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Isle of Wight - Secrets please

(13 Posts)
stoppingat3 Mon 06-Jul-09 10:29:02

Hello We are off at the end of the week to a caravan site near Sandown.
We have had a few holidays in the IOW over the years so know the main attractions but does anyone have any "secret" days out, you know the ones that you discover by accident.
Can be anything from a fossil walk (I hear that there are some but not sure where) to a restaurant.
Many thanks

positiveattitudeonly Mon 06-Jul-09 12:01:56

Oh I live here!

Good walks through Parkhurst Forest that my kids love (near Newport) with little activity posts for the kids on route.
The fossil walks are from Compton Bay I think. I could get you the phone no of the guy who does them if you are interested.
Good pubs, which are children friendly, is the Fighting Cocks on mainroad between Sandown/ Lake and Newport. Very good food and quick service, so kids don't get fed up waiting.
I love walking along the beach walls from Totland to Colwell. Good for kids with Bikes, scooters, roller blades etc as wide spaces.
Ventnor Botanical gardens are brill with a really good play area and lovely gardens to walk through.
Islanders mostly avoid "tourist" beaches. Appley (nr Ryde) is good, also Puckpool just along from there, with a good play area, walk area and picnic area. Or on the other side of the Island, Compton is a definite locals favourite, BUT steep climb down which can be difficult with buggies/little children/baggage etc.

What ages? I am assuming you have kids???? Hope this is a start. If none of this appeals, give me any ideas of what you like to do and I will think again.
Have fun and I hope the sun shines. grin

stoppingat3 Mon 06-Jul-09 13:02:31

Yay, thats all great thankyou,
Re the fossil walk we did one here (east sussex) recently with very good guide so I think that my DCs would probably rather have a "hunt" of their own.
I have two boys 9 and 6 and a girl of 2.8. Oh and a grumpy DH who doesn't "do" caravans!
They like the usual things, We are trying to keep cost down so beach walks etc sound good.
Is there anywhere you can get discount vouchers for days out, maybe a card or something?
Is it ventnor that has a paddling pool on the seafront, we went years ago with DS1 and he loved it, think it was in the shape of the IOW but I may have imagined that!
Thankyou again

1dilemma Mon 06-Jul-09 13:04:38

please tell me where a decent beach is, we went 2 years ago and couldn't find one!! sad

stoppingat3 Mon 06-Jul-09 13:07:49

The times have just included the one near the botanical gardens in ventnor in their top 50

1dilemma Mon 06-Jul-09 13:17:18

oh thanks

the IOW just looks like the kind of place that should have decent beaches, I just know it does we just couldn't find them!!sad

positiveattitudeonly Mon 06-Jul-09 16:16:43

Yes there is a paddling pool in the shape of the IOW in Ventnor, on the seafront there. You did not imagine it!

If you go online to the IOW tourist board they have discount voucher booklets for things, or on the boat over here look out for the free Island Visitor booklet where lots of people advertise and will put discount vouchers in there.

It may also pay for you to get the IOW County Press on the day you arrive (65p). In there is an "weekender" section with local places advertised and vouchers sometimes.

stoppingat3 Tue 07-Jul-09 14:04:49

Thank you, thought I may have dreamed the pool!! I will have a look for the vouchers as well.
Bearing in mind the current weather is there anywhere you recomend indoors?
Thanks again

positiveattitudeonly Wed 08-Jul-09 08:10:46

The best indoor play area, according to my lot, is "Space Island" which is just outside Lake, on opposite side of road to Morrisons, sort of in an industrial area. Reasonably priced, too. Don't panic though, as we have avoided all the bad weather so far. It has rained overnight, but not a great deal!

Blu Wed 08-Jul-09 17:28:28

What do you like in a beach, Dilemma?

We went on a great fossil walk at Brooke Chine beach (just along from compton) with the people from the Dinosaur Farm Museum on the Military rd near Brightstone. Apparanly fossils are easier to find along that stretch than where you go with Dinosaur Isle. Fossils v different in different areas, you're looking fo blackened fragments of dino bone at Brooke Chine or Compton, or fossilised sponges. The walk shows you the fossilised iguanadon footprints that are visible at low tide. WE thought it was a nice beach, too.

Steephill cove is a fab beach, but v tiny and I should imagine packed in school hols. You can walk to it dopwn a path near the Botanical Gardens.

The little tapas restauarnt in Ventnor, almost opposite Somerfields was lovely - very friendly, welcoming to children too - though not a typical 'child friendly' restaurant. Great food.

The Spyglass Inn in Ventnor does HUGE portions and was good quality pub food - but we went to another place along the same stretch that was reputed to have been bought by the same people and it was horrible. (it has a carvery in a conservatory, up some steps from street level - avoid!!!)

kathyis6incheshigh Wed 08-Jul-09 17:32:13

How old are your dcs? If they're youngish, there's a completely insane amusement park at Blackgang Chine here

yehudiwho Wed 08-Jul-09 19:39:26

that blackgang chine was my 5 year old absolute favourite day out- he still asks to go back

stoppingat3 Thu 09-Jul-09 21:49:26

Thank you everyone, the car is packed DC's asleep. DH laptop loaded (*sigh*) all ready to go tomorrow.
Apparently the rain is coming Saturday but ok after that!
I will keep checking on here so anymore ideas very welcome

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