01 Jul

Our Perfect day at The Isle of Whight Caravan.

After a light brekky, we, i.e. me, the wife and the pooch, decided to go for a walk.  We made our way from the caravan, we walked up past reception at Lower Hyde Caravan Park and set off.

We walked down the path along-side the drive way and exited the park, turning right towards old Shanklin town, past cafes, small individually owned shops, restaurants, tea rooms and unique gift shops and, next to the lovely Pencil Cottage is the walk way down to Shanklin Chine. (A chine is a word only used on the Isle of Wight, and it means a deep narrow ravine with water running down into the sea).

It’s just a few pounds to get in to experience the chine. You can walk down it and then back up or you can walk down and exit at the beach). Keeping our dog firmly on a lead and, if you take kids, keep a very close eye on them, we “ohhhhed” and “arrrhhed” and “Wow’d” our way down, admiring all the waterfalls, bridges, plants and streams. It took thousands of years for mother nature to carve through the rocks and it feels positively prehistoric down there. Having said that there is the ususal scourge of modernity to deal with so it needs bins for rubbish – but this is dealt with in a clever way with subtle wicker baskets dotted along the way. There are seats along the walk down for a breather or bit of contemplation and to admire the views.  Go to the viewing point, about half way down, if you can, the vista is stunning.

Three quarters of the way down is a lovely tea shop and information room with interesting photos and pictures and a heritage centre and gift shop. In 2019 there is a special story board commemorating the end of World War 2.  As we ‘gift aid’, when we paid at the entrance, we got our receipt stamped that entitled us to a free cuppa at the tea shop.  There’s a range of drinks and snacks to be had if you’re thirsty or peckish, whilst you stop and enjoy the views further.  We had a cuppa and the dog enjoyed a bowl of cool water.

We carried on down towards the beach, through the chine and at the bottom, to the entrance to the beach, you’ll find the lovely ‘Fisherman’s Cottage’ pub.  There we had a paddle and a play with the dog in the sea, alongside a few others and sat and enjoyed the sun and views whilst the dog had some water and we enjoyed a very refreshing G & T!  If you fancy eating here, fill your boots, the food looked great, but we carried on walking.

Our next stop was along the esplanade at The Aqua, we were drawn to their veranda by the live music being played by a guitarist/singer. So, we had another refreshing beverage (well, it was a warm day and we were on holiday!).

So, after watching more dogs and kids playing happily on the beach, we walked further along the esplanade to the South East Beach Café. We ate a lovely late lunch at 3pm here, enjoying fish and chips and a mixed seafood basket and chips and maybe another cooling beverage! It was very tasty with helpful, cheery service and a beautiful view.

On the last leg now, back to our caravan.  We walked along the promenade a bit further, dog on the lead for this bit, and stopped for a sit down and yes, you guessed it – a refreshing beverage!  This time at an amazing hideaway, literally, it is called “The Hideaway”! They do great food here, lovely Sunday lunches too, dogs are welcome and it’s a fantastic view of the ocean and beach from their garden.

So, a short walk along and walk back through the town again, past the railway station and back to Lower Hyde  holiday park for a snooze.

It does appear to have been a bit of a pub crawl, but all in all we were out for five hours, covering about four and a half miles, soaking up the ambience and sun, gently strolling along, but you could do it quicker if you wanted to, but why would you?!!

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