Thursday, 21 February 2008

the wonderful isle of wight

Isn't it gorgeous?! I have to say that I do love the isle of wight (IOW), my family has been going there for years and there's something about it that's so right. When we were younger about 40 of us would descend on the village of seaview and cause merry mayhem. As the eldest grandchild I was usually the ringleader of mischief, but it was all innocent fun...we couldn't wait to go rock pool fishing or attend the garden party thrown by our Aunts - all the cousins would then get a soft toy to commemorate the year; the picture below is from the first year (1989) when we had a teddy bears picnic and my auntie linda (very brilliant lady) made us all a teddy, still have mine!

1-2 hours south from london by road and then a 40 minute ferry crossing ( from either portsmouth, southampton or lymington) this lovely island is a real slice of traditional British seaside. Full of lovely villages, victorian esplanades, sandy bays, rugged coves and traditional tea shops called things like 'gill's pantry', it offers something for everyone.
Families will love the sandy, safe beaches; keen boatsmen the numerous yacht and sailing clubs and walkers & bikers have routes aplenty. A large number of poets and writers also live on the island, possibly trying to capture the same inspiration that tennyson, dickens and keats all found here. In the summer the island is buzzing with tourists, but in the winter it has an empty, wild & rugged beauty to it that I prefer....

So why holiday here? No airports (phew!) but you still have to get on a boat, so that childish sense of excitement still rises at the thought of travelling 'abroad'. For families there is so much to do to entertain, robin hill and blackgang chine were our favourites as kids; alum bay and its coloured sand, plus the needles (as seen in chitty chitty bang bang) are a must.
For everyone else there are national trust and english heritage sites aplenty, lovely pubs and gorgeous gardens. A real treat is to buy fish'n'chips and take them to culver down for one of the best views on the island...

Hey, if it was good enough for queen victoria to set up home here, it's good enough for me!

Friday, 18 January 2008


It's taken a while, getting round to writing this first post. I know from reading many of your first posts that the concept is initially a little strange, this writing about yourself business...but my sister is so good at it that I have been inspired. Plus, as she reminded me, I do have quite interesting things to talk about, as I love travel.

Since being young I have always been fascinated by faraway places, either reading about them (love travel guide books) or watching them on TV (Judith Chalmers on Wish You Were Here was a favourite!). We moved a lot as a family as well, most notably to the French Pyrenees in 1985 for a few years, so new cultures and experiences seemed the norm. The 'Travel Bug' was then firmly planted in 1997 when I went to stay with my brother who lived in New York. When I returned a year later I decided that a career in travel seemed the only option to continuously feed the passion!

So, this is the aim, to pass the passion on. The World is so huge and so full of wonders that it needs to be shared, as we'll never get to personally see it all, however much we'd like to!

I will do this by keeping you updated with things of note - my own travels and discoveries, those of my clients and those of others I come across.

So that you know 'where I'm coming from' I'm 28, married to Nath, who's 35 and love all types of journeys, from a quick city break to a laze on a tropical beach. I'm so geeky when it comes to travel that I score the airports I travel through, the airlines I fly on and of course the hotels I stay in. I'm a bit of snob when it comes to my accommodation (I like nice digs), I really love great restaurants and I value good service.

I hope you enjoy my journeys as much as I do, I hope that you share your thoughts with me.

I'll start this weekend, as I'm taking a trip to the Isle of Wight. Often overlooked, this island off the South coast of England provides a real nostalgic feel for old seaside Britain, with Victorian buildings, esplanades and beach huts aplenty. In the winter, off season, it feels deliciously empty, windswept and romantic....I'm no photographer but I do hope to have some pictures for you to prove that point.

Travel is a bug people, I pray you catch it....