You are always visiting the Isle of Wight. Why? What's so special?
I guess it's just a feeling I get, a feeling I got last week as I left the mainland and headed for a staycation on the Isle of Wight, with my family.
I am not sure I can express what I mean, but I will attempt an explanation......
It starts the minute I spot the sails at Portsmouth, rises as we cross the water and as I drive off the ferry I am grinning ear to ear and a feeling of calm ensues.
Maybe it starts with the ease of travel getting here. The journey comes in 3 'legs'; the first leg, home to ferry. The second leg, the ferry. The Final leg, on the island driving to your chosen destination. You have a break in the driving whilst you sail across the sea (read, eat, sleep... or entertain 5 year old with eye spy a boat/ferry/water etc). Door to door in 3 and a half hours (3 hours if the husband drives as he never leaves the 'spare half hour' for traffic/wee stops etc). Anyway, it makes for a stress free journey and a damn fine start to a break away.
It's more then the ease of travel, the whole of the Isle of Wight feels relaxed. Often declared as England 50 years ago, the Island is 'traditional', the fast pace of the mainland just does not exist here. The 24-7 opening hours, the urgency of work, the need to fit as much as possible in your daily life doesn't happen.. It makes for a friendly environment, people have the time of day for each other, no one is in a rush to be somewhere else (which is just as well if you meet a tractor on one of the small windy roads).
I love the variety of the Island. There appears to be something for everyone. Obviously family orientated by the sheer number of attractions to visit (I still haven't managed them all), the Isle of Wight also offers something for cyclists, walkers, beach babes, artists, fossil hunters, music lovers and dinosaur fans will be in their element. I haven't even touched on the festivals and carnival season over the summer. The Island knows how to throw a party.
Beaches. You've got them all; long stretches of golden sands, shingle, rocky. A mix of all three. Either way, bring your bucket and space, fishing net and flip flops (oh and welly boots, because some of the best days on the beach are when it rains!).
If I could sum up the Isle of Wight in one word, it would be 'Simple'. Not the most glamorous of words, but sometimes simple things are the best. Rockpooling, throwing stones in the sea, sitting on the beach and watching the sunset. Being on the Island is a step back in time, a vintage vibe and an old fashioned feeling. There is nothing complicated about the Isle of Wight, it makes no demands..... and that is why I love it.