· On All Dates: We make our way to Godshill with its charming thatched-roofed cottages, delightful medieval church and winding main street – a quintessential English village. Following some free time here we make our way to Alum Bay, well known for its multi-coloured sand cliffs and the area is also renowned for its stunning views across the Solent. Many homes around the world have a glass object filled with sand as a memento of a visit to Alum Bay and The Needles, but perhaps less well known is the recent history of Alum Bay. Approximately 70 million years ago the sea bed rose, was eroded and then sank beneath the sea again. The new sea was shallow and it laid down a series of sands and clays. Some 10 million years later movement in the bedrock caused these sediments to be pushed nearly vertically to form the multi-coloured cliffs that are visible today. The sands are made of three minerals - quartz, felspar and mica, and in their pure state are white, with other colours being produced through contamination by other minerals. In the latter part of the 18th century the first tourists started to arrive at Alum Bay and during the early part of the 19th century it became an essential place to visit during an Island holiday. During the two World Wars, however, the Alum Bay area was heavily militarised and access to visitors was barred.
· On All Dates: Following breakfast we make our way to Ryde with its miles of glorious golden sand and shallow coastal waters. Ryde is the largest town on the Isle of Wight and with its prominent position along the seafront and hovercraft and passenger ferry links it is little wonder it is often referred to as “The Gateway to the Island”. In addition to an expanse of sandy beaches which stretch right along the town, Ryde has a great selection of boutique shops, museums and galleries for you to visit along with lots of other things to see and do along its esplanade. Following this visit we continue to Cowes. Cowes is a vibrant, exciting place at any time, with sporting and cultural events throughout the year. It’s a sophisticated resort you won’t want to miss. The town stretches across the mouth of the river Medina estuary, where the famous chain ferry shuttles pedestrians and cars from one side of the river to the other, in just a few minutes. Explore our rich and fascinating history by visiting maritime museums or Queen Victoria’s seaside palace. Enjoy a stroll along the seafront and see boats of every shape and size, or head for the nearby beaches to soak up the sun.
· June & September: We spend some free time in the principal town of Newport with its elegant squares and fine town houses which date from Georgian and early Victorian times. We then make our way to Havenstreet Station where we include a 1 hour trip on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. Step back to a bygone era when steam power was the order of the day and sit back, relax taking in the passing countryside and watch out for birds of prey.