Places To Visit

Exploring The Red Squirrel Trail To Wroxall

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Red Squirrel Trail In Wroxall

If you are looking to explore the countryside, the Isle of Wight is renowned for its collection of footpaths, coastal paths and more that cover all parts of the island.

Whilst the coastal path rightly gets most of the attention, another gem in Shanklin is the Red Squirrel Trail from Shanklin to Wroxall. The trail is actually a 32 mile route around much of the island, perfect for cyclists, walkers and more. The Shanklin to Wroxall section goes off to Newport and beyond as well as being part of a loop that goes on to Godshill, Sandown, Lake and back to Shanklin.

The Shanklin to Wroxall route starts at Lower Hyde opposite Shanklin train station, which is part of the history of the route. It is formed on the former railway track that previously went from Shanklin to Wroxall and beyond to Ventnor, which means that you get a lovely flat route that is perfect for all. As you wander along the route, you can see the remains of the rail past with plenty of bridges to go under and then views across Shanklin and the downs.

As you go along, you can see fields galore, a couple of farms with horses and cows on view and even a horse or two going along the track itself. There is a footpath off to the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary and once you reach Wroxall, you can make your way to the historic Appuldurcombe House, where the route continues on.

If you are looking for a family friendly cycle route or a walk through some of the island’s best views, you’d be hard pushed to find better.

For more information and cycle hire information, visit redsquirreltrail.org.uk.

Pictures: Luccombe Coastal Path

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Here are a selection of photos from the coastal path through Luccombe to Ventnor. A perfect walk alongside countryside, National Trust land and coastal views.

Appuldurcombe House

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Appuldurcombe House

If you are looking for a day out where you can step back into time and live like a lord or lady of the manor, then look no further than Appuldurcombe House.

The house was originally one of the grandest on the island and home to Worsley family. An example of baroque architecture, the current house was dates back to 1702 and a house has been on the site since 1100, when it was originally a priory and later a convent. Over the years, the house has been extended and in later life, it became a hotel, an academy for young gentlemen and home for the monks that would later move to Quarr Abbey.

Appuldurcombe House – Grounds

However, its most significant time was during the Second World War, when the house was taken over by the military. In 1943, the beginning of the end for the house took place when a bomb hit close by and a large hole appeared in the roof. With the hole unrepaired, the house gradually deteriorated and much of the house was sold off, leaving the shell that can be seen today.

Appuldurcombe House – Farmland

Now, the house is open to the public to wander around the remainder of the house and see its grand proportions and imagine what it would have been like in its heyday. You can also explore the grounds, see the farm animals that graze on the land and see what remains of the garden designed by the famous Capability Brown. A small section of the house has been reroofed, which is available for weddings.

Entry is free – so why not pop in and then travel along the road to its free neighbour, the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary.

For more, visit english-heritage.org.uk.

Picture: Spyglass Inn, Ventnor

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It may only be February but the sun is shining on the Isle of Wight, as shown on the picture taken this morning outside the Spyglass Inn on Ventnor Esplanade.

2018 is already booking up fast with guests already having stayed in January and booked through to October, so get your holiday booked to avoid disappointment.

Spyglass Inn, Ventnor

Places To Visit: Osborne House

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Osborne House

A trip to the Isle of Wight isn’t complete without a visit to the island’s royal gem, Osborne House.

Home to Queen Victoria, the historic house was her summer residence designed by her husband Prince Albert in an style of an Italian palace, which you can really feel on a gloriously sunny day such as today. During her later life after the death of Albert, she continued to spend much time at the house and died there in 1901. In recent years, it has opened its door to the public and run by English Heritage, so if you are a member, entry is free.

Many rooms in the house itself are open, set up as they would have been during Queen Victoria’s occupation, including dining rooms, the studies of the Queen and Prince, the nursery for younger members of the royal family, the Queen’s bedroom and the Durbar Room, inspired by the Queen’s association with India. The Queen’s love of India is featured in a new film, Victoria and Abdul, based on her friendship with servant Abdul Karim. Starring Dame Judi Dench and Ali Fazal, it is out in September and the film extensively filmed in the house and grounds, with an exhibition of costumes from the film currently on display. Outside of the house is the terraced gardens, which have recently been restored to their original glory.

Further away from the main house, there is the ice house, a novel way to keep ice cool for cooking, drinking and cooling rooms before refrigeration was invented, the Swiss Cottage, which was used to teach the young royals skills such as gardening, cooking and carpentry, and the magnificent walled garden, full of flowers and crops that flourish in the microclimate. Furthest away is the private beach that the Queen and her family enjoyed, which is open to visitors.

There are a selection of eating establishments, including the Terrace Restaurant and Petty Officers’ Quarters cafe, a shop, museum and much more. With such a sprawling site, there are a number of walks to get around or alternatively a courtesy minibus can take you to the key locations.

For more information, visit english-heritage.org.uk.

Places To Visit: Jurassic Bay Golf + Shanklin Seafront

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Jurassic Bay Shanklin

The dinosaurs have arrived in Shanklin this year.

Brand new for 2017, Jurassic Bay golf has been discovered on Shanklin esplanade. Taking its new look from the Island’s dinosaur history, the themed golf course takes the place of the former esplanade golf and see a new lake, jurassic themed holes and new dinosaur models around the course, complete with the sounds of the dinosaurs.

It is a really great addition to the seafront and perfect for dinosaur lovers. It joins Shanklin Seafront’s other attractions, Pirate Coves Adventure Golf and Fun Park, Summer Arcade and Jungle Jim’s Indoor Play Area and Golf, so there is plenty to do down on the esplanade, plus the beach of course!

For more, visit ShanklinSeafront.co.uk.

Photo: Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary

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Busby the Donkey at the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary
Busby the Donkey at the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary

Here’s a snap from a visit to the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary to pick up some Christmas cards yesterday with Busby the donkey keen for a photo!

The sanctuary offers a home for over 90 donkeys and 25 horses and ponies, all funded by donations to the charity. Open all year around to the public, it is a great day out with the family to visit the donkeys, enjoy a meal in the cafe and adopt a donkey or visit the gift shop to support the sanctuary’s work.

All of this for free – yes, free! – so don’t forget to visit during your next break on the Island and help keep the donkeys and their friends enjoying their new life at the sanctuary.

Photo: Bank Holiday Sailing In Ventnor

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It is a busy old weekend on the Isle of Wight this bank holiday. With the start of the Isle of Wight Walking Festival (Walk the Wight) along with the Randonee cycling race, everyone is out and about enjoying the fine weather.

Here’s the boats that took part in the Ventnor Races organised by Shanklin Sailing Club coming in after reaching the finishing line this morning:

Ventnor Beach Boats