This is an old travelogue. In the year 2012 I was living at a place called Watford. Watford is only 30 mins from Central London and the last station on London Overground line. We planned to go to Isle of Wight because it was nearby. But instead of taking public transport we decided to hire a car. This was my first roadtrip in the UK.
Isle of Wight is only 4 hours drive from Watford. So a weekend is sufficient to visit this place. Its an island in southern England. Surrounded with sea the place is mostly popular for beaches and cliffs. This place attracts a lot of tourists during summer. There are ferry available from 2 different ports which carries people and vehicle to Isle of wight. Unfortunately there are no bridges to the mainlands.
We planned to make it short and simple. Only visit few places and enjoy the drive. For lodging instead of staying in a hotel we decided to stay in a B&B. Few days back one of our seniors went there and he advised a good B&B. Weston Manor Bread and Breakfast. I emailed the owner and he confirmed the booking of a twin bed room asap. I will write more about the B&B later in this post.
Day 1- On Friday evening we picked up snacks, cold drinks and water for the road trip. We started very early so that there is minimum or no traffic. As this was one of my first road trips I was quite nervous. Seven sisters cliff in on the way to Portsmouth. Seven Sisters is a series of chalk white cliff standing side by side. This cliff has been featured in many Hollywood movies including "Man of Steel" and an east-facing photo of the Seven Sisters is included as one of the default landscape wallpapers packaged with MS Windows 7. There was no point missing such a beautiful cliff. South England is always windy and in the month of February it is quite cold. Without gloves it was very difficult even to press the shutter of the camera.
We took the ferry from Portsmouth. Tickets were booked online in advance. Ferry carries both the cars and the passengers. The ship had a small cafe and a closed sitting space. There was also a upper deck for anyone who wants to enjoy the sea. But in February the upper deck was almost empty.
The ferry takes 45 minutes to cross the channel. Once we reached the island we drove towards west as the B&B was on the western part of the island. The owner came and welcomed us at the parking. He checked our reservation and gave us room immediately. The B&B was not a regular B&B. From Google -"Weston Manor was built in 1871 by William George Ward and his wife Francis Mary Ward. Situated on Moonshill Weston Manor boasts its own private Chapel listed as a heritage site by the national trust. Decorated in the medieval style of A W Pugin the chapel is the only example of its kind in England."
We took a walk in the afternoon to the nearby watch tower. We were told that we could see a beautiful sunset if the sky is clear. And believe me it was one of the best sunset I have seen. We sat on a cliff and saw the sun going down and finally dissolved in the horizon. There was nothing much to do after the sun is down. The West manor B&B do not serve dinner or lunch, hence we went to the nearest and only pub available - High Down Inn
Day 2 (Sunday) - The owner himself cooked full English breakfast for us. We bade them farewell and headed towards Needle point. This was again not far from Weston manner. The weather was not up to the mark though. When we reached Needle point tourist parking place it was drizzling. It was 1 mile walk from the parking to the needle point. On top of that heavy wind made the walk difficult. We somehow reached the needle point and had a hot cup of coffee at a coffee shop. The Needle was a site for military use, so you can see old military items. The place also has a watch light house which is automated since 1994. More information about Needles can be found here.
As we planned to keep our trip short the next stop was extreme east of the island - Shanklin Beach. The route we took passed through villages and coasts. We stopped at one place after seeing a man selling burgers and hot dogs in his caravan. Shanklin beach a public parking right opposite to the beach. Parking fee was 2 pounds per hour as far as I remember. Shanklin was the last beach we visited in Isle of wight. Our return ferry was booked at 4pm from Fishbourne. We reached there almost an hour early (once again) and waited. The administrators at the ferry allowed us to catch the previous ferry. This being my first drive I was more than happy that we had a beautiful road trip and came back safely