Isle of Wight: The Seaside Town of Cowes

There is something almost other worldly about visiting seaside towns outside of the summer months but that is just what we did on a rainy afternoon during our trip to the Isle of Wight in March.  We’d been blessed with some gorgeous weather on our arrival in the Isle of Wight and on the day we took a ride on the Isle of Wight steam railway and we certainly hadn’t let the weather dampen our visit to Carisbrooke Castle but that was about to be put to the test!

Cowes, Isle of Wight

Stephen could not have parked further away if he’d tried and we had quite a walk into the little seaside town of Cowes.  I immediately liked the old-town look of the place that was maintained even thought some of the buildings were quite new.

Cowes, Isle of Wight

We took a walk along the promenade.  The sea and sky were similar shades of steel grey and it was a really windy and chilly day. 

Cowes, Isle of WightCowes, Isle of Wight Cowes, Isle of WightCowes, Isle of Wight

We found a pebble beach which I found quite intriguing.  It looks like quite a struggle between nature and humanity as people have obviously been trying to control the drift!  Stephen thought he’d be romantic and picked up a shell for me.  It was pretty bashed up and scratched but I guess that is what you get with a pebble beach.  I think I might just prefer the sandy beaches in South Africa with their shiny shells!

Cowes, Isle of Wight  

Cowes, Isle of WightCowes, Isle of Wight 

There was a lot of lovely Art Deco architecture and Victorian features and I imagine that Cowes was quite the place to be back in Victorian times or in the interbellum period.

Cowes, Isle of WightCowes, Isle of Wight

I found this forlorn looking chap sitting on a bench after a visit to a public convenience and we decided it was definitely time for something warm to drink.  We went to Chocs Away for a cup of hot chocolate.  It was literally a cup of melted chocolate and it was absolutely divine.  Yum. 

Cowes, Isle of Wight Cowes, Isle of Wight

Cowes, Isle of Wight Cowes, Isle of Wight

After that, we walked back through Cowes.  It really is a picturesque little town and must be really pretty and vibrant in the summer months.

The Moon in Africa…

The Moon in Africa

…still looks like the moon.

It is strange.  I had just begun to really feel that London is ‘home’ and now I have come back to Johannesburg and it is amazing and I feel at home again.  So much has changed here in approximately 18 months and it is all for the better.  Crime is still a major problem and there is currently very little work available so I guess that every silver lining has a cloud.  I have very little Internet access at the moment and have spent all my time with family and friends who no doubt appreciate their privacy so I’m afraid that there is little that I can post on my blog at the moment.  I’m certainly enjoying the technological break!

Isle of Wight: Carisbrooke Castle (part 3)

Carisbrooke Castle: part 1 ¦ part 2

Carisbrooke Castle is my favourite of all of the castles I have visited on the British Isles.  The castle is in an excellent condition and it has the most incredible views when you reach the top of the motte and keep.

The motte and keep at Carisbrooke Castle

There are 71 stone steps leading up the motte and it was built around 1100.  The steps are really steep and you need to be quite fit to make it up there!!  I love this photo of Stephen as it reminds me of the Visit Kent adverts (you would have to visit London to see the posters of the little children climbing the castle steps).

The steps leading up to the motte at Carisbrooke Castle

The well in the keep is 48 metres deep and I have to admit, I got pretty dizzy looking into it.  That was nothing compared to the feeling of vertigo I got when taking some of the photos from on top of the wall around the keep.

Wall Walk Carisbrooke CastleCarisbrooke Castle 32

Carisbrooke Castle 33Carisbrooke Castle

It felt like you could see forever from on top of the keep.  The village below was so picturesque and it looked like I was looking into another time and place. 

Carisbrooke Castle

The best views were definitely of the castle itself.

Carisbrooke Castle

Carisbrooke Castle Carisbrooke Castle

Carisbrooke Castle Carisbrooke Castle

I wasn’t joking about the vertigo though!  I always forget that heights make me slightly queasy until I suddenly look down and felt the earth tilt.  I stumbled down from the top of the keep and Stephen had a good giggle at my expense as I held on to him and tried to get the world to stop spinning.

Carisbrooke Castle 42

Carisbrooke Castle has the most excellent wall walk that goes right around the whole castle.  It was starting to rain though so we just took a short walk to look around the back of the ruins of Carey’s Mansion.

Carey's Mansion at Carisbrooke Castle

I think these ruins are quite exquisite and have to wonder how they fell into ruin.  The mansion was built in the late 16th century for Carey who was governor of the island and cousin to Elizabeth I.

 Carisbrooke CastleCarisbrooke Castle

Not long after receiving the Death Stare from Stephen, we decided to go home.  I’m sure the bloggers amongst you have received death stares from significant others before – the look that threatens untold fury and vengeance unless the bloggers puts the camera away!