I live on the Isle of Wight in the UK, just across the waters of the Solent facing Southampton and Portsmouth, an island the most part of which is recognised as “an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Sea sports, swimming, walking and cycling are the most popular pastimes and twice a year Walk the Wight, and Cycle the Wight draws hundreds of visitors. Cowes Week, the famous Regatta which once saw the crowned heads of five nations take part, is a major event in August and if the number of royals in attendance is less than in previous years, the number of royally rich with their super-yachts has increased.
It is a very literary Isle and apart from the number of writers who live here now, the Island was home to many famous authors and poets in the past, including Alfred Lord Tennyson, Charles Dickens, Alfred Noyes, Keats, Longfellow, and J.B. Priestley. Karl Marx, who spent a few years here, wrote in a letter to Freidrich Engels, “This island is a little paradise”. It is even more famous for being the home of Queen Victoria and her consort Alfred, who built a residence here for their growing family away from the stress of London and the Court. Osborne House is now one of the most visited places along the south coast as it remains much as it was in Victoria’s day, a family home full of photographs, knick-knacks, children’s toys and lots of love.
I am a keen photographer but find that travelling with a DSL and extra lens is now difficult so I travel with the best compact I can afford. My images may lack that “wow” factor but my back feels better!
Thailand, Italy and Spain I love passionately and I am fortunate to live in Europe where good transport links and cheap flights make it possible to do long weekends in favourite cities.
I hope this blog will be less about me and more about the place. Not all will be serious, humour abounds wherever one goes and there is always time to sit and enjoy wine and tapas (in the cause of research of course) while chatting to another tourist or a local character.
So join me on my travels and maybe add your comments if you have experiences that mirror mine.