Back in January, I trooped off to the Isle of Wight with a bunch of strangers for a walking weekend. Today I am remembering that mild, sunny weekend with great fondness, as sit in my living room wearing a huge jumper, with a woolly scarf wrapped around my neck. For here in Britain, as we head toward the end of March, it is a shudder-inducing 0ºC outside.
I had only ever been to Cowes before, in the height of summer, sailing for the day with friends who own a lovely boat. I wasn’t expecting much; I didn’t think the Isle of Wight would wow me given I’m from Scotland and have been many times to the Peaks and Cumbria.
I recommend this lovely pocket island for a weekend visit. The walking was superb – strenuous but across chalky clifftops with big wide skies.
We were all delighted by the sheep dogs who leapt up onto the back of a quad bike to hitch a ride rather than run:
The sun was glorious – it looks cold here but it was beautiful.
And I loved the cattle; reminded me of being in Scotland.
At the end of the first day’s walk, we passed by a crazy little garden. It’s a bizarre way to try and raise money for lifeboats!
We stayed in a FANTASTIC manor house; Northcourt Manor. Our group was so large that we rented out the entire house but it’s possible to stay as an individual as a B&B guest. I will be returning, as it was a little haven.
After a Burns’ Night Supper and Ceilidh on Saturday night, I was well and truly ‘grouped out’ by Sunday morning. Rather than going on another walk, I decided to explore the garden in the crisp winter sun. It was so warm that after I had taken enough photos to fill a book, I sat in a sunny spot, coat and jumper flung to one side.
The garden was full of contrasts – the remnants of winter mixed with the promise of spring.
By Carole Scott
- Winter’s Ghost (carolemscott.wordpress.com)
- John Lennon sculpture moving to the Isle of Wight (examiner.com)
- Dinosaur species named after girl (bbc.co.uk)