Freshwater Bay & Yarmouth, Isle of Wight

Our Isle of Wight Adventure was drawing to a close and we decided to spend another day oot n aboot on the bikes.

We found what looked to be an interesting circular cycling route on the Wightlink website.  It turned out to be very scenic and without many steep hills (just two I think) – result!  The route involved a combination of road, off road and cycle track.

9-mile cycle route Yarmouth – Freshwater Bay 🚲

We picked the route up outside the site at the top of Heathfield Road (just up from Colwell Road on the map), turning left and following the road down through Totland and on towards Freshwater Bay.  There are old smuggler caves in this bay that can be seen at low tide.  Today though, the action seemed to be mostly water sports enthusiasts.

We sat at the bay for a while before carrying on through the hamlet of Afton, after which we turned onto the cycleway which carried us along into Yarmouth.  This part was a gentle ride alongside the picturesque River Yar Estuary.

On arrival at Yarmouth we reached ‘Off The Rails’, a cafe/restaurant located within the old Yarmouth Railway Station.  It’s furnished very much in keeping with its rail history.  We stopped here for a drink and sat at a table outside on the old platform imagining the station back in its day.

https://www.offtherailsyarmouth.co.uk/

Afterwards, we continued into the bustling Yarmouth Harbour which is pretty and lively with plenty of shops, bars, restaurants, etc to keep you occupied.

https://www.yarmouth-harbour.co.uk/

Basically, our afternoon was spent in the Harbour area wandering and watching boats come and go.  Two places we visited and would recommend for food/drink are:-

Salty’s – a quirkily appealing bar with a separate restaurant.  We only went into the bar section downstairs which was very welcoming and relaxed with long tables and long bench seating creating a very sociable feel.  Visitors can write on the ceiling (so obviously we did!) which is painted over every 2 years so that there’s always space for visitors to leave their mark.  Upstairs is the seafood restaurant and we’d love to try this out on a future visit.

https://www.saltysrestaurant.co.uk/

Bugle Coaching Inn – 16th century inn in the Market Square.   Despite being very busy  we somehow managed to find a table and enjoyed a lovely meal there.

https://www.characterinns.co.uk/the-bugle-coaching-inn

Obviously there are loads more places but there’s only so much us two could eat/drink during one afternoon/evening there 😬.

By evening there was another lovely sunset over the boats in the Harbour which we captured before cycling back to site over Bridge Road.  There’s quite a steep section after this point where we pushed our bikes up before re-mounting to finish off the short ride back to site.

Sunset over Yarmouth Harbour

All this fresh air and exercise out and about was making us sleep very well! 😴.

On the final day of our holiday we decided to chill out beside Jolly and soak up some of the glorious sunshine 😎 as we’d been on the move pretty much since we arrived.  The site wasn’t over busy and so we enjoyed a relaxing, peaceful afternoon.  We also started to pack up some things in preparation for leaving the next morning.

By late afternoon, we’d decided that our final meal for this visit had to be back at The Hut in Colwell Bay.  So we pre-booked a table online and walked there as the bikes had been loaded back up onto the back of Jolly.  It was about a 2 mile walk to The Hut and back.

The Hut was heaving on arrival but again still seemed to retain just the right atmosphere, and soon quietened down a little after the afternoon rush.  We ate, had a couple of drinks and stayed just long enough to catch the sunset, before returning for an early night in preparation for our long journey home the next day.

The perfect finish to our hollibobs.

Our drive back up took us through the New Forest which looked stunning and had animals roaming freely through the fields and by the roadside.  It’s another place on our lonnnnng ‘To Do’ list.

So, our verdict on the Isle of Wight for a moho adventure ….

FANBLINKINTASTIC!  Obviously the perfect summer weather helped, but the place itself is beautiful with so much more to see and do than we had originally expected of this relatively small island.  Numerous camping sites/touring parks to allow easy exploration of all areas of the island.  The South is considered the more tourist-popular side of the island, but we found the North equally appealing.   We came back having fallen in love with the place and knowing that we must return to explore it some more.

Ahhh, I’m all blogged out after this trip and Jolly’s parked up having a rest … but not for long 😉.

ONWARD!>>>> 🚐

Suzie & Bri

Garlic Farm, Red Squirrel Trail & Sandown, Isle of Wight

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! 🍻

https://www.thegarlicfarm.co.uk/

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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.

http://redsquirreltrail.org.uk/the-trail/

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.

https://beachshackbar.co.uk/

The beach at Yaverland is considered to be one of the best on the island and is very popular with water sport enthusiasts.

https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/things-to-do/yaverland-beach-p970111

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.

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.

ONWARD!>>>> 🚐

Suzie & Bri

Lynton & Lynmouth, North Devon

Firstly, I’ve finally discovered hyperlinks (!) which will enable better integration of links into blog posts from now on.  You’re welcome.

So, the final part of Jolly’s June Jaunt took us from the seaside and beach settings of Saunton and Ilfracombe to Lorna Doone Country, and the rugged, captivating charm of Lynton & Lynmouth on the coast of Exmoor National Park.  The scenery was truly stunning.

We stayed at Lynton Camping & Caravanning Club site just one (very) hilly mile outside Lynton itself, and arrived in glorious sunshine.  Our first day there was the hottest so far.  We were a little early but that didn’t seem to bother the laid back and very friendly wardens who told us a little about the local area and allowed us to choose our own pitch.  They were lovely people, chatty and full of interesting and helpful information on the area.

This is one of the prettiest, quietest and well placed sites we’ve stayed at.  It was immaculately kept and although there are several reviews about the facilities being dated, we found them to be spotless and perfectly adequate, although as usual we mostly used Jolly’s onboard facilities.

The weather was so good on our first day that we decided to have a lazy, sunbathing day but not before we hopped on the bikes and rode to a nearby farm shop – Caffyn’s Farm Shop about a mile away.  The café there was closed but the well-stocked shop allowed us to stock up for a BBQ later in the day and other provisions for the rest of our stay, including their delicious homemade cider which certainly packed a punch!  There’s also a camping site, accommodation and horse riding at the farm.  Although only a short distance to the farm and back it was a fairly hilly ride and that was the last time we used our bikes in this area, getting about instead mostly by foot.   There’s a bus service you can use to get around, the bus stop is just a little walk away from site (info available from reception).

 

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We had a fab time in Lynton & Lynmouth, walking from site and taking in the amazing scenery.  We passed a friendly couple who were digging in deep to get up the very steep hill section.  I think they stopped for breath as much as a chat.  They told us that they had recently settled in Lynton after wanting a change from their old life.  They apparently sold up and just stuck a pin in a map of the UK to decide where to go!  It landed on Lynton.  Wow, no messing about there.  They hadn’t regretted it either.

Lynton stands above the lower picturesque harbour village of Lynmouth and is connected by a Victorian funicular cliff railway.  It’s a must to travel up and down between the two villages on this unusual mode of transport.  The railway is water-powered and operates on a balancing principle.

 

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We took the railway down into Lynmouth, the village known as ‘England’s Little Switzerland’.

We visited The Flood Memorial Hall, where the moving story is told through video, photographs and correspondence of the devastating Lynmouth Flood Disaster of August, 1952 in which 28 people tragically lost their lives.

There’s also a model of the village within the memorial hall.   Entrance to the memorial hall is free and gives you a deeper understanding and appreciation of the history of this beautiful village and its people.

 

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You can walk from Lynmouth to Watersmeet House, a former fishing lodge by a dramatic river gorge.  It’s a National Trust property well known for its delicious cream teas.

There are many walks to enjoy around this area, including Watersmeet, Valley of the Rocks, Countisbury to name just a few.

There’s certainly plenty to see and do in Lynton and Lynmouth.   We finished our day searching for somewhere to eat.  Having taken the railway back up to Lynton we discovered a little cafe (day)/restaurant (night) called The Vanilla Pod.  We were lucky enough to get a last-minute table, it’s a very popular place and gets great reviews on TripAdvisor.  Well, we soon found out why.  We had some scrumptious seafood washed down with a large glass of white wine.  If we lived nearer, we’d be there all the time!  You’d be wise to book if you’re ever thinking of going.

Our last evening was a perfect close to our North Devon Adventure.  We were blessed with a breathtaking and quite romantic sunset.  Perfect! 😎

devonsunsetFullSizeRender - Copy

The next morning we packed up early ready for our 5 hour, 300 mile journey home and luckily the traffic wasn’t too bad.  Another great adventure and oodles of great memories.  Happy days 🙂

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri