Who would have thought that arranging days out would have been so difficult. Well we finally got there. I have arranged a day off but we are going to do the Brighton challenge that day as it was difficult to reach Brighton by train this weekend.
We decided to take the catamaran to the Isle of Wight. It is just across the water from where we live (quite an expensive piece of water too!) and somewhere which holds many childhood memories for me. We have also taken the children for many days out and a holiday there too. When you are on the ferry, it really does feel like you are going abroad. I had only been on the catamaran with the children once before though and that was a day to Ryde with friends. I could remember clearly Kathryn as a toddler not liking the hot sand on her feet at all. She was a lot different on our holiday in Lanzarote!
I said that it is an expensive piece of water but thanks to Tesco Clubcard vouchers, it was a cheap journey. We were very ambitious on the time and decided to go for a 9.15 am ferry which meant getting up very early on a Sunday morning. It worked out well though and the catamaran was quiet. My memories of our previous trip on the Isle of Wight was that it had been quite crowded. Mind you we had buggies, changing bags, buckets, spades, fishing nets etc. It certainly is a lot easier with two grown ups!
The trains that are used are old underground stock and are quite bumpy but got us to Shanklin quickly. We found a map and managed to successfully walk to the Chine. On the way we looked at all the places we could have a cream tea and found the most amazing place to have ice cream. We had brought chicken sandwiches but planned to have an early cream tea and an ice-cream. So healthy!!
Shanklin Chine is the Island’s oldest tourist attraction which was carved by Mother’s Nature’s own hands over thousands of years. First stop was the cafe for a cup of tea for me and a mango fruit juice for Kathryn. That girl is so healthy now she didn’t even touch my biscuit! We were now ready for exploring.
The scenery is beautiful and I loved the waterfall. Kathryn was impressed with PLUTO, the pipe line under the Ocean, which was created and used during the war. She was able to fill me in on the history. We were able to put Kathryn in the stocks (one of my favourite memories is of a picture taken of me in stocks at Blackgang Chine on a surprise trip with my Granddad) and even managed to work out how to use a telescope. The rescue birds are lovely to look at and we spent a bit of time enjoying them.
We ate our sandwiches on the pebbled beach and then hunted out a cream tea. We decided on the Waterfront Bar which looked beautiful. They also had live music, a singer called Ben Barnes. We did enjoy listening to him whilst eating our cream tea. We were a bit greedy and ordered three scones but only managed to eat one each (we had a doggy bag for the remaining scone). We were so full that we had to miss the ice-cream. Such a shame as it had looked amazing.
We would like to think that we walked our scone off by walking along the coast to Sandown. Well we can dream! The walk was lovely and we did eventually find the railway station. We didn’t know the timetables for the trains but luck was on our side and we arrived just as the train turned up. Another bumpy journey took us back to Ryde where we had a drink before catching the catamaran back to the mainland.
It wasn’t the hottest day that we have had this summer but it was warm. I had a lovely day spent with my daughter and hopefully, one we can repeat, to explore some more of the Island.