By DR USHA SAKURE,
Isle of Wight is the second most populous island in England, known for its scenic beauty, mild climate, coastal scenery and verdant landscapes of fields. It is one of the most revered destinations in the life of a traveller, as the place is surrounded by serene ambience, noteworthy of its glorious past and simple people. It is the quintessential British seaside destination and is quite popular with the Aristocrats and celebrities. The island has been home to the poets Swinburne and Tennyson. It has attractions, which cater to the needs of all ages and tastes. It is a unique place with breathtaking views and landscapes that fill yo u with awe and wonder. The island has an oceanic climate but is somewhat milder an d sunnier which makes it a perfect holiday destination.
It is also referred as the most haunted in the world and sometimes referred to as the ghost island. The stunning landscapes and rugged coastlines have been inspiring people since ages. It is so near the mainland that it becomes perfect venture to simply while away the hours relaxing on one of the many, unlimited choice of fine beaches. How to get there- In today’s high pressured world, every major city needs a convenient getaway. Many of us dream of a place of beauty and peace in which to unwind, and London is thus blessed to have the Isle of Wight on its doorstep, but they are totally two different worlds. It offers all the beauty, peace, pristine beaches and panoramic views without the problematic access issues. With modern transport links, passengers can transport themselves from the frantic hustle bustle of life to the tranquillity of the Isle of Wight in three hours. One can get around this island in a variety of ways, trains, buses, and cars. One can catch the regular train from London to Portsmouth. South Western Railway s r un the most direct services between Wate rloo and Portsmouth Harbour.
The entire journey from London to Portsmouth takes less than 3 hours. There are also many driving routes which can take you to the island from London. Day 1 Portsmouth is more than just a stopping point on the way to the Isle of Wight and the shopping centre provides almost everything and al l brands are here, which provide a unique experience. From trendy coffee shops to restaurants from around the world there is abundance of choice. From Portsmouth to Ryde can be spectacular on a ferr y which takes 22 minutes. The ferry crossings coincide with train arrivals and inclusive tickets can be purchased. Ryde is the largest town here with miles of sandy and pebble beaches. The north east has everything going for it. From the seemingly miles of golden sands that stretch round to the dazzling white cliffs of namesake white cliff bay to the hustle and bustle of island’s largest town, Ryde . The town itself is built up on a hill that provides wonderful views. One can explore the six miles of golden sands from Ryde Pier round to Seaview. A level walk takes you past the cafes, gardens, swimming pools, boating lakes parks and beach huts that line the Esplanade. With miles of sandy beaches’ and plenty of amen i ties, it is easy to see why the North East of the island attracts so many visitors. From Ryde to Niton a small village with scarce population, we took a taxi which very conveniently took us to our Resort the’ Enchanted manor’ and enchanted it was in many ways.
The excellent large rooms were beautifully decorat - ed, unusual in decor but quirky, with breathtaking views. Staying there was an amazing experience and the hospitality it offered was incredible. In the evening we witnessed Saint Catherine lighthouse, one of the oldest was just 5 minutes away from our accommodation. It was conspicuous by its bountiful beauty and one wa s mesmerized by its serene beauty surrounded by wealth of natural features. It was astounding, magnificent, majestic, marvellous and magnanimous. It was a pleasant experience of the wonderful place with its lush greenery; one enjoyed the bounties of nature, and experienced peace sublime. Cottages around the Lighthouse can be rented out as holiday accommodation. Close to it was the famous BUDDLE INN renowned for its delicious cuisine and cosy atmosphere . Day 2- The south western tip of island has the most remarkable wonderful coastline of Alum bay with the world famous needles Rocks, considered as the island’s most iconic location. NEEDLES is a row of three distinctive stacks of chalks and lies to the southwest of Alum Bay that offers close up view of the Needles, the icon of Isle of Wight. No trip can be complete without a visit to this iconic landmark.
The three chalk stacks and the classic red and white stripped light house are synonymous with the Isle of Wight. Offering rugged, unspoilt coastal pathways, coloured sands of Alum Bay and the iconic needles provide a stunning backdrop to the holiday snaps. VENTOR BEACH is a small harbour on the south coast of island, a hilly seaside town, which leads down to a picturesque bay that attracts the tourists known as the English Mediterranean and Mayfair by the sea with its cool summer and mild winters, dropping explorers into a colourful sun kissed nook, crammed with shacks and deckchairs . Open space, unspoiled landscapes rugged coastline and pretty villages nearby, with its lively pubs and independent shops, makes it a top destination. It is a town with distinctive artisan vibe, bustling with pavement cafes, where people sit and take view of the English Channel. Rugged beaches, steep cliffs and beautiful walks, the south coast has it all and it’s no wonder it ha s in spired a fe w famous names over the years including Charles Dickens wh o wrote several chapters of David Copperfield here. Day 3 – At the heart of the island we can find several quaint villages, as well as the island’s capital town, Newport. For the quintessential English village, a trip to Godshill is a must.
There’s nowhere more charming and easy to meander round than the Godshill Model village. In the dark and distant 1970’s model village s were miniatures wonderlands for kids. By the nineties they became the rarities, replaced by housing estates and foreign holidays. But the Isle of Wight had always had the vision to preserve the hallmarks of its soph i sti - cated past; long enough for them to feel quaintly fashionable. Godshill rekindles the simplicity of star ing in at a more straightforward existence. Tiny world of croquet, cricket and steam trains. Tiny tots can crouch in front of shop windows and peer in at the tiny sweets. Parents can smile at the model moms struggling with model prams. However tall yo u become, being bigger than a house never loses it s appeal. Godshill Model village is a tourism without intrusion. There are plenty of ways to get up close to the animals and wildlife on the Isle of Wight especially at Amazon world with more than 1000 animals, where one can have a brush with conservation and world’s rainforest. One can experience coming close to snout with over 200 of the world’s most unusual, beautiful and vast array of tropical and endangered creatures. Get close to a screaming hairy armadillo, marve l at the red panda, try to spot the many species of tropical birds, flying through the rainforest above your head or count the crocodiles in the pond. The most thrilling experience was the stroll through the Lemur walkthrough and the Wallaby walkabout.
It is not only a zoo but also a centre for education and conservation as they participate in the international bre eding schemes that help safeguard the future of some of th e rarest animals in the world. Furthermore, nestled in the beautiful countryside of New Church is the Garlic Farm. It boasts of variety of garlic products that are on sale, innumerable varieties to choose and the best is the garlic ice cream, the yummy delight. The garlic farm offers a farm ride where one can witness highland cattles graz ing, red squirrels synonymous with Isle of Wight and peacocks. The farm is located in the beautiful Arreton valley and the flora and fauna create a stunning natural habitat. The Isle of Wight is also famous for its water sports adventure activities. It offers a range of family friendly experiences including kayaking, paddle boarding. One can experience the unique exhilaration of sea level traversing and if yo u don’ t fancy getting wet, enjoy the sea from the surrounding beautiful beaches gazing its breathtaking natural beauty. There is plenty to keep people amus ed. The island is known to receive the highest level of sunshine throughout the year and there is a still lot to do when the sun goes down. One of the perks on being on an island is the obvious proximity to the sea as there can be nothing more refreshing than this. The Isle of Wight is a miniature England, a holder of the past and a microcosm of the family memories, a place to experience the simplicity of a traditional seaside holiday. ■ (PICS: DR USHA SAKURE)