Once on the other side, we drive for about 40 minutes to our destination – the quiet and quaint village of Niton. Houses there are fabulously picturesque.
The local teahouse shares premises with the Post Office and it has the most amazing collection of ceramic teapots in its window display.
Further down is a church with an old graveyard.
The tombstones are ancient and a note, attached to a nearby tree, explicitly advises of the danger of playing in their vicinity.
My favourite notice in Niton though is this one. I imagine it must be really frustrating to have dozens of hands trying to pick your grapes, but this is what happens when your house is rather centrally located even in a small village.
Let’s venture outside of Niton.
The surrounding hills are abundantly green. Here and there you can see some really old stone walls, too.
Lush pastures stretch almost all the way to the horizon.
If you follow the path close to the edge of the hills for a little while, you will come across this lovely spot…
and you will have a chance to admire this beautiful view of St Catherine’s lighthouse.
A long walk down the hills will take you to this secluded harbour, where you can simply sit, relax and be at peace.
About 20 minutes by car from Niton is…
Ventnor – which name, according to my studies of linguistics, means ‘The Northern Wind’, but in fact the town is the southernmost point of the Isle of Wight.
I love this steep park right by the public beach.
Every year on Boxing Day people in Ventnor go for a traditional cold sea swim. We spent Christmas 2012 in Niton and I was really looking forward to seeing the swim. Apparently it’s great fun with people dressed as Santa Claus taking a dip in the freezing waters of the sea. Unfortunately, first we couldn’t find a place to park, then, as I was pregnant at the time, I couldn’t walk too fast, so by the time we reached the seafront, it was all but finished.
I can assure you though that it was very cold and as you can see, there were still wet people drying themselves up and getting dressed on the beach.
The Christmas spirits were high and the coastguards were all wearing red hats.
On the way back to the car, I saw these great calendars, which would have made fabulous late Christmas gifts. To my disappointment, the shop was closed and I never came across them again.
Just outside of Ventnor is the Botanical Garden. I loved it there! We visited it with our baby when she was two months old. The Tropical House was particularly amazing. It was unbelievably hot and humid and I kept having the sensation that something would leap out at me from the dense vegetation.
Of course, nothing leapt up, but seeing these enormous lily pads from Lake Titicaca really made me catch my breath.
Well, the Isle of Wight really has this effect on me, making me catch my breath with stunning views and great events.
The first time that I went there in June 2009, it coincided with the annual Round the Island sailing race.
Hundreds and hundreds of boats were competing with one another and we drove around the island trying to catch glimpses of them from different viewpoints.
At the end, I would like to take you to Alum Bay. This is the westernmost point of the Isle of Wight. It’s famous with its multicoloured sand cliffs and it offers an amazing view towards the famous rock formation – The Needles.
There is a chairlift that takes you down to the beach.
Atop of the hill, apart from the chairlift station, you will also find a cluster of shops, a fairground and the famous Alum Bay Glassworks, where we watched a glassmaking demonstration…
with this beautiful vase being made right in front of us.
There is so much to see and do on the Isle of Wight. Thank you for seeing it through my eyes.
If you can, definitely visit and discover it for yourself.