Camping & Travel Articles

An Island Dream

Camping has not had a good image in the past, and many people would have associated a camping holiday with cold, wet, uncomfortable leaking tents, spending hours trying to light a fire to cook a very basic dinner, and being bitten by endless flying creatures as you huddled in your sleeping bag overnight.

Those horrors are long gone. Comfort and camping are now compatible, and the delights of modern and well-equipped tents and camping gear has created a massive surge of interest in camping in the UK recently. More than 5.43 camping trips were made by families in the UK in 2010, an increase of 29% on the previous year, and overtaking a stay in a guest house or B&B in popularity. The trend is driven not only by the economic climate, but also by a desire to take what many people describe as “more authentic” holidays, being close to nature, and having the opportunity to see wildlife and stay in a peaceful environment.

Isle of Wight camping holidays have long been popular with stay-at-home Brits, and it’s a perfect place for a camping holiday. Park Resorts, for instance, have four camping sites on the Isle of Wight, offering hard standing and different size pitches, as well as some Ready-to-Use tents. With so many different and well-equipped sites to choose from you can up sticks and move to a different part of the island to explore all the different attractions that it offers during your stay. The great thing about Isle of Wight holidays is that they start with an adventure – the trip across the water from Portsmouth, Southampton or Lymington in the New Forest, making you feel that you truly are “going abroad”. (Many Island inhabitants would agree that that it is very special and different) Once on the Island, and having found your camp site, set up your tent or parked your caravan, what are the next things on your to do list? Hopefully you will have done some research and have a rough plan of the key attractions that you should take in on your visit. The Isle of Wight Council have an excellent website covering a very wide range of attractions, and to get you started, here are some suggestions:

  • Osborne House, said to have been Queen Victoria’s favourite residence, and a visit will immediately tell you why. There are stunning views from the grounds, and an exploration of the house itself gives a fascinating insight into the domestic life of the Royal Family, with the rather basic and homely children’s nursery on the top floor and the impressive formal receiving rooms where the family would have been on public view on the ground floor. You can take a trip around the grounds in a horse-drawn carriage, or visit the Swiss Cottage designed as a play house for the Royal children.
  • Carisbrooke Castle, which once housed a very eminent prisoner in the Royal personage of Charles I, and now plays host to numerous exhibitions and displays over the summer. One of the great attractions being the donkeys who patiently work the well in the Medieval well-house
  • Beaches – the Island currently boasts eleven award-winning beaches, some sheltering below cliffs, some offering long golden strands and a distant view of yachts out on the Solent competing in one of the numerous regattas that take place over the summer. Certainly enough for the most ardent beach-goer to sample and enjoy during their stay on the Island.

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