That morning, we saw our first bit of rain since arriving on the island but it didn’t get heavy or last for very long. On arrival at Heathfield, we checked in with the wardens, were given some information about the site and local area, filled Jolly up with water and then followed the warden who led us to our pitch (no. 12). We had pre-booked and opted for a large pitch and we certainly got that. It was huge compared to some sites. Plenty of privacy space to enjoy the sunshine which did reappear soon enough 😎.
That afternoon we decided to explore the area on our bikes. We turned left out of site to the top of Heathfield Road, turned left again and followed the road down until we came to a sign for Colwell Bay which is located between Totland & Yarmouth.
There are good views of mainland England from the bay and to the right as you look out you can see Fort Albert, a Victorian gun tower. You can also walk further along the sea wall to Totland Bay (approx. 1.5 miles).
On arrival at the bay we passed a cafe by the beach and as we reached the sea wall/prom we looked to our left and saw a row of colourful beach huts. These huts can be hired out for the day.
In between the rows of beach huts, we came across ‘The Hut’ which is a restaurant/bar. This turned out to be the best find of our whole holiday eatery-wise. We bought a drink and sat at an outside table on the front terrace looking out across the Solent. The sun had reappeared by this time and we kicked back, relaxed and just watched the boats coming and going. The chill out lounge music being played was spot on for the setting.
The Hut, Colwell Bay
Terrace at The Hut
Inside The Hut
The Hut offers a collection service for people arriving by boat, bringing them in to shore and this appeared to be a popular service. We saw several groups of people arriving from the mainland to eat here.
We had originally only intended to have a drink before venturing further afield but we were so pulled in by the whole vibe of the place that we ended up booking a table for our evening meal. We decided to try our first ever lobster and steak ‘surf and turf’. It was SENSATIONAL. Wowzers! 😋 . Our holiday treat to ourselves.
Afternoon drinks with a view
The fabulous surf n turf
Lobster & steak surf n turf
Evening at Colwell Bay
If we lived locally this would definitely be a regular haunt for us. The atmosphere was great, lots of groups in party mood but without any rowdiness. Also couples, a real mix. It really pulled us in. One of the best bar restaurants we’ve ever been to (and we’ve been to a few 😉).
Anyway, that was the first day of the second half of our Isle of Wight Adventure. Next day we planned to visit The Needles at Alum Bay. Soooo much to see on this beautiful island.
Our final day in this area of the Island was spent on our bikes again. This time we cycled just 1.5 miles to the nearby Garlic Farm and shop. It was an interesting visit for garlic lovers and we left safe in the knowledge that we can put garlic in pretty much anything. In fact somebody tell Peter Kay – garlic beer, it’s the future, we’ve tasted it! 🍻
We then cycled back on ourselves to Landbridge where we joined the ‘Red Squirrel Cycle Trail’ to take us the four miles or so down to Sandown. It’s a cycle path created over an old railway line so it’s pretty flat for the most part. The whole trail runs for approx. 23 miles through the countryside from East Cowes down to Sandown. We look forward to completing the rest of this trail on our next visit to the island.
Once in Sandown we enjoyed a delicious crab sandwich at The Beach Shack Bar on the Western Esplanade as we soaked up the sun and views, just watching the world go by for a while before riding further along the front to Yaverland.
Crab sandwich and chilled cider at Beach Shack Bar
The Bandstand bar/restaurant
It turned out to be another glorious sunshiny day. Absolutely perfect for cycling. Once off the trail there were a few challenging hills but it was always worth the effort. There are lots of cycle hire shops hiring out electric bikes for those who might prefer an easier cycling experience on what is known as ‘Bicycle Island’.
By early evening, after a day generally exploring Sandown, we returned. We rode/walked up the hill back into Newchurch, stopped for a flyer in the Pointer Inn, and then got back to site. We’d timed it well as the fish n chip van was parked up on site (it visits twice a week), so we ordered our chippy tea, set the table back at Jolly and enjoyed our well earned supper as we watched the sun set.
All Saints Church, Newchurch
Last push up the hill to Newchurch
Fish n chip van visits the site
Table set for our chippy tea
Sunset over Southland Caravan and Motorhome Club Site
Here’s a very short snippet-of-a-video taken along part of the Cycle Trail and on Sandown beach …
The next morning we packed up, waved goodbye to Newchurch, and headed off to Freshwater on the north part the island for the second half of our stay. Already though, we had fallen in love with the Isle of Wight.
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.
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.