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Posts Tagged ‘visit the isle of wight’

After a lovely hot shower when I got back to the B&B the night before, I jumped into bed and snuggled down for the night…weary to my bones but every so happy with what I had seen. Thankfully my night was undisturbed so when the alarm went off at 7:30 again I felt refreshed and ready to go go go. This was also my final morning on the island and I was due to catch the 13:47 ferry to Portsmouth and then train to London.

Sadly the B&B forgot to put out my breakfast tray so I had to raid the dining room and left with 2 yogurt pots and a box of cereal in my backpack. Oh the food I eat when exploring.

exploring the isle of wight, visit the isle of wight

fantastic views from the top deck of the bus

I hopped onto the 08:50 bus to Osborne and arrived with 45 minutes to spare before the gates of Osborne House opened. Rather than hang around kicking my heels I had noticed on the way in that East Cowes marina was just a stones-throw (okay no not really…it was a tad further), so I set off at a quick pace to explore – despite that it was all downhill, I’m so glad I made the effort.

exploring the isle of wight, visit the isle of wight

East Cowes Marina

The weather was stunning in comparison to the day before and the marina looked beautiful. I explored for a bit then headed back to Osborne House…..urgh those hills going back up!!!

osborne house, exploring the isle of wight, visit the isle of wight

aerial view of Osborne and the house

Osborne House was wonderful. The interior is sumptuous and the views from the patio and many of the windows are stunning. Osborne House was the much loved seaside retreat for Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, built between 1845 and 1851, and apparently they spent many a happy day there with their children. It was also the place Victoria returned to after the death of her beloved Albert in 1861. She was to spend the next 7 years there, holed up, mourning the loss of her husband, friend and confidant, dressed in black and refusing to budge, even though desperately needed as Head of State. She even refused to ‘Open Parliament’, which put the Government in a quandry!  Queen Victoria used Osborne for over 50 years, entertaining foreign royalty and visiting ministers.

osborne house, exploring the isle of wight, visit the isle of wight

Osborne House, Isle of Wight – seaside home for Victoria and Albert

Taken on a guided tour of the lower floor and some of the rooms, we were left gasping by the sheer splendour and magnificence of the furnishings and decorations. Albert had pretty much the final say on how it should look and I can say the man had amazing taste; he has left an amazing legacy for the country.

osborne house isle of wight, visit isle of wight

beautifully decorated and long passageways

Not ostentatious, but finely set out, the rooms are stunning with faux-marble columns, exquisitely woven carpets, fabulous paintings on the walls, much of it original furniture and works of art (some are replicas as the current Queen has the originals).

osborne house isle of wight, visit isle of wight

exquisitely furnished with lush carpets, decorative ceilings, fabulous chandeliers

Their initials V & A interwoven can be seen in ceiling decorations, woven into the corners of carpets and added wherever possible.

victoria and albert osborne house isle of wight, visit the isle of wight

V & A – everywhere you looked there initials were interwoven and part of the decor; carpets, floors, ceilings, cornices

I found it to be quite poignant viewing the rooms and imagined the family living there – how much they must have loved it.

osborne house isle of wight, visit isle of wight

beautiful passageways with exquisite sculptures, finely furnished rooms

Many, many family portraits filled the walls in most of the family rooms. Poignant images of beloved children, from toddlers into adulthood with children of their own; all long gone, some of whom met tragic ends.

osborne house victoria and albert, visit the isle of wight

Victoria and Albert who between them created a dynasty that spread across the world – family portraits

The one room that left me gasping was the fabulous Durbar Room. Added to entertain large numbers of people it was built and completed between 1891 and 1892 almost 30 years after Prince Albert’s death…I’m quite sure he would have approved. This room is stunning! Designed by Lockwood Kipling (father of the author Rudyard Kipling) and master carver Bhai Ram Singh. Detailed with intricate Indian-style plaster work, it is richly decorated in the architectural styles of northern India and reflected Queen Victoria’s then status as Empress of India, the large reception room is breath-taking. Although it looks like everything is carved from ivory, the plaster-work was executed by the Indian plasterer Bhai Ram Singh -there is not one piece of ivory in the room.

osborne house isle of wight, victoria and albert osborne house, visit the isle of wight

The Durbar Room, Osborne House

The Durbar Wing also provided accommodation for Princess Beatrice, Queen Victoria’s youngest married daughter, and her family on the 1st floor.

In the display cabinets in the room are some of the stunning gifts received by Victoria when she was Empress of India.

queen victoria empress of india, osborne house isle of wight, visit the isle of wight

gifts for the Empress of India, Osborne House, Isle of Wight

With reference to my visit to The Needles yesterday and the Marconi Monument, in 1898 messages were received from Marconi at Queen Victoria’s Osborne House on a telephone presented by Alexander Bell.

Queen Victoria died at Osborne House in 1901.

queen victoria, osborne house, isle of wight

Queen Victoria – Osborne House, Isle of Wight

Her successor, her eldest son, Edward VII (1841–1910), didn’t need it and as no other member of the royal family wanted to take on the upkeep, the king gave the Osborne estate to the nation on his  Coronation Day in 1902.  Osborne House is now managed by English Heritage.

After the tour which sadly only took in part of the house due to much needed repairs being done on the central staircase, I headed outdoors to enjoy the sunshine and views. The grounds are a delight and much as I wanted to go down to the beach are and visit the Swiss Cottage, my time was almost up, so I contented myself with a quick whizz around the perimeter of the house and at 12noon I recorded the chimes of the clock and then set off back to the bus-stop. In all a fantastic trip.

visit osborne house isle of wight, visit isle of wight

Exterior views of Osborne House and across the grounds to the Solent

My next stop was Ryde, then the B&B where I collected my suitcase and set off for the ferry with plenty of time to spare. I even managed to watch one of the Hovercraft come in to land….again!!! LOL They are fascinating to watch.

And so it was time to say goodbye to the Isle of Wight. I shall definitely return, although I know not when. But there is still much to see and after chatting to the gentleman that I accosted one day on one of my walks in Bembridge, I am inspired to do what he did and walk around the while perimeter of the island. (btw I didn’t harm the guy, I just stopped him to ask about the walking poles he was using!! 😉 )

visit the isle of wight

Goodbye to the Isle of Wight

One of my ambitions is to visit 100 of the Domesday towns and villages in England. There are 84 such places on the Isle of Wight, some of which have morphed into larger towns and others that are still around but looking nothing at all like they may have in 1085/86. I managed to visit 6 of these places: Binstead, Brading, Nettleston, Sandown, Shanklin and a walk through the lower end of Puckpool.

The Domesday Book was commissioned in December 1085 by William the Conqueror, who invaded England in 1066. The first draft was completed in August 1086 and contained records for 13,418 settlements in the English counties south of the rivers Ribble and Tees (the border with Scotland at the time).

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As I said in my previous post; It’s alright on the Isle of Wight I have to admit that when the time came to leave I felt really reluctant to go. But before departure I had to make the most of the 2 half and 1 full day I had left on the island after my job ended.

I purchased a 48 hour rover bus ticket for £15 which allowed me unlimited bus travel till Saturday morning. The very first thing I did after checking in at the B&B in Ryde was head over to the HoverCraft station and book a ride to the mainland. I have a ‘thing’ for first, last and only #thingstodo and without a doubt, after watching these amazing craft either arriving or leaving I simply had to take a trip, and what a trip it was.

HoverCraft on the Isle of Wight

HoverCraft on the Isle of Wight

I purchased a ‘Hover Experience’ ticket at £10 which allowed me to travel across to the mainland, stay on the craft and then travel back again to Ryde, all in the space of 30 minutes 🙂 It was fun. I managed to film one of the craft coming in to land just before I hopped onto the one that was heading out….they are fast, noisy and totally fascinating.

ride on the hovercraft on the isle of wight

The Hover Experience – from Ryde to Southsea Portsmouth and back…

Hovertravel is the world’s longest running commercial hovercraft service and is the only scheduled passenger hovercraft service in the Europe. Hovertravel offers the fastest way to cross the Solent between Southsea, Portsmouth and Ryde, Isle of Wight and for 50 years, the Hovercraft has been the fastest and most convenient way to cross the Solent.

Once the trip was over I spent the rest of the afternoon exploring Ryde more fully. There are a number of wonderful old buildings, some lovely churches and a fascinating array of street names with links to a nautical history.

explore ryde on the isle of wight

discovering Ryde

After that I managed to catch a glimpse of the sun going down behind the trees, and then totally on impulse I hopped on a bus to East Cowes. I had hoped to see the place in the light but by the time we got there it was already quite dark….so I boarded the ferry; Jenny Lee that crossed the River Medina to West Cowes and made the most of my half hour there to explore. I plan to go back again sometime and see it in daylight, but even though it was very dark I still managed to cover a fair bit of ground and got as far as the magnificent esplanade. Then the aroma of hot chips wafted through the air and before leaving I bought a packet for the trip home. I got some weird looks on the ferry crossing LOL.

a trip to cowes on the isle of wight

a quick trip to Cowes – east and west

The trip back to Ryde was uneventful and once back at the B&B I settled into bed and enjoyed the fact that I was no longer on duty.  Looking forward to tomorrow and the adventures that lay ahead…..a whistle-stop tour of the island, I had planned out my route to encompass as many places as possible with the limited time I had and taking into account that many of the routes only had one bus service an hour I think I did pretty good.

Day 2…..the whistle-stop tour

 

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I have had a most amazing 2.5 weeks (so far) on the Isle of Wight….so much so that I haven’t kept up with my intention to blog more often LOL.  The great outdoors has just been too tempting to ignore and just about ALL my free time has been taken up with walking here and there and as far as possible. It’s alright on the Isle of Wight!!

Based in Seaview on the east coast, this location has provided the starting point for my many excursions, whether walking to the west or along the east coast, the views of the sea are astounding, the beaches an endless source of delight.

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

Seaview, Isle of Wight

I’ve also managed to enjoy the wonderful sight of the sunrise on most mornings….even those when I hadn’t intended slipping out, but on opening the curtains, unable to resist.

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

sunrise, sunset – Isle of Wight

So although the job itself has been a real challenge, I have had a brilliant time exploring.

The Isle of Wight to my surprise is incorporated in the county of Hampshire, it lies just off the English coast across from the famous harbour of Portsmouth; the port of Kings and home to Nelson’s flagship, Victory and the more recently discovered warship, The Mary Rose. The Mary Rose; a carrack-type warship of the English Tudor navy of King Henry VIII, sank in 1545, was rediscovered in 1971 and raised in 1982. You can see the conserved remains of this ship at the museum in Portsmouth.

The strip of water between the mainland the island is known as The Solent and I have had the pleasure of watching many a cargo ship, ferry and yacht go sailing through between two of the four ‘The Solent Forts’ – a group of four man-made island forts originally built to protect the Solent and Portsmouth from attack by enemy forces in the 19th century; the first of which was built in 1865. On foggy days and nights you can hear the mournful wail of the foghorns across the water. A melancholy sound.

I stayed the first night on the Isle of Wight Sunday 2 weeks ago and spent the evening and next morning exploring the seafront at Ryde, at which stage I discovered the Appley Tower….during my many excursions I was to pass the folly a number of times 🙂 In the last two weeks I have visited:

Ryde

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

Ryde, Isle of Wight

Sandown

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

Sandown, Isle of Wight

Nettlestone

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

Nettlestone 1086, a Domesday Village, Isle of Wight

Bembridge

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

Bembridge and Bembridge Harbour, Isle of Wight

St Helens

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

St Helens, Isle of Wight

Bembridge Windmill

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

Bembridge Windmill, built in 1700, the sole surviving windmill on the Isle of Wight

Binstead and Quarr Abbey

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

Quarr Abbey and Binstead, Isle of Wight

Horestone Point & Nodes Point

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

Horestone Point & Nodes Point

and walked in excess of 125kms on my various excursions.

I am still to explore the town of Ryde more fully, take a ride on the Hovercraft to the mainland (just because),

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

Isle of Wight Hovercraft is the last remaining commercial hovercraft service in the world.

a full day of exploring coming up on Friday and a visit to Osborne House on Saturday.

The Isle of Wight has been a fantastic discovery on my quest to explore the four corners of the United Kingdom and adds to my list of 100 Islands to visit.

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I can’t tell you how delighted I was to get the call from my agency asking if I was interested in taking on a job on the Isle of Wight!!! Was I ever!! Yes, for sure. It’s on my list of plans for 2017; 2 islands to visit this year, so definitely. As well as which it’s one of the places I’ve always wanted to visit but never seemed to get this far….I’ve been to Portsmouth a number of times but never got to the ferry. So here I am, in Ryde!  On the Isle of Wight.

visit the isle of wight

the Isle of Wight

Just a 10 minute journey by ferry, catamaran or hovercraft from Portsmouth Harbour or Portsmouth Southsea and you’re here. Easy peasy 😉 I imagine the scenery crossing The Solent during the day would be marvellous.

After arrival at Ryde Pier Head, I set off at a brisk pace along the pier…keen to experience what is an early 19th century pier (built before Victoria came to the throne) and the world’s oldest seaside pleasure pier; opened 26 July 1814. Within 6 minutes I was in the town of Ryde……I’ve got a ticket to Ryde 😉 Surprised to find quite such a large town, to my relief the B&B where I was to stay was a short walk from the esplanade.

visit the isle of wight, ryde pier head

Ryde Pier

Welcomed at the Kasbah by Josh, I was shown up to my room. Hallelujah I had a beautiful double bed room off the main road. Very comfortable and cosy, the room was beautifully decorated with a small ensuite, a t.v. and a kettle with accessories. A cup of tea was immediately brewed 🙂

visit the isle of wight, kasbah b&b

The Kasbah B&B in Ryde, Isle of Wight

I rested awhile having my tea and then, since it was still relatively early…just on 19:40 in fact, I decided to have a bit of an explore….despite that it was already pitch dark. I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!! LOL I meandered along to the esplanade and never one to be having a short walk….I ended up walking the length of the esplanade all the way to Appley Tower – 4.66 kms with 7250 steps there and back.

visit the isle of wight, ryde esplanade

Ryde Esplanade and scenes at night

Hah! It was quite chilly, but not unpleasant, a few dog-walkers, evening strollers and joggers about and at no time did I feel unsafe. I passed the train station, the hover-craft platform, the tiny harbour and a row of shops and lovely old houses. All along the way I could see and hear the sea slapping up again the rocks…I love the sounds of the sea.

visit the isle of wight, appley tower

Appley Tower – built in 1875 by Sir William Hutt

The Appley Tower, a coastal folly built in 1875 by one, Sir William Hutt, is also referred to as the Watch Tower. It’s awesome. Thanks mate…we love your folly.

By now there was not a soul in sight, I was on my own. On my way back I passed by the pond in Appley Park and a swimming pool that looked so inviting. Wish I had my swim costume. Oh well, if I ever come back this way…

visit the isle of wight, appley park

Appley Park pond and the swimming pool

Then it was back to the B&B for the night….work due to start on Monday.

I had a brilliant sleep, very comfortable bed and before the sun was even up I was out and onto the esplanade. A beautiful day for walking, again I saw a few people about, but by golly nothing at all like London where you can barely move for people.

I had a marvellous 45 minute walk all the way to the edge of Seaview where I caught the last of the sunrise. I had left it a tad late after all to get going. Then a brisk walk back to the B&B for breakfast.

visit the isle of wight, sunrise in ryde

sunrise in Ryde, Isle of Wight

On the way I stopped off at the hovercraft station to watch one of them come in to land. wow, fascinating and loud! I’m so going to take an opportunity one day while I’m here to cross The Solent to Portsmouth Southsea. The Isle of Wight Hovercraft is the last remaining commercial hovercraft service in the world.

visit the isle of wight, hover craft

Isle of Wight Hover Craft

I was well impressed with my ‘mileage’, and so enjoyed all the sights and sounds. Total 6.2kms and 9905 steps. At this rate I’m definitely achieving the desired 10,000 steps per day for good health 😉 and of course getting myself fitter for the Camino!

From what I’ve seen of Ryde so far; the esplanade and parks, it’s a really pretty place with fantastic views across The Solent towards Portsmouth in England – in fact I can see The Spinnaker in Portsmouth from the seafront and also from Seaview.

The Spinnaker in Portsmouth - across The Solent from Ryde, Isle of Wight

The Spinnaker in Portsmouth – across The Solent from Ryde, Isle of Wight

Watching all the shipping traffic is fascinating…..lends an exotic air to the place…ships from the far-flung corners of the earth….I think I quite like Ryde 🙂

 

 

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Well yes, here I am 10 days into 2017 and already my plan to blog more frequently has fallen by the wayside. I do have a reason….of course there are always reasons……

For one thing I have been very involved with wedding planning with my daughter. 🙂 ❤ After the excitement of their engagement in December, of course wedding plans have to start being made. So we have spent ages looking at stuff on pinterest (where else?) and pinning ideas. We also went wedding dress shopping on Saturday last which was very emotional and quite frankly she looked stunning; just like a Princess. The very first dress she tried on was perfect in every way….even after trying on the other 8 dresses she had selected…the first one was THE DRESS!!!! 🙂 Much excitement abounded and I immediately put down a deposit and bought the tiara. After that we retired for a Cream Tea at the Walpole Bay Hotel (where else 😉 ) one of our favourite venues.

wedding dress shopping with my daughter

wedding dress shopping…so much fun

Other than that I have been walking a lot in preparation for my planned Camino walk. I suspect though that life is once again going to get in the way of this…but I’m not going to let that sneaky thought into my thoughts. LOL I’ll just keep focusing on actually doing the walk and then hold thumbs.

Talking of walking, I’ve managed quite a few delicious walks; from Broadstairs to Ramsgate and saw a few awesome sunsets.

sunset on the isle of thanet

Stunning sunsets and Camino practice walks on the Isle of Thanet

Of course my morning excursions to watch the sunrise are well and truly motivating. What a privilege to watch the sun rise. Most mornings I can see tiny little figures on the beach of other people also out to watch. Some days are just spectacular! Joy!

sunrise over viking bay broadstairs

some of the stunning 2017 sunrises over Viking Bay, Isle of Thanet

I have a new job that started yesterday on the Isle of Wight, which in itself is on my list of things to achieve this year…so one island down…..one to go (for 2017). When you have a list of 100 islands to visit and you’ve only managed 30 or so, I’m guessing I’ll have to plan a few more each year….2 a year won’t cut it…I won’t live that long…but then again I might LOL.

visit the isle of wight

Ryde and a visit to the isle of Wight….1 island down, 1 to go for 2017

However on the not so plus side apparently there is very little by way of internet signal in the area where I’ll be working so that may put a spanner in my blogging works. I’ll have to wait and to see how it goes…..(apparently there is wi-fi installed especially for the carers so hopefully……!!! hooray!)

I arrived on the Isle on Sunday….travelled by train to London, got there well early so took myself on a mini adventure from Waterloo Station to the Southbank to say hello to my favourite clock…..a dank dark day it was so the photo isn’t much good but at least I got to see our Ben before he gets covered over with cladding prior to repairs and restoration.

river thames and big ben in london

a mini-adventure to see the Thames and my favourite clock…..Big Ben…I see you!

Every time I go into London some building or other is gone and new buildings are rising in their place!!!

Then it was onto the train to Portsmouth Harbour. We were delayed by 11 minutes due to a trespasser on the track at the approach to Guildford, so when we arrived at Portsmouth it was lickety split and a quick dash for the ferry which I made with literally 2 minutes to spare. What fun to be travelling on a ferry from the mainland to the island….sounds quite exotic and fun! Unfortunately it was very dark by then so I couldn’t see anything.

But never no mind….tomorrow would bring it’s surprises and delights! Hello Ryde…Isle of Wight! Hooray 🙂

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