One of our readers takes a trip to the Isle of Wight, proving it has all the right stuff for a family holiday.

An Island Fit For A Queen

Last summer, my husband David and I and our three children went to the Isle of Wight for a week. Once the offshore escape of Queen Victoria, the island has lost none of its charm since her days. We stayed in the south of the island, at Ventnor Towers, a lovely hotel on the steep slopes of St Boniface Down with a panoramic sea view. It was the end of July and very hot, so we took every chance to soak up the sunshine at the sandy beach.

In a few days, we collected so many wonderful memories: a walk at Shanklin Chine with all the magnificent waterfalls, pretty greenery and winding footpaths; a thrilling chairlift ride from the top of the cliff to Alum Bay Beach; and pearl hunting at the Isle of Wight Pearl centre, where we could “pick a pearl” from an oyster.

 

Dinosaur Tracking at Hanover Point

Some of the most memorable visits were to the Alum Bay Glass studio and Hanover Point. The glass-making show was fascinating, revealing how a humble material like sand can be transformed into beautiful things: colourful vases, bowls, cups, plates and animal figurines. At Hanover Point we could follow in the footsteps of the dinosaurs at low tide, when an impressive track of dinosaur foot-casts is exposed in the rock. There are plenty more dinosaur attractions and events on the Isle of Wight too.

On the last day of our holiday we went to Brading Roman Villa, situated in an area of outstanding beauty and boasting incredibly well-preserved Roman mosaics, a huge collection of Roman artefacts and a Roman garden. After learning some interesting history about the ancient Romans, our children dressed up as Roman soldiers and had a go at making their own mosaics. The idyllic surroundings of the villa with the magnificent sea view were so impressive that we’ve decided we’ll have to come back again.

Take a look back in time: British Holidays: The Golden Years, £5.99

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