Tuesday, 9 April 2013

IOW Part Two......

After a hearty breakfast we walked along Sandown seafront, right in front of our hotel, to blow the cobwebs away

click on photos to bigify

before we got on the coach for our first excursion, which was to IOW Pearl, which houses the largest collection of pearl jewellery in the UK.  MWM didn't buy me any pearls as he said there wasn't a pearl in the world that could compare with me (Pearl being my name for those of you who didn't know).  LOL he's so cheesy. There were also various other little shops on the site, one of which sold crystals and fossils found on the IOW.   We noticed this gem whilst we were looking round that particular shop

we resisted the urge to buy it.

Boarding the coach again we made our way to Alum Bay, the location of the famous coloured sands, which are due to oxidised iron compounds formed under different conditions. The sands are used to create ornaments using the coloured sands layered in vials and jars, they were also used to make pictures, a popular craft in Victorian times known as marmotinto.

Guglielmo Marconi moved to Alum Bay in 1897 to experiment with radio. He installed a 40 metre radio antenna outside the Needles Hotel in Alum Bay. Initially establishing communication with ships offshore, by early 1898 he had successfully communicated with stations at Madeira House, Bournemouth and the Haven Hotel, Poole, 20 miles away.

The Needles is a row of three distinctive stacks of chalk that rise out of the sea off the western extremity of the IOW near Alum Bay. The Needles lighthouse stands at the end of the formation. Built in 1859, it has been automated since 1994.  The formation takes its name from a fourth needle-shaped pillar called Lot's Wife that collapsed in a storm in 1764. The remaining rocks are not at all needle-like, but the name has stuck.   The Needles were featured on the 2005 TV programme Seven Natural Wonders as one of the wonders of Southern England. 

The Needles Pleasure Park situated at the top of the cliff is a small amusement park with a selection of shops and rides. The most famous attraction at the pleasure park is the 'chairlift', which operates between the park and Alum Bay.  It was very windy that day so we didn't venture on it.

Our next stop on the excursion was Yarmouth, named for its location at the mouth of the small Western Yar river.  Yarmouth is a crossing point for the river, originally with a ferry, replaced with a road bridge in 1863. 

Yarmouth has been a settlement for over a thousand years, and is one of the very earliest on the Isle of Wight. The first record of a settlement here was in King Ethelred the Unready's record of the Danegeld tax of 991. It was originally called Eremue, meaning "muddy estuary". The Normans laid out the streets of Yarmouth on the grid system, a plan which can still be seen in the layout today.   Until the building of the castle, regular raids on the island by the French continued, and in 1544 the town of Yarmouth was reputed to have been burned down. Legend has it that the church bells were carried off to Cherbourg or Boulogne.

Yarmouth has it's own castle, built in 1547, it survives and is now in the care of English Heritage. It is effectively a gun platform built by Henry VIII to strengthen the Solent and protect the Isle of Wight, historically an important strategical foothold for any attempted invasion of England.  Unfortunately we didn't get to see the castle as we only had time to get some lunch and have a quick walk around the quaint streets.

It was quite a cold day and we were happy to get back on the coach to head back to the hotel to get warm and get ready for dinner.   I think I said in my first post that the food at the hotel was superb, see here for a sample dinner menu.

To clarify for anyone who doesn't get the joke Fox's Glacier Mints are sweets/candies.

I hope you'll join me for IOW Part3 and our visit to Godshill and Cowes.


Ron said...

Okay, first I have to say that I LOVE these photos! And the weather that day really added such a beautiful 'feel' to the images. The one of the needle-rock (lighthouse) is mysteriously stunning!

" MWM didn't buy me any pearls as he said there wasn't a pearl in the world that could compare with me (Pearl being my name for those of you who didn't know). LOL he's so cheesy. "

HA! Loved that!

Once again, m'dear, you share a very informative and interesting post on your travels.

Enjoyed it very much!


Akelamalu said...

So glad you enjoyed the photos Ron. MWM read it through and said he learned more about the IOW from that than he did from being there! LOL

CrystalChick said... that sample dinner menu.
Nice that the seafront was right at your hotel.
I wouldn't have been as interested in pearl jewelry as in the crystals! MWM certainly had the right answer ready in case you asked for something though. LOL
Ooh, I like the last photo. I could see myself walking around the quaint streets too!

Banker Chick said...

I was wondering about the reference to half-sucked-foxes Glacier mint. I googled and did not find it...a business perhaps?
Katie atBankerchick Scratchings

mrsnesbitt said...

Menu sounds lovely Pearl xxxxx see you soon,Dx

Akelamalu said...

It was a different dinner menu every evening Crystal Chick all delicious. Being so close to the sea was wonderful, even though the weather wasn't. ;)

The 'half sucked Fox's Glacier Mint' is a joke BankerChick they are sweets/candies.

It was Denise. Looking forward to seeing you too. x

Valerie said...

Heehee cheesy maybe, but deffo romantic. Loved this post, Pearl. Super pictures that make me want go to there.

Akelamalu said...

He said it after I spotted a beautiful ring Valerie, it was only £1500! ;)

Beach Bum said...

Another great tour, so good in fact you could write travel books.

Flowerpot said...

You are becoming a professional holidaymaker, Ak!!

Daryl said...

thanks for the tour .. and hubby is right .. you are the pearl of all Pearls!

Akelamalu said...

Aw thanks Beach glad you enjoyed it.

I'm trying Flowerpot ;)

You're welcome Daryl and thankyou. xx

Mama Zen said...

Just thinking of a place being settled for a thousand years is amazing!

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

my goodness that is a beautiful place, i looked at the menu and it looked danged good too! ha ha

smiles, bee

Maggie May said...

A few years back we had a lovely holiday in IOW. There were so many lovely things to see, A really great place.
Maggie x

Nuts in May

Steph Josh said...

Very nice place for vacation, thanks for sharing.
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Akelamalu said...

I know it's really fascinating history Mamma Zen

It is indeed Bee and the food was deelish.

Ah you too have sampled the delights of the IOW Maggie :)

It is Steph :)

Dianne said...

I agree with Ron, the weather added a touch to the photos that is wonderful
I love the charming streets

Travis Cody said...

Such fascinating history.

Akelamalu said...

Glad you enjoyed them Dianne :)

I agree Trav :)

Sifat Anonta said...

That's very great site. It’s so interesting and very useful article. I like the way you explain the things. Keep posting. I really thanks for this.

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