era it was a trading, ferry and fishing settlement and in 1377 was set on fire by the French. In 1780 a William Player had the idea of turning the town into a Regency watering place along the lines of Brighton. By the 1820's Ryde was becoming very fashionable and growing rapidly. By the 1860's Cowes replaced Ryde as the fashionable place to visit. The pier built in 1841 stretches half a mile into the sea and is well worth walking along. The town and nearby area has 6 miles of sandy beach.
View to the Spinnaker at Portsmouth - just 9 minutes away by hovercraft.
Hovercraft on the move - we once caught this to Portsmouth on one of our holidays and visited Portsmouth Historic Dockyard with HMS Victory and the Mary Rose - it was a superb day out - in fact you could spend two days there.
A mural in the bus-station - I am not quite sure why we ended up there!
Meet "Tennyson" Isle of Wight Bear number two - he was very pleased to finally be taken out for the day although I suspect Osborne was having an almighty mood back at the cottage!
Ryde Pier in the background
Does anyone else remember those "saucy" postcards to be seen for sale many years ago - it looks as though Ryde has a museum on the subject! Tennyson, became very prudish and said he wasn't prepared to visit!
I think this is St Thomas's Church which is now a heritage centre and would have been worth a visit if I had known at the time!
Apparently there is a Dr Who shop in the town centre and D was determined to visit - it wasn't too hard to find and had a superb range of Dr Who goodies.
Tennyson was brave enough to sit on top of a dalek!
Goodness only knows what the shop owner thought of me taking this photo - we left soon after!
A shop front (just for Pete and Mr Quacks) :)
It was hotter today - in fact too hot and B suggested a lunch time drink which pleased Tennyson greatly :)
"Its gone already - perhaps I had better not have another one - it is lunchtime after all!"
Tennyson and me - back on the seafront and walking off that pint!
Tennyson enjoying views of the harbour
Time for the inevitable icecream.
Tennyson decided to have a go at winning a Pokemon for E. Honestly, the money we put in that machine we could have bought several Pokemons! Every time it actually picked up a toy it immediately dropped it - has anyone ever won anything on one of these?!
Pretty doors in the ladies loo!
B and E love seafood so no visit is complete for them without a visit to this shop. There is also a very good fish and chip shop on the seafront (near the bus station) - the chips from there are superb and vegetarian.
On the way back we decided to visit Bembridge. Some friends of ours who visit the island a lot too always stop at Bembridge and love the beach there. We had never been and when we failed to find the beach car park I remembered why - we didn't find it last time either!! B eventually managed to park up a grassy track where there were a few other cars parked and access to the beach.
Tennyson at Bembridge
Spot the baby crabs - there were a lot on the beach and you had to be very careful where you trod.
To me the beach had quite a "mediterranean" feel - not that I have ever been to the Mediterranean.
Rockpools - the first with lugworm casts.
On reading a visitor's guide to the Isle of Wight while writing this post I discover that there is a privately owned shipwreck and maritime museum there which sounds as though it may be worth a visit. The nearby NT Bembridge windmill is definitely a great place to go to.
Honeysuckle by the front door back at September Cottage
*D - Photos taken by my son with the Canon Bridge SX50
Reference: "Landmark Visitors Guide to the Isle of Wight" by Jackie and Chris Parry
Day 7 involves a visit to the "Pepperpot" - a medieval lighthouse on St Catherine's Down, a visit to Blackgang Chine amusement park (another compromise for me!) and a quick visit to St Andrew's Church, Chale.
Eek - since publishing this post my blog list, profile, etc. etc. seem to have disappeared. Not sure why as I have just checked layout and settings and everything looks as it should. Hopefully, they will miraculously re-appear!
Edit 2 - they are still there but at the bottom of the blog post - not sure why!