With a week of break ahead of us, a group of my classmates and I decided to take advantage of another sunny day and head to the Isle of Wight.
The Isle of Wight is England’s largest island (which is funny since England is an island itself but, I digress). Queen Victoria chose the Isle of Wight as her summer retreat and would spend periods of time at the Osborne House. The Beatles even included this island in their song, “When I’m Sixty-Four”. Also, since it is an island, you can’t forget about its boat making history and dinosaur fossils. For a small island, it has a lot to offer.
Unfortunately, Mondays in January are not the time to visit the Isle of Wight since most of the museums and shops were closed. Nevertheless, we took the quick 25-minute ferry ride from Southampton to the city of East Cowes.
We ran into a few quick rain showers but it eventually cleared up and the rest of the day consisted of sunshine and steady temperatures.
From East Cowes we grabbed the 1 bus and headed to the main city on the island – Newport. Here, we found the action – people out and about working, shopping and going about their day-to-day business. I must say I was quite surprised to see so many people. On a map, the island looks pretty small. But, in reality, looks can be deceiving!
After wondering the streets and finding a beautiful church, we settled on some pizza and pasta before grabbing the 7 bus and heading to Alum Bay on the far west side of the island.
From our estimation, it should have taken about an hour from Newport to Alum Bay. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen. At one point, the bus driver came over the intercom to say our bus wasn’t working properly and she’d have to shut it off. A few minutes later she had it going again and we proceed…but only for a few more minutes. Like any island, there are very few main roads and when one is under construction, all are affected. We sat at a standstill for a good 20 minutes waiting for our turn to pass. Thankfully, we found ways to entertain ourselves.
After a few more detours, we finally reached Alum Bay but only to be told that the bus we were getting off of was the last bus on the night. Not what you want to hear when it’s getting dark and the next town with bus services is at least a 20 minute walk up the road. As a group, we decided to take our chances and raced to The Needles to catch a glimpse of the final moments of the sunset.
After the sun set, we were trying to come up with a plan for getting back to the ferry. Out of nowhere, we noticed a bus coming towards us. Guess there was one more bus after all! I raced towards it to make sure he saw us and didn’t leave without us. Pause for a moment – I hate running, so for me to run for anything is a big deal! Thankfully, we made the bus and were able to grab a ferry back to Southampton.
Another great day trip! Though many of the attractions were closed, we still had a great day. Can’t wait to go back in the spring or summer and experience more of the Isle of Wight!