The Isle of Wight is hard to beat if you are a small child. My three year old identical triplets (we think they are identical, we don’t know for sure) are living their best life, growing up together on an Island famous for its fossil finds. Up to now we’ve visited many of the Islands attractions with the boys but as the years go on the more the Island will have to offer them. As their imaginations grow you will find us hunting for fossils on some of the best beaches known for fossil finds in Europe.
One of the best aspects of the Island is the abundance of fun things to do at a very low cost. In summer the beaches and bays of the island provide no end of fun. We love Sandown bay with its soft golden sand and clean sea. When the boys are bigger, we will venture to some of the Island’s secret coves that aren’t for the faint hearted. The journey down the cliff to Rocken End beach at the south of the island is perfect for three adventurous boys and we will hunt through the shingle for treasure washed up from the smugglers whose ships were famously wrecked around the Island’s coastline.
The Island even boasts real castles. Carisbrooke Castle, with its high walls and moat is situated on a hill making it visible and impressive from a distance. I think it’s a great place to explore with children.
When the winter days are too cold and wet for the great outdoors there’s still plenty of places to visit indoors. Tapnell Park Farm is hard to beat. We’ve been taking the boys since they were tiny, initially to see the animals – the wallaby’s, meerkats, farm animals and insects. As the boys became more mobile they loved the baby soft play area and now as boisterous toddlers they are spoilt for choice with go- carts and an adventure hay barn but there’s still many other activities for them to enjoy as they get older, which makes it a great place for families with children of all ages. I don’t think I have ever met an island mum who doesn’t have a season pass for Tapnell Park Farm. We are all there, year round, sipping the fresh coffee and enjoying some peace while our children play happily without ruining our homes for the afternoon.
In early Spring the Island comes to life with the weather improving and visitors returning for holidays. The theme parks re-open and suddenly the sleepy winter begins to fade. The UK’s oldest and maybe most special theme park, Blackgang Chine reopens. Situated on the south coast of the Island and with its theme of smugglers and dinosaurs, it is one of our favourite places to visit. It is made up of little themed ‘Lands of Imagination’. The boys love Nursery Land where they can point out the characters they recognise like the 3 Little Pigs and Humpty Dumpty. I have many precious memories of visiting Blackgang as a child and despite the advances of their generation, I know they will have the same excitement about a day out at Blackgang as I had.
Robin Hill Country Park is a super day out for children of all ages. It is set in beautiful woodland and countryside. I think we got our first uninterrupted night’s sleep in two and a half years after a long hot day at Robin Hill. There’s a train ride which is perfect for young children, a maze, bird of prey shows, toboggan run and some excellent climbing areas and lots of other exciting attractions. They also organise various evening events such as Electric Woods when the park is decorated with light and sound. We took the triplets for a late night treat last summer and it was really special.
On the first Saturday of each month you’ll find us taking a little ride on the model railway trains in Cowes. The society is located at Northwood Cricket club. It’s a £1 donation to enter and you can ride the trains around the little track as much as you like. My boys love these afternoons and they never want to leave.
I’m excited about the summer ahead with the boys as we plan to visit Godshill Model Village, the Steam Railway and take a ride on the open top bus to name a few. I’m especially looking forward to the chair lift down to the beach at Alum Bay and watching the boys fill up the little ornaments with the famous coloured sand.
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