I had no plans to go to the Isle of Wight and it was something to do between the 100th Anniversary of Armistice / Remembrance Day celebrations in London and departing on my Queen Mary 2 Transatlantic Cruise back to my side of the pond. I’m so happy I made the decision to go there ~ the best plans sometimes are no plans.
The Isle of Wight (IoW) is the largest island in England located in the English Channel, between 2 and 5 miles off the coast of Hampshire, separated by the Solent. The island is designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
I took the train from London to Southampton and then the Red Funnel Ferry over to Cowes on the Isle of Wight.
I booked at room at The Union Inn above the pub. I highly recommend when travelling in the UK to book a room at the local pub. The food is fabulous, wine is readily available and there are always fascinating people to chat with while you’re having a glass or two. I often sat downstairs with my laptop in front of the fire.
I rented a car to get around the island and had no issues. I’m now a bonafide capable driver on the other side of the road. There are a lot of things to see and do and experience here and I shamelessly downloaded both of these images from the internet. I didn’t stop at every landmark, but saw what I wanted to see and enjoyed some down time shopping, doing laundry and walking about.
My one regret is that I didn’t do the Coastal Path. Similar to the hike I did around the Isle of Man, the Isle of Wight Coastal Path takes you around the island and is 71 miles in length. It is a must do for me one day.
Dating from the 12th century, Carisbrooke Castle is a historic motte-and-bailey castle located in the village of Carisbrooke. I love castles and anything medieval so this was a must do for me!
The Marconi Monument
The Buddle Smuggler’s Inn
This fabulous 16th century inn was the perfect stop before I walked down to St. Catherine’s Lighthouse. A roaring fire, wooden beams and flagstone floors bring you back in time. I sat in front of the fire and had a really good meal. Check out The Buddle Smuggler’s Inn if you ever have the opportunity to do so!
St. Catherine’s Lighthouse
St. Catherine’s Lighthouse is located on the Southern tip. A light in this location was first set up in 1323 and the current lighthouse was built in 1838. I parked and left my car at The Buddle Smuggler’s Inn and walked down to the lighthouse. The sun was setting while I was there and the views were very beautiful.
There is only one remaining windmill on the Isle of Wight, Bembridge Windmill. Built around 1700 it stands tall and I enjoyed this stop. There’s something a little magical about old windmills.
Quarr Abbey is a Catholic Benedictine Monastery completed in 1912. A small group of Benedictine monks still reside at the abbey. The abbey is magnificent and was constructed with Belgian brick.
The old Abbey ruins are on the grounds and date back to 1132.
On the westerly point is The Needles – The Needles Rocks, The Needles Lighthouse, The Needles Old Battery and The Needles New Battery.
The Rocks were 4 protruding rocks and are called needles because the 4th one looked like a needle. Today there are only 3 rocks. The 4th rock was 120 feet and collapsed in a storm in 1764.
The Lighthouse was built in 1859 replacing the previous one from 1785.
The Batteries are military sites for coastal defence and a secret rocket testing site perched high above the Needles Rocks.
The Garlic Farm
The Fighting Cocks
Out & About
Jackie is “Mom” to one amazing son, an IT professional, and an obsessed traveller. She spends her time reading, golfing at Ladies League, and implementing software projects. Jackie has travelled to 7 continents and 90 countries and is always planning the next destination and adventure!