Last week we spent five fabulous days on the Isle of Wight.
We’d been for a day trip two years ago but knew we had only just scratched the surface of what this lovely island had to offer.
So May half term came round again, and we loaded up the car (with an extra child two years down the line) and headed down the A3 to Portsmouth.
It’s a good 2 hour drive from where we are in Kent, so we decided to travel up the night before.
Staying in the Travelodge right by the ferry port was perfect for us as it meant we got to enjoy the whole of our first day.
We caught the 10am WightLink ferry and with no delays (or hardly any waiting around) we were off!
The boys really enjoyed the crossing.
It was the perfect amount of time to be out of the car and stretch our sea legs.
The little cafe was busy, but there was plenty of time to grab a coffee and flick through the WightLife free guide as we sailed across the Solent.
Packing in the cars looked like quite the skill as it seems like the ferry was designed for when our cars were all a bit slimmer!
It was a bit like tetris :o)
Once across, we were off the ferry quickly and could start our holiday – it was the perfect start!
First on our list of places to visit was Shanklin…
The sun was shining and we made the most of it.
My eldest could have stayed all day in the fun fair section…but we tempted him away with the promise of a hotdog!
The thatched cottages in the Old Village were beautiful and just perfect for holiday snaps :o)
Our next stop was to our accommodation for the week.
After much researching, we had chosen to stay at Woodside Bay Lodge Retreat.
Newly opened in February 2016, we had high hopes…
…and we weren’t disappointed!
Our Yaverland lodge was perfect!
We were greeted with a lovely welcome pack of food and drink.
There was enough food for a tasty breakfast which was such a great gesture.
The boys loved exploring their new home for the week and my eldest was particularly excited by the board games by the fireplace.
The site was immaculate and by the looks of all the young saplings that had been planted. the site will become more picturesque over the next few years.
There is a woodland walk, which is very comfy underfoot.
A little exploring led us to…
Yes, Woodside has it’s own private bit of beach :o)
After the sunshine of day one, we were greeted with a forecast of rain for the afternoon of day two.
We were up early anyway (our 1 and 4 yr olds don’t do lie ins!) so we decided to make the most of the dry weather and headed out to the IOW Steam Railway.
We had such a great time!
The boys loved the journey of the steam train, but they got just as much enjoyment out of the attached museum and the play area on site.
We also did the woodland walk…which is hilarious!
We’ve never seen so many puns in one place before.
Here is our favourite…
Wait for it…
Another day of threatened rain greeted us as we turned on the TV for day three.
But, undeterred we packed our rain macs and headed out to Carisbrooke Castle.
There was a special event taking place and our eldest got to join in with a battle.
He was quite scary with his foam sword!
A special mention needs to be made for the staff running the children’s events.
They were wonderful…even with twenty odd children attacking them with foam swords!
We also learnt a lot about the history of Carisbrooke and the part it played in the detainment of Charles 1 – a win win for the whole famiy!
Our visit to Carisbrooke Castle had piqued our interest in the history of the island.
So day four, saw us visit Osborne House for the last day of their Victorian Fete.
The family home of Queen Victoria was simply stunning.
We had a good explore of the house and then went out to the grounds which were full of Victorian games and sideshows.
To finish off our fourth day, the lovely people at Darwin Escapes gave me a voucher for a treatment in their spa.
I chose a manicure, and it was the perfect end to our day :o)
Kayleigh was friendly and gave me a great treatment.
The Spa is gorgeous – and definitely worth a visit if you are staying in Woodside.
You can also go there if you’re not a resident on site so if you’re staying in the Ryde, East Cowes, Wootton Bridge area, then I recommend a visit!
You’d need to book ahead though :o)
Day five brought us to the last day of our holiday.
But for my eldest, we’d saved the best to last…Dinosaur Isle
We started off in the downstairs room and were greeted with fantastic models and skeletons.
The hands-on nature of this museum is brillaint.
You can touch the fossils and bones.
Get up close and personal with the dinosaurs.
Have a go and being a paleontologist.
Smell like a dinosaur (that was a funny one!).
My eldest was in his element.
Then, you can head upstairs for more fun…
Here we found dinosaur games, a painting table, a light box (very entertaining for a 1 year old!) and among other fun things, the largest collection of dinosaur cuddly toys we’ve ever seen!
Well done Dinosaur Isle – you’ve created a fabulous attraction!
We finished our day with a trip to Sandown Pier (just along the beach) for some good old fashioned amusement arcade fun.
And with that, our staycation was over :o(
Two years ago we didn’t think we’d scratched the surface after our day trip to the Isle of Wight.
Now, after five days we still haven’t!
We’ll definitely be back…and soon!
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Thank you to WightLink for our complementary crossing, to Darwin Escapes for my manicure, and to Dinosaur Isle for our tickets for the purposes of our review/staycation feature.