Michael and Pam's Travels Our European Motorhome Adventures and other Travels

The Isle of Wight (part 2) England. 2016 ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง

Date : 9th July

Travelled : 81 Kilometres from Newport to Havenstreet then on to Freshwater

Visited : Carisbrooke Castle, Newport, free with English Heritage Pass.  Isle of Wight Steam Railway, Havenstreet ยฃ26 double.

Stayed : Stouts Farm Camping, basic amenities, no wifi. ยฃ16 N50.67305 W01.54085

The castle carpark proves to be a nice quiet spot for the night and once again at Pam’s favourite price.  The Castle doesn’t open until 10 am so there’s plenty of time for breakfast and catching up with the Sydney newspapers.  Greyhounds, what a wet liberal our Premier has proven to be.  Speaking of dogs and their owners they have been coming and going since 6.30 am.  The grounds around Carisbrooke have numerous public footpaths and its obviously a popular spot.

The Castle carpark proves to be a lovely quiet spot, with a nice view

Pam at the Queen’s Gate to Carisbrooke Castle. We have seen a few castles in our travels and Carisbrooke is well worth the time.  A thousand years of history.
The great hall and museum, this part of the castle was the home of Princess Beatrice, Queen Victoria’s youngest child. Beatrice took residence here as the Governor of IOW after her mothers death.
The Chapel of Saint Nicholas, it’s walls inscribed with IOW fallen from WW1

Commemoration feature in Beatrice’s garden
A view of Carisbrooke from the keep tower, lots of steps but a lovely view in all directions.
Most of the ramparts of the castle can still be accessed, although some sections have been replaced with elevated walkways.

From the ramparts looking back at Newport.

It’s almost midday and time to keep moving, so we point the Hymer east toward Ryde for some fresh bread and then on to Havenstreet to visit the steam railway museum.  Like most places on IOW signs to attraction are hard to find.  We stumble our way along a series of narrow lanes to Havenstreet Station.

3 miles of narrow lanes and a couple of white knuckle meetings with oncoming traffic and it’s back to the time when steam was king.

It’s noisy, a bit slow but there’s something basic about the steam engine. No computers or technology, just man harnessing the power of fire. There are hundreds of cars in the carpark and hundred of people on the train. It runs every hour to Wotton Junction and back.

Pam says this isn’t a sleeper carriage !
When not busy posing for this photo we made a couple of short videos for Nicholas who just loves a steam train.

We escape Havenstreet enduring another white knuckle passage along the laneways of IOW.  Returning to the A3055 at Sandown we spend the afternoon driving the south coast of IOW.  We find little access to the coast, although the road is only a hundred metres from it in most of the way.  The coast is lined with large houses for many miles, the villages just merge into each other along the road. At the southern most point of the island, St.Catherine’s Point the topography changes.  The houses stop and the coastline appears more windswept.

Freshwater Bay from the western shore, not Cronulla but a pretty shingle cove with a couple of interesting pinnacles.

We stop in a small carpark at Freshwater Bay and have a chat to the couple parked in another camper car.  They recommend a small farm campsite just up the lane, the fact there is a pub across the road adds to the lure.  15 minutes later we have paid our ยฃ16 and I walk over to the pub and book a table for two.  The fish’n’chips with mashy pies proves to be a success.  We meet up with the young couple who recommended the Highdown Inn and have a good old motorhome chit-chat.

Parked up at Stouts Farm.
The Highlands Inn, good food, but even better wifi. Good chance to look at some little videos of Indiana enjoying play school.

Date : 10th July

Travelled: 16 kilometres from Freshwater to Yarmouth IOW

Visited : Tennyson Down, Western High Downs and The Neddles

Stayed : Fort Victoria Park, a free carpark adjoining the exhibit, clean toilets and bins N50.70691 W01.52079

We have felt the wind rocking the Hymer once and twice during the night.  A heavy sea mist is sweeping across Stouts’ farm.  Occasionally the mist turns to drizzle, its not falling but blowing past almost horizontally.  After breakfast and some chores the mist is heavier than ever.  Our plan today was to walk the high downs from the Tennyson Memorial to the Neddles along the white cliffs than line this area of IOW.

Pam walking into the mist

Not famous for taking the easy road we set off in our hiking boots and gortex jackets.  After half an hours walk up the downs, the memorial rises out of the mist.  We turn for the needles and walk along the chalk cliff tops for another hour.  They say you can walk the Downs or you can look at the Downs, not both.  It doesn’t take long to work out why, there are rabbit holes everywhere and the odd sink hole big enough to disappear into.

Erected by his friends, it is said to be a favoured place of inspiration for Tennyson. On a clear day it would be easy enough to find your way through the Downs but in the mist and wind it was a bit more challenging.
What we didn’t see today.

We make the Needles but can barely see anything in the mist.  We visit the Old and New Gun Batteries but head back to the Hymer a little disappointed but we gave it our best.  It’s mid afternoon and we return to Stouts Farm for a shower and clean up before saying goodbye and heading to Yarmouth to find a spot for the night.  It looks like the Fort Victoria carpark will do nicely and we settle in for the evening.  We have a ferry to Lymington at 7.50 am.

Michael and Pam

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