Morning all! 😃. It’s ‘Day 9’ – our last full day here. We’re exploring the east of the Isle, taking in the sights and sounds of Godshill, Bembridge Windmill, Bembridge, the Gin Distillery, Ryde (and its Pier) and finally Fishbourne – where we’re also going to charge the car for the trip home tomorrow.
Here’s what you might have missed…
Day 1 – Portsmouth: Arrival via Worthing
Day 2 – Portsmouth: Castles & Abbeys
Day 3 – Portsmouth: The Repair Shop and another Abbey
Day 4 – Portsmouth: Rain and the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth and a Turkish Delight
Day 5 – Isle of Wight: Osborne House
Day 6 – Isle of Wight: Needles, Castles and Gardens
Day 7 – Isle of Wight: Newport, another Castle, Garlic and a Villa
Yesterday – Isle of Wight: Botanical Gardens, Pluto, Sun, Sand, Cliffside Walk
9.55am: What a sweet little place Godshill is! With a population of fewer than 1500, it ticks all the boxes for the quintessential ‘English Village’ (and I bet the locals absolutely love tourists like us constantly snapping shots of their home! 😮)
And then there’s the Village Church! Perfect!! 👍
We learned that it’s called ‘All Saints’ and dates from 1350. It felt very Tardis-like when we got inside…
A lovely Church that felt very much part of the village! More information about this gem HERE.
As we left and headed back to Robert, we spotted dozens of people walking into the village. Looks like we missed the rush (thankfully!) 😁
Simply because of time, and the increasing temperature (it was now 25℃ and very humid) we didn’t get around to visiting the famous Model Village here – but it’s on the list for next time.
10.50am: National Trust’s Bembridge Windmill was next. It was turning into a gorgeous day and we were now
basking getting increasingly moist in the 26℃ of today’s sunshine!! 🥵. There’s not much to say about the windmill, except it is Grade I listed; also known as Knowle Mill, and it’s the only one on the Isle – and today it was closed, making it difficult to ‘get the perfect shot’! 😮.
We considered scaling a few fences to get inside the immediate area, but when we saw the size of the horns on the caretaking sheep, we opted for a different – and safer – approach. That meant long shots and wide lenses!
Happy sheep + determined snapper = mission accomplished!! 🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑📷📷😁
The village was another popular destination judging by the number of people out and about. Consequently, it was a real challenge to find a parking space. The main car-park was already completely full, but we spotted an overflow area (that turned out just to be a bit of wasteland). Cue ‘off-road’ mode (that means turn up the music so we didn’t hear the batteries scraping the ground!) as we bounced our way towards a free space. Phew! 26℃ and rising 🥵🥵🥵
There’s a lot of beach area here, especially when the tide is out (as it was when we visited) but it’s not the prettiest, if you expect glistening golden sand. Great for dog-walkers though!
What it does have is a modern pier-like structure that at the end houses the Bembridge Lifeboat Station and, just a few metres inland, a brightly coloured collection of bathing huts.
The village also boasts a Harbour, but it looked less attractive with the tide out and we couldn’t find a suitable place to stop to take any photographs! 🤔
Overall impression? It all felt very ‘seasidey’, but the beach needed a bit of a makeover! 🙂
It was now 27℃ 🥵🥵🥵🥵🥵 Scorchio!!!
Postponed due to driver and passenger struggling with the heat
Ditto Ryde Pier
What we need now was a sit-down and something to eat and (mostly) drink! We headed for the Mermaid Distillery, the Isle’s Gin Factory based in Ryde.
12.05pm: I’m not sure what we expected when we arrived, but the whole place looked a bit down-trodden. A crappy car-park (that only held about 10 cars) was followed by a crappier welcome!!! 🤐 (more of that in a minute). I think what I expected was something a bit more industrial and polished but this was like someone’s hobby (maybe it was?). OK, nice frontage, but how about some staff to manage the visitors? Nope! They were too busy nattering with each other!
The place looked almost empty, but we were quickly informed that we couldn’t eat ‘out the back’ as they were full, so they put us out the front. So far, so normal.
I guess the heat and humidity combined with the indifferent staff made for a bad combination, but at least the Gin Menu looked good! We ordered some cocktails and some light bites whilst ageing prematurely, as they worked on our complex order! 🙁
The cocktails were excellent! 👍👍👍👍👍, But looking after us was clearly a challenge. They took our drinks order and then 15 minutes later, asked us if we wanted to order some drinks!
Ann chose the Baked Camembert with Crusty Bread whilst I opted for the above. Both, I would suggest, are not particularly challenging, but we waited… and waited… and waited! Whilst we twiddled our thumbs, we saw one of the staff appear from the car-park and head for the kitchen clutching a Tesco carrier bag. A couple of minutes later, our food arrived! Surely not???? 🤔 The food wasn’t bad, but we’ve eaten better on the Isle!!! And just under £40 for two cocktails and some starters made me think we were in London! 🙄
And don’t bother with their ‘Gin Shop’. We’d already seen another couple ask to visit the shop, and they were in and out in less than 5 minutes. We were similar! It was a very poor, almost invisible display that looked untidy and unloved – with hardly anything on display!
The Distillery almost redeemed themselves when I spotted some free EV Chargers in their car park. But later I was told that none of them were working!! 😒😒
Am I turning into Victor Meldrew? I fear I am!!!! 😣
Fishbourne Ferry Terminal
1.35pm: Our final stop of the day was at the Ferry Terminal at Fishbourne – not to head home, but to make use of the Isle’s only working CCS EV Charger. Don’t say I don’t know how to give a girl a good time!!! 😍
Not surprisingly, I guess, there was a queue – today’s was made up of a Jaguar iPace and a Mercedes EQC. On closer investigation, the iPace was already charged and was just parked nearby, whilst the Mercedes owner (or rather his car) only needed a quick top-up. That meant we’d be charging in no time! 👍👍
2.00pm: We were charging! And with such a gorgeous day out there, it would have been daft to sit in the car! Out came the picnic chairs for an impromptu bit of sun-worshipping, albeit in the least promoted part of the Isle!! 🌞🌞
2.55pm: We now had 260 miles in the car, more than enough to get us home tomorrow – job done! 👍👍
3.30pm: Back in our room, Ann began the task of packing whilst I created this post. We also had some time to reflect on our experiences in the Isle of Wight. Neither of us have been here for over 20 years and in my case, my appalling memory means that everything felt like a new experience! Ann was able to make some very useful comparisons though. So, here are a few of our experiences that we might help others who might also be thinking of visiting…
Things We Learned About The Isle of Wight
- The roads are excellent. I wish I’d been a Biker! (Play ‘spot the pothole’ and you’ll be disappointed)
- Some of the minor roads are very narrow (think ‘Devon’)
- If you drive electric, have a plan b (and c!)
- The scenery is amazing: Rolling hills/Coastal views
- Lots of local footpaths – and they’re all numbered (genius!)
- Eating out is generally excellent and good value
- Pubs and restaurants are all very ‘dog-friendly’
- Plenty of fish on the menu, but pies come a close second!
- 4G mobile signal everywhere
- It felt like we were in a different country and seems to have its own micro-climate
- It’s a small island and getting from anywhere to anywhere is quick
- There are no motorways and we only saw a few dual-carriageways
- Newport is the closest we got to experiencing traffic congestion
- The Isle is very clean
- Everywhere/everyone seems very relaxed
- There’s a lot to see as a tourist (come back again!)
- Shop around for Ferry prices and don’t forget that some offer a discount for EVs
- Watch out for these little devices (about the size of an old penny) – see below. They’re in most of the restaurants, and they allow the diner to attract the attention of the waiting staff without resorting to any undue effort!
See all the holiday photos
(and none of my chat!) 😉
Miles walked: 24
Miles driven: 769
Miles driven on the Isle: 214
Photos taken: 431
Ice-creams eaten: 5
I got into blogging quite late in life, not publishing my first post until 2004 – well into my 40s!
My lifelong love of technology and communication (in all its forms), together with a fondness for the art of writing seemed to be the perfect combination to contribute a few words to the online community.
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