Step back in time in the Isle of Wight

Mr ATWWAH and I have been to the Isle of Wight once before for a wedding but this was our first trip with Master ATWWAH.  We went over on the ferry from Portsmouth which was really easy and taking your own car is ideal as the island isn’t too big to explore in a weekend.

First up was Ryde, the largest town on the Isle of Wight.  We took a wander up the beachfront past the funfair to a little park.  We then went over to the boating lake and past the bigger attractions such as the ice rink.  Mr ATWWAH was more excited than Master ATWWAH about watching the hovercraft coming in and out.


There’s the hovercraft

There are quite a few grand looking B&B’s on the seafront so I daydreamed about opening a B&B at the seaside for a little while until Mr ATWWAH pointed out breakfasts would need to be cooked and beds made.  Hmm….

It’s a little bit like stepping back in time as the smells and sights are very reminiscent of childhood seaside holidays.  Whilst buying a tea towel in one of the souvenir shops (don’t ask!) we inadvertently walked through the grand unveiling of the tourist information desk in the shop.  We wondered what the red carpet, champagne and men in chains were about.

On the Saturday we happened to be in town at the same time as The Chale Show.  There was a motorbike stunt rider, engines, tractors, marching bands, cover bands and brilliant tents with ‘only in the UK’ prize vegetable and cake competitions.


There’s definitely a problem with this one….it won’t start

Rather worryingly there seemed to be a penchant for scarecrows in the form of children.  We spent a good couple of hours at the show and returned to the car with windburn (nice look!)

kid scarecrows

Scarecrow budget had been cut

Mr ATWWAH insisted no trip to the Isle of Wight would be complete without going to Needles so we headed over there but arrived too late for the chairlift down to the beach.  Instead we walked up to the highest point including the old rocket testing site.  If you’re feeling lazy you can always get the bus which runs pretty regularly but it’s only a 15 minute walk, maybe a bit longer if you’re going toddler eating ice cream pace.  There are some pretty big, deadly drops down the cliff face so if you have a toddler with you keep them close.  Here is not the place to practice your ‘they need to be independent’ philosophy.

The Isle of Wight Steam Railway is definitely worth a visit.  We bought round trip tickets and spent a good enough amount of time on the train.  Call me a killjoy but I always think the joy of a steam train is seeing it rather than being in it.  But Master ATWWAH seemed to enjoy opening and closing the windows and announcing everything we went past.

Steam train

Better to be see than to be seen in?

There was also a Jaguar enthusiasts show going on when we were there with some entertainment.  We ate lunch watching a bird of prey show not quite knowing whether it was intentional that none of the birds featured actually flew.

On our last day we went to the Garlic Farm for a couple of hours.  It is a good way to pass a couple of hours and has tractor rides, tasting rooms and some animals for the kids to stroke if they’re brave.  There is also a restaurant where we had easily the best meal we had since arriving despite being laced with lots of garlic.


Don’t Feed The Pigs

As I said earlier the Isle of Wight is a step back in time but it felt like that food wise too.  We ate a couple of times at the Propeller Inn, based next to the airfield.  It was traditional pub food but with an hours wait, even if you had booked a table.  Thankfully the weather was nice so we took it in turns to take Master ATWWAH to count the planes, admire the rainbow which appeared and practice marching on the decking outside.

Food wise though everywhere we went, even the Garlic Farm, had the usual suspects on the kids menu.  And, everything came with chips.  We usually ordered Master ATWWAH something but then gave him what we had ordered too so he got a vegetable or two.

The Isle of Wight is definitely a good place to take kids though, with loads to do, we didn’t even do some of the main attractions like the zoo.  And, when the weather is good you can spend many an hour at one of the beaches.  Definitely recommend it.


  1. I totally agree – I’ve been to the Isle of Wight a few times and there’s just so much to do, even out of season (the chairlift was shut when we were last there in February). I do love the relaxed old-fashioned seaside holiday feel in a lot of places as well though. #mondayescapes

  2. I love looking back at old trips – and I’ve spent many happy times in the Isle of Wight throughout the years. Whenever I go to the coast I always daydream about owning a B&B too! Ha ha! Your hubby is right no visit is complete without going to the Needles! Thanks for sharing on #MondayEscapes

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