Jolly’s IOW Adventure – Pt 2: Shanklin Old Village, Shanklin Chine & Shanklin

On our second day at Southland C&MC Site we visited Shanklin, Shanklin Chine and Shanklin Old Village about 4.5 miles away. We travelled there by taxi then walked around the different areas.

http://www.isleofwightattractions.co.uk/ShanklinOldVillage1.htm

Beginning at the Old Village, we walked down through Shanklin Chine (which, incidentally, brings you out at a quaint old Inn called the Fisherman’s Inn which turned out to be the pub we’d been chasing the day before! Hurrah! we thought … but it was closed 🙄).   Clearly not meant to be! 😄

The Chine is a lovely natural leafy gorge and the island’s oldest attraction.  It’s enchanting to stroll through, with a waterfall and nature galore.  It brought us out down at the beach below, although obviously you can do the route in reverse.  We paid £4.60 each entry fee + gift aid.

https://www.shanklinchine.co.uk/

After spending time on the beach taking photos and watching the waves crashing in for a while, we walked a little further along the prom into and around Shanklin.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

http://www.visitshanklin.co.uk/

Afterwards we rode the old cliff lift back up and walked the scenic coastal path back into Shanklin Old Village where we enjoyed a delicious meal at the thatched Old Village Inn before getting a taxi back to site.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

https://isleofwight.com/item/village-inn-shanklin-isle-of-wight/

Another day gone in flash.  The next day we were getting back on our bikes to visit Sandown.

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Jolly’s IOW Adventure – Pt 1: Newchurch, Donkey Sanctuary & Ventnor

BDC7E1B6-7D7B-43C7-A514-05AD7DC1BCA2

We arrived at Southland C&MC Site just outside the village of Newchurch in the Arreton Valley area.  It’s located on the more popular (tourist-wise) South East-ish side of the island, and we deemed it an ideal base for exploring places such as Sandown, Shanklin, and Ventnor.

Newchurch itself (just a couple of mins away by push bike) has a very nice inn, The Pointer Inn, where we had pre-booked a table for our first evening.  We found this to be our favourite pub over the other nearby one, The Fighting Cocks which is a mile away.  The Fighting Cocks is a very popular pub for families though.

http://www.pointernewchurch.co.uk/

http://www.thefightingcocksiow.co.uk/

Southland C&MC Site is beautifully kept and well laid out, offering many pitches, grass or hardstanding and some are serviced.  The wardens were extremely welcoming, friendly and helpful re local information and there’s also an info hut worth perusing.  The facilities looked well up to the club standards you’d expect but as usual we used our own.

On the day of our arrival, we were spoilt for choice of vacant pitches as many people seemed to have left that morning (nothing to do with our arrival!).  We pitched up on pitch 178, a hard standing pitch with a small privacy hedge to the side.  It offered great all day sunshine too.  All pitches are a generous size though and finding something to suit whatever preferences you have isn’t difficult.

It was a blisteringly hot day on arrival and so, after a long journey, we just pitched up and enjoyed a few hours sitting in the sunshine with a glass of bubbly watching buzzards flying overhead.

Next day, we decided to hop on our bikes and cycle 6 miles to the old Victorian seaside resort of Ventnor.

https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/explore/towns/ventnor

On our way we called in at the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary at Lower Winstone Farm in Wroxall.

https://www.iowdonkeysanctuary.org/

We spent an hour or so there meeting the donkeys and also a few Shetland ponies.  This Sanctuary does amazing work and is totally reliant on charity so although its free to enter, donations are desperately needed.  You can also contribute by adopting a donkey.  We left our donations and had a coffee in the cafe during our wander around.  Please pop in if in the area, its well worth a visit to meet these wonderful animals.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Afterwards, we climbed back on our bikes and cycled the hilly roads towards Ventnor.  While cycling along, Suzie spotted 2 snakes wriggling around each other by the roadside (this significantly increased our pace up the hill).

Upon Google investigation later on, however, it turns out that they were more than likely slow worms, a type of legless lizard (Latin name Anguis Fragilis).  We weren’t at all keen on this encounter (Latin term Maximus Scaredycatus).

A slow worm like the two seen

Ventnor was worth the effort.  We finished off by pushing the bikes down some of the steeper sections towards the beach.  As you arrive down the long and winding road, the Spyglass Inn comes into view.  The location of this inn is superb as it’s right on the rocks overlooking the bay with the sound of waves crashing and sea views as far as the eye can see.  For us though, the best find had to be the Crab & Lobster Tap on Grove Road which we discovered as we started our ascent from the bay.   It is purportedly the oldest Inn on the whole of the Isle of Wight, holding the oldest licence.

http://thespyglass.com/

http://crabandlobstertapventnor.co.uk/

After having spent a couple of hours taking in this pretty resort we began our climb out.  Our plan was to head to a pub called the Bonchurch Inn for tea on the way back to site.  We’d read about it on another online blog.  Unfortunately, unbeknown to us at the time, the photo that had been used on the blog was of a completely different inn in a different resort.  And so began our wild goose chase.   An uphill wild goose chase.  It was challenging and became more of a walk than a bike ride as we just seemed to climb and climb and climb and … you get the picture.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

While we’re sure it was a nice enough place, the pizza takeaway restaurant wasn’t  the beachside, thatched, historical inn we were after.  Our Bonchurch detour wasn’t without interest though.  We passed a charming, tiny, medieval church – St Boniface Old Church.

https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/things-to-do/st-boniface-old-church-p1069521

We also came across a grand looking house with a blue plaque dedicated to Henry De Vere Stacpoole.  We’d never heard of him but another Google investigation informed us that he was an Irish ship doctor turned poet and author who managed to live comfortably in later life off the success of his romance novel ‘The Blue Lagoon’ which was adapted into film.

So there you go, at least the afternoon was educational!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Following our history lesson and now 6.5 miles from site, we rang for a taxi to collect us and our bikes.  This was a first for us but absolutely the right decision because our taxi journey home was ALL uphill.  We must’ve covered more area than we thought during the day.   We slept very well that night 😴😴 ready for more exploring the next day.

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Wightlink Ferry – Lymington to Yarmouth

We set off from home in the early hours to enjoy a traffic-free 5 hour, 280 mile journey down to Lymington Ferry Terminal.  At least that way we could allow as long as we wanted for the journey and relax wherever we liked before queuing for the ferry at Lymington.

We ended up having a 2 hour catnap at Sutton Scotney South Services before finishing off our scenic journey which took us through the beautiful New Forest and down to Lymington.

Sunrise after a cheeky few 💤 at Sutton Scotney South Services on A34

 

We had pre-booked our tickets:-

  • Booked through Wightlink online quoting our C&CC membership to get a 50% reduction in cost.  We paid £129.17 in total for return travel for Jolly and us.
  • Duration of this route is approx. 40 minutes.
  • Outgoing booked for Sunday 3/6/18 @ 9:15am
  • Check in is at least 30 minutes but no more than 1 hour before departure – although on our outward journey we arrived much earlier and as it was quiet we were told we could go on the earlier crossing – nice one 👍
  • We arrived at the correct time for our return journey Yarmouth to Lymington on Monday 11/6/18 @ 12:05pm.  It was a much busier crossing.
  • The organisation at the harbours and on boarding/disembarking made for a smooth and stress-free journey.  Staff were always noticeably friendly and helpful too.

A  lovely start to Jolly’s Isle of Wight Adventure 😎🚐.

 

We were too early on the island to check into the campsite so we stopped off for a very welcome breakfast on the way at ‘The Dairyman’s Daughter’ at Arreton

https://arretonbarns.co.uk/the-pub/

This is next door to Farmer Jack’s farm food shop which is a great place to stock up on local produce on arrival.

http://www.farmerjacks.co.uk/about-us/

Then we were off with our full tummies to check in at Southland C&MC Site at the South of the Island.

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

The Aguri Motorhome & Caravan RV720 Deluxe SatNav

Jolly’s got a brand new SatNav.  The old TomTom recently gave up the ghost so we’ve opted for the Aguri Motorhome & Caravan RV720 deluxe edition which comes with a dash cam and free updates for life.

 

Seems to be just the ticket but we’ve yet to use it, that’ll be next week so watch this space ….

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Santon Bridge, Holmrook, Cumbria

The Old Post Office Campsite at Santon Bridge, Holmrook in the Lake District was the destination for our most recent Jolly adventure.  It’s a privately run riverside site comprising both hard standing and grass pitches with the usual facilities.  We used our onboard facilities though.  Some of the pitches overlook the River Irt and we were lucky enough to be allocated one of these, a hard standing with EHU.

Couldn’t fault the location – riverside, countryside and just a short stroll over the bridge to the Bridge Inn pub which serves great food.   We ate here on both nights.

Many people visit this area to climb Scaffell Pike and enjoy the various other walks the area has to offer.   The scenery is truly spectacular in this less touristy western lakes area.

On the Saturday we jumped on our bikes to cycle the undulating country road that runs alongside the shores of Wastwater towards Wasdale Head.  This area has a number of  claims to fame as the home of England’s highest mountain (Scafell Pike), deepest lake (Wastwater), smallest church (St Olaf’s) and the biggest liar 🤥.

This was the route we took.  If you look closely you can see I’ve placed faint red bike symbols along the yellow route.  Sorry if it isn’t particularly good, but what do you expect for free?! 🤓😉.

Map of our cycle route

The weather during our stay was fabulously hot and sunny 😎, in fact possibly the best weather we’ve experienced in the Lakes.  We had an active day, but made plenty of time to stop and take in the beauty of the area.   At one point we were sitting on a steep, rocky mound overlooking the lake when we both caught a glimpse out of the corner of our eyes of a cycle helmet rolling and bouncing down the banking … then into the lake  *splash* 💦😳.   Bri enjoyed the feeling of the wind flowing through his locks for the rest of the day.

As you can imagine in such stunning surroundings, there were a lot of photographs to be taken so I’ll stick ‘em in a slide show:-

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We had a well earned pit stop sitting out at the Wasdale Head Inn before our return journey by the same route, with a slight detour into Nether Wasdale.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Wow, what a weekend made all the more perfect by the weather.  We couldn’t have hoped to see Wasdale in better conditions.  After our little detour on the way home we cycled back to The Bridge Inn next door to camp for some tea before returning to site to relax.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The next morning was more overcast though still warm as we packed up for home, taking an unintentional route over some fell or other, we know not which (Birker Fell?).  Anyhow, we were pleased to descend back down into Broughton-in-Furness to pick up the ‘A’ roads again.

Yet more great memories made.  Our next adventure will be our annual Jolly June Jaunt.  Bring it on!

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Pot Haw Farm, Coniston Cold, North Yorkshire

Last week, we managed to link a 2-night Wedding Anniversary Spa break at the fabulous Coniston Hotel & Spa, near Skipton, North Yorkshire, with another Jolly adventure.

We had pre-booked an evening meal in the Huntsman’s Lodge restaurant at the hotel on the evening of our arrival followed by a full spa day the next day.  It was fab, a really lovely couple of days, but instead of staying at the hotel we made use of a Camping & Caravanning Club CS Site just a 10-15 minute walk away.  Heaps cheaper, but also our preferred option is ALWAYS to stay in our Jolly.

The site was Pot Haw Farm at Coniston Cold.  It’s an adult-only site based on a working farm, beside Craven Country Ride, an off road horse riding venue.  We have to say it was a real gem of a find.  For the first day/night we were the only unit on site and enjoyed total peaceful countryside relaxation.

Wide open views and good sized pitches, the facilities here are very impressive, pristine, and even include an AGA cooker in a communal kitchen/dining area.  The lady owner (Jacqui) greeted us on arrival and took us on a tour of the facilities immediately.  She takes great pride in the site which is lovingly kept.  The warm, sunny weather showed the whole area at its best during our stay.  Here are some photos taken during our stay:-

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

By our second night there was a group booking of 3 more units pitched up and by the time we left the following morning the site had reached it permitted maximum of 5.   It seems to be a place people return to.  We can see why and will definitely return ourselves and venture out on our bikes, although not along the main A road that runs below the site.  The owner warned that it’s one to avoid as it’s very fast and not cycle friendly, or walker friendly as there is no footpath.  In fact the walk we did from our pitch to the hotel was one the owner recommended to us as a safe route through the farm fields.  Be sure to ask for those directions if visiting the hotel.  There are other walks from site too and apparently a bus stop a short distance away.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So, for us, this was just a cheeky last minute accommodation booking for our anniversary celebrations, but it turned out to be quite a find.

We didn’t take any photos at the hotel as we had a phone/camera free relaxation break, but we can recommend it for a pamper day and/or delicious dining.

A big fat 10/10 for this trip.   Excellento! 👍

7b7a11ea-7a0d-462c-a93d-44db7c08c52c.jpeg

… until next time 👋

ONWARD!>>>> 🚐

Suzie & Bri

Ainsdale & Formby, Nr Southport, Merseyside

Ow do!

We recently visited Willowbank Touring Park in Ainsdale. It’s about 3 miles outside Southport, next door to Formby, and only about an hour further down the coast from where we live so we spent very little time on the road.  It was a rainy day on our arrival but the sun soon appeared.

 

The pitches and facilities at Willowbank are excellent. No choosing your own pitch here though.  As soon as you arrive you’re taken to a pre-allocated pitch. It’s no biggie but it’s always nicer to have the freedom to choose your own. The main road outside the site driveway can get very busy but there’s a path and cycle way running alongside for safe cycling/walking. We could hear quite a bit of traffic noise late into Friday night. This didn’t bother us though, and we found the site to be lovely and ideally situated for our stay. We would happily stay there again.

 

 

For this break we used our bikes to explore the area. The first day we cycled down to Ainsdale beach and through Ainsdale village. It was a very damp and grey day, but this made for some quite atmospheric beach photographs.

 

After a beach wander and cycle around Ainsdale (calling in at a cosy, quaint venue called The Tipple Bar), we cycled to The Sparrowhawk where we enjoyed a cracking evening meal to round off the day. It’s just half a mile from the campsite and a must for a meal if you’re in the area.

 

Next morning after a good sleep, lie-in and a bit of brekkie we headed back out on our bikes to Formby, following much of the Asparagus Cycle Trail which takes in the Formby Red Squirrel Reserve.  This was our main reason for this Jolly trip so we were a bit excited!

It was our first time seeing red squirrels and we saw plenty, which it turns out was quite lucky as we’ve spoken to some people who saw none when they visited.  There was quite a lot of activity when we were there and some of them came up quite close for a photograph. They’re smaller than expected in comparison to the greys, and it was a really special experience seeing them thriving in good numbers.

Here are some photos of our red squirrel experience visit and our day out n about on the bikes (so much better than me wittering on):-

The elusive red 🐿

Gorgeous 🐿

Lovely 🐿 shot

Close-up

Inquisitive 🐿

A Jay bird

 

Afterwards we cycled back to site and cooked tea on Jolly, spending a chilled evening before heading home about midday the next day.

Our next Jolly jaunt will be probably somewhere up Cumbria way.

ONWARD!>>>> 🚐

Suzie & Bri

Time for a Spring Clean!

By ‘eck, Jolly’s looking a proper bobby dazzler after his Spring clean today.  Most of the afternoon spent making him ship shape inside and out.

We used Fenwicks products for the first time and are very happy with the results 👍

Think another Jolly jaunt is in order very, very soon.  Eeek!

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Lakes & Fells Caravan Site, Newby Bridge, Cumbria

Sooo, what a lovely weekend we’ve just had in Jolly, staying around the Newby Bridge area of the Lake District, Cumbria, at the southern tip of Lake Windermere.

You wouldn’t think it was supposed to be Spring, meteorologically speaking anyway.  The weather was definitely more wintry. Astronomically, Spring didn’t start until 20th March though, so for the intervening period and to avoid ourselves any further confusion we declared a new season – ‘Sprinter’ 😁.

Anyhoo, for this Sprinter break we enjoyed some changeable but very lovely weather. A little snow but not too much and plenty of bright sunshine in between the snow showers. It was breezy, windier through the nights, but when wrapped up warm during the daytime it made for a perfect couple of days out and about in the picturesque Lake District.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We arrived on Friday afternoon and stayed at the Lakes & Fells Caravan Site which is approximately 1.5 miles outside Newby Bridge. It’s a small Camping and Caravanning Club CS member-only site of 5 pitches and is adults-only. Each pitch is spacious with electric hook-up, drinking water tap and a satellite connection. There’s a motorhome waste water disposal area and a chemical toilet disposal point located a little way out of the pitch area up a grass banking.

The site’s quiet and secluded and it suited us well. Each pitch was occupied during our stay. We didn’t see the owners, probably missed them as we were out and about through the daylight hours. When it came to leaving we rang them and they directed us to a box on the gate of the pitch area, asking us to place our money in a waterproof bag (it rains in the box a little) and post it in the box.  It was 24 for two nights which we thought very reasonable.

Soon after arrival and a steaming hot mug of tea, we walked the 1.5 miles or so down into Newby Bridge, turning right out of the site and following the main road down. There is a more scenic, slightly longer walk which can be taken by turning left out of site through Finsthwaite, down by the church, where there’s a sign for Newby Bridge off to the right. Not sure the details of this route but presume it brings you out alongside the river at Newby Bridge.

Anyway, on our route down the main road to Newby Bridge we took care as it was fairly busy with bends and turns and there’s always at least one nutter who sees no reason to expect walkers around a bend … until he/she sees the whites of their eyes  👀 ).

About half a mile down we passed the Quay at Lakeside and the Lakeside Hotel. From the Lakeside Pier you can board steamers and explore the Windermere area further. We’ve used these in the past when we’ve stayed at the Lakeside Hotel before our Jolly days, but we didn’t use them during this stay.

We had an eventful walk that afternoon. About a further half a mile down, as we were bumbling along the road we heard the plaintive cry of a lamb, and on looking over the wall we saw the heartbreaking sight of a little lost lamb by a roadside stream.

Without further ado, we immediately instigated “Operation Jolly Lamb Rescue”, both climbing the wall, crossing the shallow stream, and coaxing the lamb back up through the thicket and eventually over the fencing it must’ve come through. We then carried Lucky (we hope he was) back across the field to his flock and left him with them in the hope that his mother would locate him or at the very least the farmer would know he was there. We’d no idea whose land it was.  Fingers crossed all turned out well for the little one 🐑.

 

Another half a mile later mile we crossed a bridge over the old Lakeside & Haverthwaite Heritage Railway line before arriving in Newby Bridge, a small hamlet which got its name from the 5-arched 17th century stone bridge which spans the River Leven there.

We pottered and called into The Huntsman’s Inn (he wasn’t) at the Newby Bridge Hotel and later had a fish n chip supper at the Swan Hotel before commencing our walk back to camp armed with high viz jackets and torch 🔦.

The wind was quite wild at times during the night but we woke to a beautiful Sprinter’s day. After a toasted tea cake & a mug of tea we made flasks up and headed out for a walk up to High Dam.  We turned left out of site towards Finsthwaite, passing the old Stott Park Bobbin Mill.  This mill is open as a visitor attraction and on our next stay here we’ll call but unfortunately it was still closed for winter during our visit (it opens at the end of March).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Following the road to Finsthwaite we reached the Finsthwaite High Dam car park and started the climb up from there. The weather really made this walk something special, as it was bitterly cold, but there were periods of bright sunshine in between snow flurries with the flakes dancing around the air and over the water. It made for some impressive photographic scenes.

We passed Low Dam just before reaching High Dam, which used to serve Bobbin Mill in its day, and carried on walking right around the Dam.  We took time to sit on a bench half way around to take in the beautiful view and have cup of warming hot coffee. Although this isn’t by any means a long or difficult walk, except maybe the uneven rocky terrain in some areas on the way up, the rewarding views, particularly on a day like we had make it an absolute gem not to be overlooked if in the area.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Suzie getting arty farty – snow flakes dancing in the air at High Dam

We came down from our High Dam visit and walked through the small village of Finsthwaite, turning down past St Peter’s Church. Here, there are footpaths either to Lakeside or Newby Bridge. We carried on straight ahead towards Lakeside as we planned on eating there that evening. It was about a mile or so away, across a field and through Great Knott Wood before re-joining the main road just up from the Lakeside Hotel.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There’s a cosy bar at the Lakeside Hotel and we enjoyed a couple of drinks before eating in the John Ruskin Brasserie within the hotel. Not the cheapest of eats, but the food there was absolutely delicious – we can recommend the fillet steak and the sea bass. Yum! 😋.

Top o’ the day to ya! We took Seamus along to raise a glass for St Patrick’s Day 🍻 ☘️

By the time we left the hotel, the snow had set in again and was beginning to stick as we headed back the half mile to camp.  By the time we arrived back at Jolly it was looking like it might get to a decent depth. However, by the time morning arrived and the sunshine came out it started to melt away quickly before we set off for home.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Another top weekend and we’ll probably return to this site to visit the mill, Lakeside Quay and I think there’s a walk up to Finsthwaite Tower from Newby Bridge. Someone had said to us there’s nothing to do in Newby Bridge, but we found plenty!

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri