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Isle of Arran

My best friends family took me on their holiday to the Isle of Arran just before lockdown in the UK.

Sadly, we weren’t able to travel all over the Island however we did visit the island’s main town – Brodick.

Where is Arran?

Isle of Arran is situated in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland. Brodick is halfway along the east coast of the island, and this village has a population of 621.

Brodick receives the Islands ferries that come across from Ardrossan in Scotland. It doesn’t take ages to travel on this ferry. From what I remember it was roughly 45 mins to an hour. It was a calm crossing when we went but it was incredibly windy.

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828,262 passengers and 202,843 cars travelled on this ferry in 2016

Brodick

Brodick has much economic activity. There are many family-owned business and tourist attractions such as the Auchrannie Spa and Resort, where we stayed.

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Isle of Man – Cregneash

Cregneash

Cregneash is a small village and tourist destination in the south-west part of the Isle of Man, about 1 mi from Port Erin. Most of the village is now part of a living museum run by Manx National Heritage, and overlooks the beautiful blue sea!

Cregneash is a living illustration of a farming and crofting community in the 19th and early 20th century. You can see plough horses, Loghtan sheep, shorthorn cows and Manx cats.

Manx cats?

Manx cats walk all around the little village. “The Manx cat’s lack of tail is the result of a genetic mutation possibly caused by inbreeding among the small population of British Shorthairs on the Isle of Man. The true or ‘rumpy’ Manx has only a small hollow where the tail would have been, although cats with residual tails are born.”ICC

Cregneash opening times:

Open Tuesday – Saturday, 9.30am – 3.30pm

Site closes for the Season on 17 November 2021.


This is one of my favourite tourist attractions on the Isle of Man! I haven’t included a lot here but if you have the opportunity, take it. It will be well worth your trip!

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The Needles, Isle of Wight

The history of the Isle of Wight dates back to the Iron Age, with much evidence of settlement being discovered through archaeology and ancient structures which still stand today. 

The Needles History
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The Battery

This military battery was built in 1861 to 1863, and its purpose was to protect the West end of the Solent and defend against the enemy ships.

How did the rocks get there name?

Originally, there were four rocks. The name the Needles comes from the fourth rock, which was needle-shaped and known as ‘Lot’s Wife’.

“But Lot’s wife, who was behind him, began to look back, and she became a pillar of salt.” – Genesis 19v26, (JW.org)

Sadly, that 4th pillar fell down in 1764, and the collapse was that great, it is said that it was felt in Portsmouth, on the other side of the Island and over The Solent.

These unusually vertical rocks are a result of heavy folding of chalk. The remaining stacks are of very hard chalk that is resistant to erosion.

(Source)

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The Chair lift

They have a chair lift to take you down to the beach at the bottom of the cliff, here they have boat rides available to the base of the needles. They can range from a 15 minute ride or 20.



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Danes Dyke

Danes Dyke is a nature reserve in Yorkshire, known for the wildlife that are here and the fantastic pebble beach.

The coastline here is so special it is actually a protected Site of Special Scientific Interest and its seabird colonies mark it as a Special Protection Area.

Where does it get its name from?

“Danes Dyke Local Nature Reserve acquires its name from the ancient ditch and bank earthwork, which runs through the reserve. Danes Dyke runs for 4km across the whole of the Flamborough Headland, from the nature reserve here in the south to Cat Nab on the Bempton Cliffs in the north. It consists of two constructed features, a flat-topped bank and a west-facing ditch. The bank was constructed from earth, stacked turfs and chalk rubble, much of which would have come from the ditch. Undoubtedly constructed as a defensive feature, it would have posed a formidable barrier, topped with a wooden palisade fence.” – DykesWeb

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It has as really cute pebble beach with red seaweed that always reminds me of the War of the Worlds film with Tom Cruise.

The woodland is also very pretty but also quiet, and peaceful.


Steam Railways

We were on holiday on the Isle of Wight not long ago and were taken to a a place called Ryde. Here, they have a fully functional steam railway!

The steam railway is only 5 miles long, which is only a small fraction of the once stretched over 55 miles long.

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How did it all begin?

The railway first opened in 1862 between Cowes and Newport. However, it was not until 1900 that the island received its second railway and the rail complex was complete.

Sadly after 2 world wars, their economic status was questioned and as a result lines to Bembridge, Freshwater and the very last line opened to Ventnor, all closed. This was in 1950.

Just 15 years later, the lines between Cowes, Ventnor to Ryde were the ones now under threat. But by now, this line was unique and was becoming a tourist attraction for fascinated historians. There was interest from several parties trying to protect was was left.

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Ron Strutt

(His Obituary)

Who is he? Well when he was a teenager, he’d tried to buy one of the old Island engines from British Rail but sadly hadn’t succeeded. He didn’t give up as he saw how important it was.

“Ron and friend Iain Whitlam called a meeting in south London during late ’65 to gather interest from like minded people in possibly preserving something of the old Island railways.”

Official steam railway website

Whitlam coined the name Wight Locomotive Society. They agreed to try and secure at least one ex London & South Western Railway O2 class engine and possibly a carriage or few.

The line from Cowes to Ryde remained open until February 1966 and only part of the Ventnor route, that from Shanklin to Ventnor itself closed in April the same year.

If you would like to read more about the history, please click the following link to learn more.


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Osborne House, Isle of Wight

Around about 2 weeks ago, we visited the popular Osborne house on the Isle of Wight down at the south of England. It took us 12 hours to get to the Isle of Wight in total as we were part of a coach party.

Click on the videos above to see the grounds and house in video.

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Bit of a back story…

“Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bought the Osborne estate on the Isle of Wight in 1845. There they created a private home away from court life. Victoria used Osborne for over 50 years, entertaining foreign royalty and visiting ministers, finding solace there after Albert’s death in 1861. Today, many of the rooms are still filled with original furniture and works of art, while the planting in the grounds is to Albert’s designs.”

English Heritage

This house wasn’t built for them but was owned by a previous family – the Blachford family. The estate came into their hands in 1705 and from 1774-1781, Robert Pope Blachford extended and adapted the existing house and added a walled kitchen garden.

At the time when Victoria and Albert were looking for a seaside resort to relax in, Lady Isabella Blachford owned the Osborne estate. The happy couple leased and then bought the estate in 1845 and 3 years later demolished it because was too small.

If you would like to download a plan of Osborne, click the link below which has been provided by the English Heritage site.

SITE PLAN OSBORNE HOUSE.

Photos taken from English Heritage

Albert died in 1861 away from Osborne house, but Queen Victoria died here in her quarters in 1901.

None of her successors wanted to take on the upkeep so in 1902, Edward VII gave the estate to the nation. Only part of the ground floor was public in 1904 as other parts were transformed into a convalescent home for officers.

In 1903, part of the estate was convertred into a college for naval cadets but years later in 1921, it was closed as Royal Naval College Dartmouth took over.

“In 1933 many of its ‘temporary’ buildings were demolished and thereafter a succession of short-term tenants occupied the site.” – EH.

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Osborne today…

In 1945, Queen Elizabeth II unlocked Victoria and Alberts private rooms after being locked for 44 years. In 1977 the rooms were redecorated.

In 2012 Queen Victoria’s private beach opened and then in 2014, £1.65 million was spent refurbishing the Swiss Cottage.


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Isle of Arran

My best friends family took me on their holiday to the Isle of Arran just before lockdown…

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Danes Dyke

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Fyfonne Waterfalls

I love looking at waterfalls, hearing the sound of the water as it cascades over big rocks, spying the little water boatmen in the calm spots of the river.

We visited an area of South Wales called Fyfonne Waterfalls.

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It was a beautiful sunny day when we all went, and the sun shone through the trees. It was so quiet as we were passing through the forest, feeling the breeze and hearing the chirps of the birds.

Where I live in the North, we have to travel over an hour to enjoy peace and quiet like this, no cars, no screaming children, no dogs barking. So to enjoy peace and serenity like this was bliss.

After we got to the actual waterfall we decided to go off the beaten track and head up stream past the initial waterfall.

It was steep and the natural forest banking was crumbling in parts so you had to be careful, but delving deeper into the forest it felt like we were on an adventure!

It made me feel very happy being there and I miss it already, I cannot wait to go back! If you get to go, please visit!

Thank you for reading!

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Norway 2019 Part 2

(Link to part 1)

“My family and I went on a beautiful cruise to Norway in May 2019. I didn’t keep a journal like I did for our holiday in Italy but I still have the beautiful pictures and experiences to share with you!

We travelled from Newcastle and after travelling for roughly 36 hours and 548 miles, we made it into Norwegian territory. We first visited Bergen.” – Part 1.

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We also visited…

Eidfjord

This small village is located on the shore of the Eid Fjord, an inner branch of the large Hardangerfjorden which connects other villages such as Ulvik and Brimnes.

We were here briefly because we were going to be visiting a cider farm a 35 minute from Eidfjord.

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Hardanger
Juice and Sider Factory – Lekve Gard, Ulvik.

Sider, not a typo but translated form their official website: Hardanger Saft- og Siderfabrikk.

We were given a tour of the place and a taster session alongside a history of making the alcohol and where their ingredients came from.

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A truly amazing bridge…

On the way home we had to drive on the Worlds longest suspension bridge, it has room for both cyclists and pedestrians so no matter which mode of transport you choose, you can still enjoy how beautiful this bridge is.

The bridge is 1380 metres long, which translated to feet is 4527 long.

This bridge connects to the Bu Tunnel which actually has a roundabout within the tunnel, and in total from start to finish the tunnels length equals to 7,510-metre, 24,640 ft, 4.67 miles long.

I never thought I would be writing about a tunnel and bridge before on my blog but here we are haha.

The roundabout was added to the tunnel in 2013, 28 years after the tunnel was originally opened.


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