Sunday, 27 March 2016

My top 3 things to do on the Isle of Wight

I have to admit that when Mat said he'd booked us a trip to the Isle of Wight I wasn't immediately sold. See, I'm not really the kind of person who enjoys holidaying in the UK. I like city breaks, new cultures, warm weather and sand between my toes. Surely there's nothing to do on a little old British island? I pictured old people and nature enthusiasts rambling the hills in waterproof macs.

I can now readily admit that I was wrong - I had a great time on the Isle of Wight and the rural, local feel of everything gave us the right balance of 'home from home' and discovering something new. We stayed in a traditional B&B but you can also camp or caravan if you wish and there are also spa hotels dotted around. One thing you'll definitely need is a car or at the very least a push bike (although be prepared for a real uphill struggle on some roads).

We got up to lots but here are my top 3 activities too do on the Isle of Wight:





Monkey Haven

Let me start by saying that while it took an age (thanks to loads of rush hour car accidents) to drive down to the ferry, once you're on the Isle of Wight everything is so close - nothing is more than 45 mins drive away. After a 15 minute journey we reached our first stop, Monkey Haven

Monkeys are probably my favourite animal, but seeing them in cramped zoo conditions always makes me sad. Monkey Haven however is actually a rescue centre. These primates have been kept as illegal pets, used as photo props and generally severely mistreated to the point that they cannot go back into the wild. 

Hearing the keepers tell stories about where these animals had been rescued from seemed a world away from their large, immaculately clean enclosures and the happy behaviour they were displaying. It really was a lovely place and the monkeys, meerkats and owls were all enjoying themselves!





The Garlic Farm

This place was off down one of the scariest craziest roads ever (I'm definitely not a country girl), but once you get past that then nestled in a little valley is the Garlic Farm, If you don't like the taste or smell then it's not for you, but if like me you put it in everything then step this way. Even Mary Berry has been here!

Not only does the whole place have a mouth watering garlic scent but there's tonnes to do - from farm walks to tastings. There's also a shop and (my favourite part) a restaurant. We went for lunch and I had a ploughman's that came with a gigantic bulb of roast garlic.


Mat went all in for a burger which had some serious garlic mayo and some garlic fries which was dreamy. Needless to say even the next day we both absolutely stank, but it was worth it!






Carisbrooke Castle

I've been to a few castles before on school trips and stuff but Carisbrooke is probably the most 'in tact' I've ever seen, probably thanks to the fact that parts of it were lived in even until the 1920s. Charles I was held here as prisoner before his trial and execution and you can see his (creepy) quarters. I'm such a history geek that I even knew what kind of castle it was - motte and bailey seeing as you asked!

We turned up on the first day of the season, so it wasn't too busy, and it was also a bloomin' lovely day. We actually took our coats off, ate lunch outside at the cafe, and caved in to the strategically positioned ice cream van.

As you can see from the photos I took with my beloved Olympus Pen, the buildings, grounds and views from the walls are just stunning. It was a clear day and we could see for miles and miles. Mat was actually born nearby before his parents moved, and we could see his old house!

I almost forgot to mention that the castle is home to some cute rescue donkeys, who lend a helping hand in daily demonstrations turning the wheel that operates a deep well. Back in the day they actually made prisoners and work donkeys turn the wheel for hours on end but these little guys only had to do about 60 seconds. Make sure you catch it if there.

There's plenty of other stuff to get up to on the Isle of Wight, to the point we could easily have spent another week there! We also went to the Needles, had a walk along a beautiful but wet and windy beach and did some shopping in Newport. There's definitely something for everyone.
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1 comment

  1. I love this post! I'm visiting the Isle of Wight in May, and have been on the hunt for things to do while we're there. I am a HUGE garlic addict so the farm sounds amazing (especially the restaurant) and I'm a sucker for a good castle!

    Lilies and Lipbalm
    xx

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