Just the Two of Us - Get Romantic on the Isle of Wight
With the tranquil beauty that surrounds the Isle of Wight, there is good reason why so many wax lyrical about this romantic isle. For there are plenty of romantic things to do and see, as Lord Alfred Tennyson, the great poet of landscape attested to in his day. Follow our guide to have a most romantic break with your beloved.
A Royal Romance & a Foxtrot for Two
Follow in the romantic footsteps of Queen Victoria and her much loved Prince Albert with a visit to her family home, Osborne House in Cowes.
On her first visit to Osborne Queen Victoria declared, “ It is impossible to imagine a prettier spot.”
No trip to the Isle of Wight would be complete without a visit to this royal seaside palace where Queen Victoria lived with her beloved Prince Albert and their nine children. She was besotted by him as he was the love of her life. Now you can have a most intimate glimpse into Queen Victoria’s family life with tours in the private rooms. You can also take a romantic stroll around the extensive gardens and enjoy the stunning views from the terraces across the Solent.
You could round off your royally romantic day with a dance or two by booking a session with with Island Dance Wizards, where you can try anything from the Jive, to Cuban Salsa and the Argentine Tango.
Top Tip: Take a 20-minute romantic stroll down to Queen Victoria’s private beach and sit in the alcove admiring those views just as the Queen regularly enjoyed with her loving husband Prince Albert.
Because the Lady Loves… Manor Heaven
When it comes to romance you can’t beat staying in a luxury manor house. Like the beautifully restored 14th century, Gotten Manor, a saxon manor house exuding a loving ambience. Nestled in five glorious acres underneath St Catherine's Down, on the southern side of the Island, it’s miles off the beaten track.
You get complete privacy and seclusion, a beautiful setting and all the trimmings to ensure romance is in the air - roaring log fires, roll top cast iron baths, crisp white linen and fluffy robes. Personal touches abound – handpicked flowers in each room, handmade soaps, plenty of candles to add to the ambience. Get ready for top-notch linen, lit candles at bath-time and wine-filled glass to hand.
Another manor that must not be missed is Arreton Manor. This early Jacobean manor house is steeped in history (and dates back to as early as 872.) History buffs will love it here. Once owned by Edward the Confessor it is noted in the Domesday Book and is specifically mentioned in the Will of King Alfred the Great in 885. Stay in The Adrintone Bedchamber, which is furnished with antiques and rich Tudor style fabrics.
Top Tip: You can the contact owner and pre-order a bottle of chilled champagne
Romantic Strolls & Picnics
Lord Alfred Tennyson was so enamoured with the landscape of the Island especially around Freshwater Bay where he resided, and one of the most beautiful and romantic strolls is over Tennyson Down, where the monument at the top is in memory of the great poet himself.
“For there are plenty of romantic things to do and see" - Lord Alfred Tennyson
If you come prepared with a picnic and a bottle of bubbles, you can reward yourself with refreshments when you reach the top. The sweeping views down to the bay, across the western shoreline are outstanding on a sunny day. You can see all the way to St Catherine’s point on the south side of the Island and the coastline of Dorset with its Jurassic cliffs, across the vast expanse of Solent water also looms large.
Beyond the monument you can carry on walking along the top right to The Needles at Alum Bay. There are plenty of places for a quiet romantic pit stop en route where you’ll be counting the bunny rabbits and bird life. But the Island is full of romantic wooded paths, rolling countryside and beachcomber strolls.
Other top ambient picks with picnics include Newtown Creek and surrounding ancient woodland, the atmospheric undercliff walk around Bonchurch and Ventnor, and the picturesque Mottistone woods to the Longstone valley.
Top Tip: If you walk along the top of Tennyson Down to Alum Bay, there you can ride in an open-air bus back to Freshwater.
Skinny Dipping, Beach Fires & Rugs
Over on the western side of the Island lies Totland Bay and its delightful beach, which has a clutch of seaside awards making swimming here a joy – and you can easily build a fire on the beach in the curve of the bay. If you walk along the promenade past the Waterfront pub, towards the craggy ‘Mediterranean’ shoreline, even in summer the beaches at the far end of the bay remain blissfully quiet. This is good news for any skinny dippers out there as it’s precisely this seclusion that lends itself to swimming with no clothes on. At low tide the shingle beach transforms itself into glorious sand. On a calm sunny day, it’s easy to believe that you are swimming off a Greek Island. So get ready to strip off with your beloved and remember to bring some matches to light that fire.
If you're feeling adventurous, you can hire a double kayak, and paddle to one of the many secret and secluded beaches that dot around the coastline, where you can skinny dip - and picnic, blissfully undiscovered.
Top Tip: Wait for the sun to start to go down before wading in and marvel as the spectacular sunset hits the Solent.
Fine Dining at its Best
The Island has some of the best gourmet dining experiences where couples can eat some of the finest food in luxurious and romantic surrounds. In Newport, the Island’s capital, you’ll find Thompson’s, owned and run by chef extraordinaire Robert Thompson. Set within a beautifully restored listed building in the centre of the town, here a culinary experience awaits – with a contemporary open kitchen and 8 course tasting menu.
Over in Seaview on the Eastern side, The Priory Bay Hotel is a country hotel languishing in 60-acres of its own beautiful ancient woodland and its own private beach. It’s unbeatably romantic here with the endless private grounds to stroll around in.
Or across the Island on the west side, The George Hotel, in the harbor town of Yarmouth offers refined dining and a perfect getaway for couples with its picturesque brasserie restaurant, outdoor dining areas and sea views across the Solent.
Top Tip: Go for the tasting menu and get the sommelier to match your wines - heaven!
24 January 2017