Holiday: Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight – Day 3

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Morning Reader! 😁. Ahh, that’s more like it on the weather front- only a very slight chance of rain! I plugged the car in for a top-up without any drama and we headed for breakfast.

For our main event, today, we’re off to where The Repair Shop is filmed, located in the…

Weald & Downland Living Museum

Welcome to the Museum

And when I say ‘main event’ what I really mean is that obviously excludes the soccer tonight – England v Italy in the Euro 2020 Final – where even the most casual of soccer fans (like me!) is caught up in the hype. I hope we take a few wickets and win in straight sets.

Plenty to see!

Back to the here and now… Apart from its TV fame brought about by housing BBC’s phenomenally successful The Repair Shop, the museum itself, which opened in 1970, is a registered charity. It’s spread over more than 40 acres, featuring in excess of 50 historic buildings, dating from 950AD to the 19th century all rebuilt. There are also gardens, farm animals, walks and a millpond! Plenty to see and do here then, and everyone we’ve spoken to who’s already visited the Museum said that it was excellent!! 😁

10.20am: Our timed ticket was for 10.30am, and we arrived just before opening time after parking in the overflow car-park. We’re not sure why we weren’t signposted to the main area, as it was empty. 🤔

There was a lot to see, and we were soon looking around the first of the properties: Poplar Cottage (17th Century) and the Medieval House (15th Century), both faithfully and lovingly re-sited and completely re-built! 👍👍

As we experienced more re-constructions, what became obvious was the attention to detail… just incredible! It was really easy to transport yourself back in time and imagine what it must have been like. It certainly made us appreciate the modern home-basics such as hot water (or even just water!) 🙄

There was even an early 19th Century Toll House! 👍

Our favourite though, was probably Tindall’s Cottage, an early 18th-century dwelling, built by the landowner for the family of one of his workers. It featured the latest cutting-edge design, including windows with glass and a separate area for preparing food, as well as a food locker cooled by a marble slab. Amazing! (But no wi-fi, only a wi-fe!!) 😁

11.45pm: Time for a pitstop!

Stunning Views

And if you should get tired of the variety of constructions, it’s worth admiring the stunning views!

The Repair Shop (closed for repairs!) 😉

We spent over two hours there, and probably didn’t see everything. The Repair Shop wasn’t filming and was closed, so we couldn’t see inside their ‘barn’. All-in-all though, a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The volunteers were very knowledgeable, and, as a result, we learned a lot. It may not have had the ‘buzz’ of Beamish (today) but it’s a ‘must-do’, with so much history crammed into its outdoor space.

Titchfield Abbey

1.35pm: We’d seen all we wanted at Weald and Downland Museum, so with a bit of time on our hands (and in a change to the published programme 😉) we added Titchfield Abbey to our list of visits. It was on the way back to the Hotel, and we’d seen it last night as we headed for Fisherman’s Rest for our Supper.

The Abbey is medieval and later became a country house. It’s located in the village of Titchfield near Fareham in Hampshire. Founded in 1222 for Premonstratensian canons, an austere order of priests, it lasted around 300 years before its demise. In 1537, after the Suppression of the Monasteries, it was transformed into a grand mansion called Place House.

What makes this worth seeing is the amazing display of medieval tiles – ‘the best in southern England’ says English Heritage (and I don’t doubt it). Considering the tiles are outside, they were in fantastic condition, having been rediscovered in 1923 during an archaeological dig.

It’s free to visit here and it’s worth it, just to see the tiles – you won’t see these designs in B&Q! Oh, it’s also a perfect location if you fancy testing your spacial-awareness ability when manoeuvering your car through their very (very) narrow entrance gate! 😁😁.

1.45pm: We’re done! What a find this has been – and pretty much on our doorstep too! 😊

We all ‘cultured-out’, so we headed back to the Hotel for a freshen-up…

3.45pm: …before heading out for our late lunch, just fifteen minutes away.

Osborne View

4.00pm: Our lunch today was at Osborne View, a family-owned pub/restaurant in Fareham. It’s the only boozer remaining on the Hill Head Beachfront and boasts stunning views over the Solent.

Not the most exciting of exteriors, but wait until you get inside…
Err… Wow!

Those of you that have been following my blog-posts will have noticed we’ve had a few lack-lustre experiences in Pub/Restaurants of late. Happily, today WASN’T one of those times – this establishment ticked ALL the boxes!! Great first impressions, fantastic food and friendly and efficient service. I don’t know HOW they achieved it, but as busy as they were when we arrived, they managed to provide a great experience! 👍👍👍👍👍

I do love a pie!
…and a Pud! (we shared!)

5.25pm: All that was left now was to waddle back to the car-park (opposite) and prepare for the big match tonight! Whatever the score, I think there’s going to be a few ‘tender heads’ in the morning!

Tomorrow we’re off to Portsmouth’s Historic Dockland area.

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