For the first time in years I went away for Christmas this year – my mother in law lives in Ryde and so we went and stayed with her for a week.
I’ve spoken before about the seaside – it’s my happy place and my dream to live next to the sea.So Mr Pierre the cat was packed off to a cat hotel(it was the only place with space and was advertised as one, no joke) and on Friday 22nd December we set off for Portsmouth.
The first mistake I made was thinking we could get two adults, a toddler, a dog, suitcases and presents in a Ford C-MAX. Wow. I’m still unsure how we got it all in.
My good friend Mr Anxiety made an appearance, taking heed of the Daily Fail’s ‘Frantic Friday’ hysteria and so I panicked about how we would get stuck on the M25/A3 and never make it.
Our ferry was at 8pm, and we arrived at Portsmouth Wightlink Terminal at 5pm. Whoops.
Once on the island we had an amazing week – despite it being Christmas and out of season we found lots to do:
- Walks. Lots of walks, and especially our favourites which are from Ryde Pier to Puckpool, and Sandown to Shanklin. Appley/Puckpool especially is epic, as it indulges our love of old shit(I believe the yoof call it Urban Exploration) due to an old fort you can explore and a derelict holiday camp you, erm, aren’t supposed to explore… 🙂
- Cinema. Ryde Commodore is like stepping back in time; it’s how cinema should be, and it’s ridiculously cheap too – I believe it costs £4 for an adult ticket, Wednesdays it’s only £2. We watched the new Jumanji, a lovely old-fashioned afternoon treat.
- Sandown Christmas Carnival. Sandown, bless it’s run-down heart is starting to look a little shabby but I believe is up-and-coming and we always pop in for a wander. This year we caught a Christmas Eve carnival which had all sorts going on, I believe they do a summer one as well. Sandown also has an epic pier, and some lovely independent shops.
- Shopping. I thought being on an island may curb my sales spending. Wrong. Ryde and Newport are the places to go for high street shopping and we ventured to Newport the day after Boxing Day for some retail therapy. Face cream, walking boots, a jumper and some books fell in my shopping bag(oops) and we finished up in The Man in the Moon(Wetherspoons) for a panini and bowl of soup. And wine, it would have been rude not to. My favourite place in Newport is the bakery on Scarrots Lane – the French Fancies and choux buns are to die for.
I could write forever about things to do – however we are planning multiple return visits through the year, so watch this space for more Isle of Wight lovin’…