On our little side of the Isle of Wight, the southwest, we have a great deal of beauty to offer. We benefit from almost always having a sea view, and plenty of things to see and do. This blog looks at just some of the must see things we’d recommend during your stay.
Most of this area of the Island is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; including villages like ours in Brook, then Brighstone, Shorwell and Yafford. The coast itself has many secluded areas, for those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of some of the Island’s main beaches, which can be accessed from tracks directly off the Military Road if visitors keep a keen eye out, and is perfect for a paddle or a day at the beach.
The area is also perfect for walkers – with many circular routes or the coastal route available – and these villages even have plenty of pit stops for everyone to enjoy, whether that’s in the Sun Inn in Hulverstone or the Crown Inn in Shorwell, which are ideal for refreshments on a walk or bike ride. These walks can take you through the areas of natural beauty, and back in time too – as one such walk takes you from the expansive Brighstone Forest further inland to the ancient manor of Calbourne, were you will find the picturesque Winkle Street. This is a highly photogenic row of old stone and thatched cottages ideally set in fields and woods opposite the River Caul, which will be a brilliant photo opportunity if nothing else!
As part of the Jurassic Coast, it is also no wonder that this part of the island is popular with fossil hunters, as at Brook Chine you can walk amongst the stumps of long fossilized remains of an ancient pine forest known as the ‘Pine Raft’ or marvel at Dinosaur footprints left over 65 million years ago. This is definitely something that you can’t do anywhere else in the UK, so something we would always recommend!
Other points of interest live at St Catherine’s, with its Victorian twin-towered lighthouse, known by locals as the “Cow and Calf”. Further along the coast in Brighstone you will find the Isle of Wight Pearl. Now in their 30th Year, this historic Brighstone venue is not only home to an unmissable collection of pearl jewellery but also includes a butterfly meadow, and a café on the cliff-top, with views over the English Channel.
For the botanically minded, Mottistone Manor Gardens are also well worth a visit, though the manor house is only open to viewing once a year on the August Bank Holiday Monday the grounds and splendid garden are open from March to October. The church at Mottistone dates from the twelfth-century and it’s worth noting that the chancel roof is made from planks from the wreck barque Cedrene wrecked off Brighstone, which will definitely be an interesting fact to tell the family when you visit!