I finished work on the Saturday lunch, snuck in a holiday trim and set about filling the van with everything we needed and all the things we wouldn't. It wouldn't be a UK holiday unless you packed rain coats and wellies just in case, you don't make that mistake twice.
Heading to Southampton was stress free with just a little Silverstone traffic to negotiate before boarding the Red Funnel to Cowes. At 0930 the sun was out and it was a sign for what was to come for the week ahead.
We had made no plans, but to have fun, eat lots of ice cream and spend as much time as possible in the sea, we succeeded at all of the above.
The first beach we visited was one of the closest to us, Appley just off the Ryde esplanade with plenty of parking, public toilets and a lovely beach café. I'm not joking when I say the water was only ankle deep for 500m or more, perfect for little ones to play in, in fact we didn't get above waist deep this day but we did revisit at the end of the week and with different tides it was a different experience all together, deep and perfect for swimming.
We also visited Yaverland beach which blends into Sandown bleach, another full day in the sea with a walk to the cliffs to cool off. The weather was stunning with a nice sea breeze and the fresh salty water helping keep cool. By the end of the day we had worked up an appetite and whilst by the sea you must have a fish and chip tea, we sat at Shanklin seafront and enjoyed watching the rowing boats go up and down as we all tucked in to our British staple.
In the extreme heat having the tent was actually bliss at night time, it cooled off to an ideal temperature, in the day it got as hot as an oven even with all the doors open, at night we would sit out until the stars came out, I think we could have slept outside during this week.
We found a hidden gem at Bembridge tucked out of the way for anyone not willing to explore. Apart from Mr Crabby we had the beach to ourselves, the water here started off with a wicked current pushing you down stream but as the tide went out it opened up an afternoons fun of rock pooling. There's also an impressive RNLI station out at sea which was open to visitors, once again was perfect to escape the beating sun before lunch. After a freshen up at camp we decided we needed more adventure so headed across the island to Yarmouth sunset hunting and it was worth it, with just us, some marshmallows toasting and a packet of chocolate digestives it was idyllic,
My personal favourite beach was Ventnor, no sand so the bucket and spade got left behind but the rubber rings were out to float around in the calm sea, the backdrop was impressive against the greenery from the cliffs above. We packed lunch for this day but as all the other beaches there were plenty of options available for lunch from a full crab salad to baguettes to go and across the island everything appeared to be freshly made to order.
Colwell Bay was across the island and a little harder to park at and when we arrived the sea was in with nowhere to set up base but we were patient and found a spot as the tide went out. Not my favourite beach but the view was cool across to Hurst Castle on the mainland with a selection of boats moored up in the bay.
We loved our week on the Isle of Wight, the weather was unbelievable, the campsite was perfect and most importantly the girls enjoyed every minute. For anybody thinking of visiting I would advise grabbing one of these on the ferry.
We love the Isle of Wight Ant, did you take the girls to Blackgang Chine, Robin Hill Park and the Needles? All worth a visit next time you visit. Bembridge beach is lovely, we discovered that beach on our last trip.