Tuesday, 22 December 2009

A winter's weekend at Gurnard Pines

We've just spent our first weekend at Gurnard Pines, on the north coast of the Island near Cowes.

A week before Christmas the weather was never going to be good, but as the snow began to fall over London we feared the worst. However we arrived on the Island to discover that the snow clearly hadn't, and it remained that way until we left. Indeed on the Saturday and Sunday the sun was shining and there was a distinctly summery feeling in spite of the crisp cold outside of our our well-heated pine cabin.

Unlike many of the sites at which we've stayed,
Gurnard Pines majors on leisure rather than nightlife. It boasts an amazingly spacious and well-equipped gym and a large and (at time of year anyway) very uncrowded swimming pool. The ladies' changing rooms have been refurbished to the point of luxury, and I was told the men's will follow suit shortly. After a workout or a swim one can relax at The Brasserie, at which one can buy coffee, alcoholic beverages and some quite classy food.

We were fortunate to be allocated one of the pine lodges, which are modern, spacious and extremely comfortable. We noticed some more basic chalets on site, but no caravans.

For those who like to relax over a beer in the evening it means a short walk into town once The Brasserie closes at 9.00pm. We found a nice little free house called The Portland Inn, where on the Friday night a local two-piece band entertained.

Gurnard Pines enjoys a good reputation, and we left resolving to return and see what it is like in the warmer months.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Buying your own Caravan - Park Resorts offering up to 30% off all stock!

Holiday park leader Park Resorts has announced its "Blue X Sale", with up to 30% off all its holiday homes.

New caravans are available from £12,995 with pre-owned stock going for as little as £7,995 and deposits starting from a mere £750. Guaranteed finance is also on offer.

The Isle of Wight plays host to four Park Resorts parks - Thorness Bay (near Cowes), Nodes Point (near Ryde), and Lower Hyde and Landguard (both in Shanklin).

Click here to see what is on offer, to view the terms and conditions and to arrange a visit online.

Encountering Wildlife in Seaview

Formerly known as Flamingo Park, Seaview Wildlife Encounter is an award-winning family-run attraction a few minutes' drive from the popular Island resort of Ryde.

The visitor can see otters, meerkats, wallabies, penguins, flamingos, a wide variety of fowl and water birds and even interact with the animals at feeding time. Indeed open a bag of bird feed at the wrong time and you'll spend all day in the company of friends you never knew you had.

As well as providing a good opportunity to see wildlife,
Seaview Wildlife Encounter provides a valuable learning opportunity for children and adults alike. With quizzes and competitions, photography days, birthday parties and a chance to meet the keepers, the Park is a unique experience for the visitor and has a "come again" factor all of its own.

Follow the B3330 from Ryde if you are driving, or take the Road Train along the Esplanade to combine an educational outing with a bit of fun and fresh air. Alternatively, the 16 bus route from Ryde runs fairly close by - ask to be dropped off at the bottom of Oakhill Road and follow the signposts from there.

Seaview (Sat Nav PO34 5AP) has a large car park overlooking the sea with ample space for all comers.