Island Hopping   Leave a comment

Isle of Wight Beach

Isle of Wight Beach

Island Hopping – today is the perfect day for ‘island hopping’ and I bet when you hear that phrase, England is not the first place that pops into your mind. But that’s exactly where I am, visiting my Dad and taking time out to enjoy the fabulous scenery because the weather is never this good when I drop by. More often than not, it’s cool, grey and rainy so I think someone was looking down on me for this leg of my 3 week European sojourn.

Southampton to the Isle of Wight – I grew up less than a 2 hour drive and a 25 min ferry ride away from the Isle of Wight and yet I have never been. Each trip I say I should go and this time I did. It’s 28 degrees, there’s not a cloud in the sky and, at 9am on a weekday morning, surprisingly the ferry ride is a quick process. There are commuters but the ticket line is non-existent and the ferry is practically empty. Drinks and snacks are available to purchase and a return ticket is 23 pounds sterling (about $45CDN, so not cheap!).

Open Top Bus – from Yarmouth I pick up an open top double-decker bus aptly nicknamed the Needles Breezer. As we drive towards and then along the coast, the bus certainly lives up to its name as the wind breezes through my hair. Keep an eye out for overhanging tree branches or they’ll they slap you in the face (just like they did on my tour bus through the New Forest).

Alum Bay – I take the chair lift down to the beach and am faced with my second surprise of the day (the first being the great weather) and all I can say is wow! Seriously, I cannot be in England. I have never seen the ocean this colour in this country and it makes me wonder what else I’ve passed up that may surprise me. The impressive sand cliffs are made up of quartz, felspar and mica which, normally pure white, get their colour from contamination from other minerals in the area. Altogether, there are about 22 different colours.

Boat Cruise – hopping off at the bottom, I hightail it over to the boat cruise. Leaving every 20 mins, you never have to wait long for a cruise of the same length to take you out on the Solent and around the Needles with live commentary (5 pounds sterling, about $10CDN).

The Needles – 3 lumps of chalky rock jutting out from the ocean bed with a lighthouse at the end. There’s a spot where a fourth used to be before it collapsed in the 18th century. Apparently it looked like a needle and the name stuck, even all these years later. Click here to see my video.

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Posted July 7, 2015 by Jaclyn in Holidays, Travel

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