My family booked a trip to the Isle of Wight for Bank Holiday weekend when I was in Australia at the beginning of this year, and if i'm honest, I totally forgot about it until a few weeks before!!
I really appreciated actually having some down time and time away from London and work. I absolutely love what I do but I do find myself working 15+ hours a day (one of the downsides of being freelance + self employed is you feel that there is always something you can be doing!). So to head to the sea for the long weekend was very much needed.
I headed to Waterloo where you get the train to Portsmouth Harbour (super easy and only takes 1.5hours!). From the harbour you catch a ferry over to Ryde, which is the at the North part of Isle of Wight. The weather was absolutely beautiful this weekend so we were very lucky with all modes of transport as everything was on time and ran smoothly.
Once arriving at Ryde, I headed to the train station where, check this, you catch a LONDON underground tube! A lot of old tubes have been moved over to the Isle of Wight and they now use them as a means of transport around the island - a very fun and quirky way of travelling! I jumped on this and headed to Sandown which is where we were staying.
The views from the train were amazing and it only took 20minutes!
We arrived to Sandown and dropped off our luggage at the hotel! As you can see the weather was incredible! We met my brother, sister in law and niece (who recently turned 3) and headed to Isle of Wight Zoo - I love animals so me and my niece were thrilled at this idea!
I highly recommend visiting this zoo. I sometimes find it hard with zoos if I feel like the animals aren't being treated right, looked after properly or don't have enough space but this zoo is great. All the animals have a lot of room and it isn't super crowded. In fact, we were pretty much the only guests there at one point! They have a good variety of animals ranging from insects, monkeys and meerkats to tigers and lions!
After the zoo, we went and met my other brother and sister in law and headed out for some dinner!
The next morning I decided to wake up at 5am for sunrise. It's one of my favourite things to do, I feel like you get so much out of your day by waking up early and I always love to do it when I'm staying at new places. It was such a magical sunrise and I chose to walk along the beachfront up to the cliffs that you can see in the first image.
After some breakfast, we decided to walk along the beach in the other direction towards Shanklin. The walk from Sandown to Shanklin takes around 1 hour at an average pace (you can always rent bikes if you're feeling a cycle). It's a really sceneic walk and if you fancy a swim you can always jump into the sea!
Once arriving in Shanklin, we stopped and had some lunch in Steamer Inn, which I have to say was amazing! The menu is really extensive and has a lot of choices - I'm a vegetarian so this was great for me!
After lunch we headed for Shanklin Chine, a beautiful walk through a forest with waterfalls down one side!
It's a one way walk and you end up in a village on the top which is so picturesque and beautiful - I really recommend visiting here! This pub serves great variety of drinks and has a lovely pub garden!
The next day, I was getting a bit of itchy feet and wanted to get in the water! This surf school was right next to where we were staying. Unfortunately, the waves were non existent when we were there but it was great because it meant we could go paddle boarding!
I've been a few times before and thoroughly enjoyed it, the water was actually pretty clear too! Me, my mum, brother and sister in law spent nearly 2 hours on the water and paddle boarded up to the pier and along the stretch of beach that covered Sandown. Super cheap as well - £10 per hour - the guy that owns the company didn't have anyone else booked in after us to let us stay out for however long we wanted!
After building up quite a big appetite :') we headed for the restaurant The Waterfront which again, was amazing food!
The plan was to go and explore a bit more of the island but because the weather was so amazing we decided to head back to Shanklin and relax on the beach!
The next morning I woke up pretty early again and went for a walk on the beach! I absolutely love the feeling of sand on your feet and the sound of waves - I feel like it instantly sends me into a feeling of calmness!
Again, the weather today was amazing! As it was our last day we couldn't head anywhere too far away from our hotel because we had left our luggage there. We decided to walk along the cliff top walk towards Shanklin. This route is absolutely stunning and takes about 1 hour.
We had some lunch when we got to Shanklin and headed home to avoid the London rush hour!
Isle of Wight is super easy to get to from London and I will definitely be visiting again! The weather was amazing and it was so nice to be able to relax and have some family time!
I hope you enjoyed the photos and thank you for reading! x