November break on the Island

Were lucky enough to win a free return on Red Funnel after staying on the Isle of Wight back in May after filling in their customer survey, so booked a short autumn break. There were no problems on the drive down from the North West into Southampton so had a few hours looking around. There was even time for a drink at Banana Wharf in Ocean Village on a sunny November afternoon.

Ocean Village, Southampton

The ferry trip over to East Cowes was calm and a great start to our weekend break. We had found a small house in Shanklin to rent for the three nights, which was modern and included everything you would need. The house called Driftwood was close to pubs, restaurants and shops, and a short walk down to the seafront. The weather was fine apart from some rain on the Saturday, and I managed to capture the sea looking wild in Sandown.

Sandown Beach in the rain

I would say even on a wet day in November there is still plenty to do, with the Dinosaur Isle Museum in Sandown having a free open weekend. There were stalls showing fossils and old coins from local groups, and students of the University of Portsmouth. The msueum is great for children but would say adults would find the exhibition interesting if have an interest in fossils and dinosaurs. The building itself is well designed with the roof in the shape of a giant pterosaur.

Dinosaur Isle

The rest of Saturday was spent looking around the Garlic Farm shop buying a few tasty products, and some time at Arreton Barns Craft Village. I would recommend a drink or a meal at the Dairyman’s Daughter there with a choice of drinks and large portions, especially with the warm fire on a cold day. A few other pubs worth a mention are both in Shanklin; The Crab Inn situated in the Old Village which offers value meals during the week, and The Steamer on the Seafront. This was my second time at the Steamer and can’t fault anything. We came by on a Saturday evening with live music from Jukebox Jazz, which gave a great atmosphere while eating delicious meals, in large portions and great value.

Jazz at the Steamer Inn

We spent sometime taking in the views driving to the Needles on another sunny day, and took the short walk up to the tea room at the old battery, with views over to the Lighthouse. After October the family-friendly attractions and the chairlift may be closed but there is still a chance to see the Glassblowing and Sweet Manufactory, along with refreshments, and the large shop for any souvenirs or gifts.

The Needles

View from the Old Battery

On the Monday just before we left on the ferry, there was few hours spent around Seaview on the Eastern side of the Island, and some lunch at Briddlesford Lodge Farm, which would recommend for the quality of local produce.

View towards Portsmouth from Seaview

Guernsey Cows on the Farm

Leaving the Island 😦

I have only been back two days and is something about the place that makes you wanting to go back for more, with so much to do even in winter. There is the chance also to just relax away from the hustle and bustle of the mainland, giving you a piece of Pure Island Happiness.
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