The Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight

An 8 day tour to the Isle of Wight - noted for the famous Needles and for the summer residence of Queen Victoria

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An 8 day tour to the Isle of Wight - noted for the famous Needles and for the summer residence of Queen Victoria

The Isle of Wight is an island and county in the English Channel between three and 8 km from the south coast of the English mainland. It is situated south of the county of Hampshire and is separated from mainland Britain by the Solent

The Needles are the western most point of the Isle of Wight and are a series of chalk stacks which protrude into the sea at the end of which is a lighthouse. Nearby is Alum Bay, which is home of the famous coloured sand.

In 1845 Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bought Osborne House and its 1000 acres. Osborne House was a retreat for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. They greatly enjoyed the Isle of Wight, far from the pressures court life at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. Queen Victoria, after Albert died, spent most of her time at Osborne House and she died there in 1901. The longest reigning english monarch (1837 to 1901). Since her death little has changed at Osborne and many of the royal couple's possessions, photographs and paintings are still there.

Carisbrook Castle

One of the main tourist attractions in the Isle of Wight, Carisbrooke Castle is best known as the place where King Charles I was imprisoned. You can still play bowls on the very green Charles used. For a castle that has lived through more than 800 years of service, including resisting a siege by the French and seeing off the Spanish Armada, it is wonderfully well preserved. There are fascinating artefacts on display in Carisbrooke Castle Museum housed in the great hall, St Peter's Chapel and Constable's Lodging. The latter was used as Princess Beatrice's summer residence until 1938 whilst she was the governor of the island.

 

Cowes Best known as the world's premier yachting centre, Cowes is the Island's main port with a natural harbour at the mouth of the Medina river. Yachtsmen from all over the world participate in the season's prestigious sailing events, of which the best known is Cowes Week held annually at the beginning of August.

A Victorian town with a Mediterranean feel, Ventnor is one of the sunniest spots on the Island. Built on a series of terraces beneath St. Boniface Down the town's roads zigzag down to the sea past the beautifully planted cascades

 

Ventnor grew up as a health resort in the Victorian era. The population swelled from 800 to 5000 in about thirty years, thanks to eminent physician Sir James Clarke, who in 1830 discovered the extraordinary microclimate which he said was ideal for the treatment of pulmonary disease. At a time when tuberculosis was rife, sufferers came from all over the country to the Royal National Hospital for Diseases of the Chest, built on the site now occupied by Ventnor Botanic Gardens  These famous 22 acre gardens have Mediterranean, alpine and medicinal herb plantings, herbaceous borders, shrubs and trees. A modern visitor centre is accessible to all and there is a passenger lift to the gardens below. There is also a children's play park and a splendid Temperate House containing many exotic plants.

Day 1

Penrith to Portsmouth and the afternoon ferry to Fishbourne. Dinner at the Queensmead.

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Day 2

We head to Havenstreet and a ride on the award winning Isle of Wight Steam railway, settle back in beautifully restored Victorian and Edwardian carriages and enjoy a unique view of some of the Island’s unspoilt countryside. We then head to Ryde with its pier, sandy beaches and Victorian houses. Dinner at the hotel.

B, D

Day 3

Morning visit to Ventnor and the Botanic Gardens, here basking in the microclimate of The Undercliff, is one of the great gardens of Britain. Subtropical and exotic plants that should be found in protective glasshouses thrive thanks to the mild climate and sheltered setting. We then have a scenic drive to Alum Bay, famous for its coloured sands and views of the famous Needles. We return to Shanklin via the pretty resort of Yarmouth. Dinner at the hotel.

B, D

Day 4

Morning visit to Newport, the island capital, for the local market, we then make our way to what was once Queen Victoria’s much-loved palatial seaside home, Osborne House. View the private apartments and state rooms as well as the beautiful gardens and Queen Victoria’s beach, where there is a bathing machine which the Queen used to get undressed in! Dinner at the hotel.

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Day 5

Morning visit to the picture postcard village of Godshill a quintessential English Village that boasts some of the oldest architecture on the Isle of Wight, with its delightful medieval church, charming thatched-roofed cottages and a winding main street lined with traditional tearooms. Afternoon at leisure in Shanklin with a chance to visit the Chine and Old Village. Evening meal served in the hotel.

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Day 6

Day at leisure to explore Shanklin, dinner back in the hotel.

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Day 7

Morning visit to Cowes, situated at the mouth of the River Medina and overlooking the Solent, it is home to the oldest and biggest sailing regatta in the world, enjoy the many independent shops and waterfront cafes. On our return to Shanklin we visit the Rosemary Vineyards where we will have an informative talk about the Islands 'Vine to Wine' journey followed by a tasting. Final dinner at the Queensmead.

B, D

Day 8

Today after breakfast we leave the Queensmead Hotel and travel to Fishbourne and the morning ferry to Portsmouth. From Portsmouth we head north to Cumbria arriving home early evening.

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B=Breakfast Included, D=Dinner Included

Queensmead Hotel - Shanklin, Isle of Wight

The Queensmead, built as a Victorian summer residence, is beautifully positioned in one of Shanklin's most favourable locations for a holiday or a break. Visitors to Shanklin always stop to admire the pretty, colourful gardens and the hotel's charming situation in the popular, but quiet, Queens Road. From here you can easily stroll to the High Street, Seafront or the famous Keats Green and cliff path. Many pleasant gardens, parks and the picturesque Shanklin Old Village are only a few minutes walk away.

 

The Audley family provide a well maintained and comfortably furnished hotel with modern facilities, complemented by a personal and friendly service. All rooms are en-suite, centrally heated and tastefully decorated to make your stay enjoyable.

 

Colour TV, tea and coffee making facilities add to the comfort. The enclosed outdoor heated swimming pool creates a lovely sheltered sunbathing area and the rose arbour is a pleasant area for morning coffee and afternoon tea.

 

Tea, coffee and drinks are served all day, every day at your leisure. After a day of discovering the delights of the Island, relax in the comfortably furnished lounge overlooking the garden. Play board games, make new friends or just sit at the well stocked bar and talk of the day's discoveries. The Queensmead's talented chef offers a varied and fine choice of menu each evening catering for all tastes. The period style dining room provides a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere in which to enjoy home cooked and carefully prepared meals.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address Contact Details
Appleby The Sands Appleby
Aspatria Car Park beside Spar Aspatria
Brough Monument Bus Shelter Brough
Carlisle Entrance to Sands Centre Car Park Carlisle
Cockermouth Monument Main Street Cockermouth
Dearham Commercial Corner Dearham
Distington Outside Prospect Works Distington
Egremont Conservative Club Egremont
Flimby Railway Station Flimby
Harrington Galloping Horse bus stop Harrington
Keswick Bell Close Car Park Keswick
Kirkby Stephen Market Square Kirkby Stephen
Maryport Outside Coop Maryport
Penrith Sandgate Bus Station Penrith
Shap Village Hall Shap
Tebay Old Services Car Park Tebay
Thursby Bus Stop Thursby
Waverton Bus Stop Waverton
Whitehaven Old Bus Station Whitehaven
Wigton Old Bus Station Wigton
Workington Lay By opposite Grahams Travel Jane St. Workington
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