As a family we love to explore new places and living in Southampton we have quite a lot of different areas around us. The Isle Of Wight is just over the water from us but somewhere we haven’t ventured in many years. So when Parkdean Resorts got in touch with me and asked if we wanted to join in with their Coastal Adventures campaign and celebrate the beauty of Britain’s coastline I knew that this was a perfect fit for us. We tried living inland before but only lasted 6 months before we quickly got back home to the coast again! 

They wanted us to visit The Isle Of Wight for the day and see what fun things we could find to do. I am focusing my Coastal Adventures around Nodes Point Holiday Park. This is on the East side of the Island and only about 40 minutes drive away from the ferry terminal at East Cowes. 

We traveled from Southampton by Red Funnel car ferry which runs around every hour. This can be booked online and prices do vary on times and days you travel. It was very easy as we had booked online they use your number plate to check your ticket, so no extra paper work to remember! Arriving 30 minutes early, we were greeted by a very jolly Red Funnel worker. He was doing a little greeting dance for every car he let on! He was making everyone laugh and Red Funnel if your reading this, Jim needs a pay rise! 

Once we were boarded onto the ferry you’re free to walk around, but you cannot come back to your car. So make sure you have everything with you. The kids liked going up on the top of the ferry but not for long as being April it was pretty chilly up there! 

Very quickly your hour is over with and it’s time to go back to your car and you’re at The Isle Of Wight! 

Small Hope Beach – Shanklin 

We had decided to travel down to Shanklin beach area, this is a very popular beach front with many tourist activities to do.  Like crazy golf, sandy beaches, amusement arcades, Shanklin Chine and many other attractions. However I wanted to find something a little different, and picked Small Hope Beach which is just tucked around to the left of the main Shanklin beach and at the bottom of the cliffs. 

If you spot those cute little beach huts then you’ve found it! These can be hired out to, some where so well decorated inside too. 

The weather was like Summer. It was like we had got on a plane and flown somewhere abroad! Small Hope Beach is a good sized sandy beach which the kids loved the freedom of being able to run around on. We took a ball to play with and a picnic rug to relax on. 

Lunch Time – The Salix Cafe 

We had decided that we would show you a couple of places to eat as well whilst we were over here. It’s a hard life isn’t it!!! 

First stop was The Salix Cafe, this is right on the beach front of Small Hope Beach and had lots of tables outside. Sadly as we turned up right on lunch time it was rather full and we only just got a table inside. Being able to sit over looking the beach is just a perfect place for me, I really do love the beach. 

I decided to go for a sandwich, there was lots of fillings to choose from and they don’t skimp on their portion sizes! Prices were pretty good as well, this sandwich was £4.20. The others can a Cornish pasty, Paninis and bacon baps. All very yummy and filled us up ready for our next stop. 

Bembridge Windmill – National Trust 

Being National Trust members it’s quite nice to be able to tick a couple of them off when you’re near them! So Bembridge Windmill was very close to us. Only 10 minutes away from Parkdean Resorts Nodes Point it makes a nice little stop. 

Bembridge Windmill is the last windmill on The Isle Of Wight so being Grade 1 listed it is one of the islands’ most iconic images. It was built in 1700 and last operated in 1913. However it was in very good condition and you can climb right to the top section. 

They have added a few things in for you to be able to interact with the building, videos to explain how it would have been used, little hands on experiences for you, and pre-recorded recordings operated with buttons to press so the kids loved that!

They also had a little trail to find the characters around the windmill, this kept mine happily looking around and cute names for them too!!

Be aware of the stairs though, they are very very steep and you need to go down them backwards!

They also had a nature trail around the outside too, it was a little tricky for kids but got the adults brains thinking! 

Bembridge Windmill isn’t a large place to visit, but we spent about an hour here and with some picnic benches here too its a nice place to stop. 

Being a National Trust property it was free entrance for us, but please take a look at their website for up to date prices. Also keep an eye out for the brown signs as this tells you where to park in the lay by. 

St Helens Duver 

We headed back towards Parkdean Nodes Point and parked in The National Trust car park for St Helens Duver which gave us free parking. Although if you’re visiting Nodes Point you have direct beach access to here. Perfect for a beach day with the kids with no travelling. 

This beach has a mixture of sand and stones, but what we loved about this beach was the rock pools. HUGE rocks that were flat enough to walk around on and filled up with water pools. As a child I use to do this with my parents and I would spend hours rock pooling and capturing little shrimps. However we didn’t come prepared, we thought there would be a little shop here selling nets and buckets. There was one restaurant who sold a few things but they didn’t have any nets left. 

St Helens Duver has also many coastal walks and views over Bembridge Harbour from here. There would be so much to do to fill your days just here. We also spotted Bembridge Lifeboat just off the end which would make a lovely trip out too. 

Dinner – Baywatch On The Beach 

We decided here was a perfect place to stop and have something to eat. Baywatch On The Beach sold some lovely looking fish and chips and we could sit looking out over the water again. 

My fish and chips was lovely, a large piece of fish and the chips were very nice too. 

We decided to have ice creams on the beach as you can’t come to the beach and not do that! 

Then time to catch the ferry home back to Southampton after a very lovely day.  It was so nice to be able to go on a little adventure with the kids, it gets everyone away from the jobs at home and all the things you should be doing. The kids thought that going on the ferry was exciting and Lily kept saying ‘Mummy I don’t feel like I’m not in my country’ hehe! Bless her, going on the ferry was a real adventure for her! 

Do you love coastal adventures? I would love you to join in and show where you have been too as I am always looking for new places to visit #CoastalAdventures 

Take a look at what we got up to on film! 

*Collaborative Post With Parkdean Resorts. 

We spent a day on the isle of wight with kids so come and check out what we got up to on the isle of wight.

Country Kids

Tin Box Traveller


  1. Oooh this looks absolutely fantastic, Steph! I’d love to visit the Isle of Wight sometime! x #GetMooreFromLife

    • it’s a lovely place to visit, great for holidays as it’s a fun boat trip across the water!

  2. What a lovely day it looked like you had. We used to go to the Isle of White as children for our holidays all the time an we loved it. Haven’t had the chance to take our children yet! #GetMoorefromlife

  3. Great that you can hop over to the IOW for a day trip! We might be able to do it from Brighton too. I’d love to visit again soon. Lovely photos. Polly x

    • So much to do over there, we did a tiny tiny bit but it was so hard to choose what to do!

  4. Gosh this looks like so much fun! I havent been to the isle of Wight since i was a girl but you’ve really made me want to go back!!! Sx

    • I think lots of people visited when they were younger but not so much now their older! Thank you x

  5. I have really really lovely memories of a family holiday on the IOW when I was a little girl. We have tried a few times to go back but never quite made it. You sound like you had such a lovely day. Thanks for linking up to MondayEscapes

    • Ah how lovely, seems quite a few people had family holidays on IOW when they were younger!

  6. It looks like you had such a good day on the Island. It’s strange how we don’t visit places close to us as often as we should. I’m glad you rediscover the Isle of Wight #MondayEscapes

    • Yes it’s something we have been trying to do more of exploring places that are close to us but never thought about the island as it has water in between!

  7. I have happy memories of a childhood holiday to the Isle of Wight so it’s lovely to see it again and how it looks now!

  8. The problem I have with the Isle of Wight is that I had one very good holiday there as a child, and I am now worried that if I ever go back I will somehow be disappointed. That looks like a great day out though. I can well imagine that the ferry ride is totally part of the attraction too!

    • Oh yes that’s the problem with a lovely holiday isn’t it!! We had a good day, so if you ever go back I hope you have a great time too

  9. I can’t believe how much you packed into one day. I would love to visit the Isle of Wight and you have given me lot’s of inspiration for when I do.

  10. The colourful beach ghuts look so lovely and those wide skies and beaches! We still need to discover the Isle of Wight -maybe a weekend this summer! #countrykids

    • Yes a weekend trip would be perfect, the kids love the boat trip too. Feels like a great adventure!

  11. We used to holiday a lot on the Isle White – its perfectly hardly for you being only across the bay! Looks like you had lots of fun!

    • Yes it was good fun and yes it’s only across the water but we don’t visit enough. I’m going to head back this summer

  12. It sounds like you had such a lovely day out. I’ve never been to the Isle of Wight but would love to visit it one day on a return trip to the UK as it sounds like there’s lots to do there!

    • Yes and was only a tiny bit of the island too, there is lots on the other side too!

  13. Mother of 3 Reply

    That looks like a really fun day! I love being near the sea and the food looks fantastic. I’ve always wanted to see a windmill up close. We don’t have many of those in the states.

  14. It sounds like you had a fantastic time out in the isle on wight, I’ve always wanted to go. It looks beautiful and your pictures are just fab, you really can’t go to the beach without getting ice cream!

    • Yep we managed to sneak one in at the end! Thank you its a lovely place to picture!

  15. We went to the IOW about 3 years ago when Blake was about 9 months old and loved it there. It’s definitely a place we want to go back to as we were impressed witb how much there is to get up to.

    • Yes there is a lot of things to do, lovely when the weather is warm and sunny like our day too!

  16. It is such a great little island. I love those cute beach huts and would love to take my family over for a holiday.

  17. I have never been! I would love to though – my daughter went in year 6 on a school trip for 5 days and loved it. I must look into doing this soon it looks gorgeous.

  18. It looks like you had a lovely family day at the beach. My partner always wants to visit the Isle of Wight as he visited often as a child. We too love living near the coast, we live near Tynemouth and the Northumberland coast and always spend time at the seaside xx

    • Ah I bet your husband has some lovely memories of it then, its so nice to live near the coast, but you can drive inland and have countryside. Best of both worlds!

  19. I’ve never been to the Isle of Wight – looks like I am missing out though. What a lovely place to take the kids – gorgeous beaches, history (that mill looks amazing) and good food. What I wouldn’t do for a plate of fish and chips right now (and it’s only 10am).

  20. What a fantastic adventure! Looks like you all had an amazing time there. My kids would LOVE to visit there!

    • I think kids really love the ferry trip and big open spaces, great for them

  21. That car photo is now the best! So much better than our beach trip to St. Andrews, too!

    • Ahhhh I’m glad you love your holiday to The Isle Of Wight. Seems a lot of people went there when they were younger

  22. The last time I went to the Isle of Wight was in year six for a school trip but I do agree that there truly is some stunning coastal delights. I am glad to hear that the weather was good as well.

    • Yes we were very lucky, schools seem to love school trips here! My son had one too

  23. I really miss this area of the UK. I lived too far away for a while and feel in love with the area and people. Its a shame I have not had too many chances to go back a frequently as I would have liked in the last 18 years.

    Great post.

    John M

    • We really like it around here too, so many different places to explore. Thank you

  24. Looks like a fabulous day, and the weather seemed to keep nice! I’m obsessed with the little beach huts!

    • They are so cute aren’t they! The weather was like summer, we were so lucky

  25. We love right by Southampton too and are always saying we need to go to the Isle of White. This looks like a great day, you did so much! That windmill looks like a lot of fun and the beach looks amazing xx

    • Thank you, it is surprising how it is so close but we forget about visiting it!

    • Oh wow! That would be lovely to see where he went wouldn’t it. Hope you manage to visit one day

  26. We love the IOW and are heading there in a couple of weeks. Benbridge looks beautiful, not visited there before

    • Oh have a great time over there, Bembridge area is a very pretty and not too touristy I think too, but enough for you to do. Although it doesn’t take too long to drive one side to the other! Also pretty routes too

  27. Oh wow that looked amazing. The kiddies loved it! I’ve never been to the isle of wight, I’ve always wanted to go ! It looks so beautiful and peaceful with a nice bit of history thrown in ! Love absolutely love the beach huts !!

    • Its a nice little trip over to the island, my daughter thought we had ventured somewhere really far away from home because of the ferry trip!

  28. This looks like fun! Love the photos. The beach huts look great.

    Popping over from #CountryKids x

    • Thank you, I forget it’s there even though I can see it from our local countrypark!!

  29. I have never been and always wanted to check it out. It looks truly beautiful! I did not know there was some National Trust there! SO on y list for this Summer now! 🙂

    • The kids love the ferry trip over there too! Yes there is a good selection of National Trust over there to explore.

  30. Wow that was so much you backed into a day. I bet the kids were exhausted on the way back home. I love the look of the first little beach with the beach huts. These always win me over as we don’t really see them in Cornwall. The Windmill looks fascinating too, I’d love a visit there to see all the old workings. Sometimes I think day trips or one or two nights away can make a lovely break from everyday life.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

    • Yeah it really makes you break free from normal life for a bit doesn’t it. The first beach was lovely and I think I could have easily spent all day there!

  31. This brought back such happy memories for me, we used to go on holiday to the IOW when I was a child all the time. I really want to take the girls and I’ve never really thought about a day trip before, but we could definitely do this too. What a fab day!

    • Ah how cute, I think it’s a fab day out and place to holiday so hope you enjoy your trip!

  32. We LOVE the IOW – we have family over there anyway, but I just can’t get enough of the island. We’re heading to Bembridge next week actually [after the retreat!] Gorgeous photographs as always 🙂

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