This is a guest post by the lovely Helen from Mummy To The Max Blog. Helen writes about family life in Southampton, activities and experiences with her son Max, a toddler and reviews.
As some of my readers may know my parents now live on the Isle of Wight. I speak to them everyday and see them regularly when they return to the mainland. Recently Maxwell and I decided to visit them.
We travelled on the newly refurbished Red Falcon ferry from the Red Funnel Terminal in Southampton to East Cowes. I loved the new styling of the ferry and hope Red Funnel will update their other 2 ferries to the same standards. The ferry journey takes 1 hour and the time passed very quickly. Maxwell enjoyed watching passing ships and yachts, constantly waving to all of them.
We were met at the ferry terminal by my parents and as the weather was warm we headed to Shanklin to have a game of crazy golf and to watch people on the beach whilst eating yummy ice creams.
We then visited The Garlic Farm at Newchurch. It is free admission and parking and we had an enjoyable time having a free tasting experience ... garlic mayonnaise, chutneys, oils etc. Maxwell loved watching the farm animals and adored the Shetland pony. We made our purchases from the on site shop and headed off to get an early evening meal at the family orientated pub the Fighting Cocks at Arreton. There was plenty on the menu and they really catered well for fussy little ones.
The next day we visited Arreton Barns Craft Village which is the largest centre for arts and crafts on the Isle of Wight. It is also free admission and parking. We watched skilled artisans at work including wood turners, ceramic artists, glass blowers, leather workers, artists and florists. Maxwell was captivated at the large statues of pirates as he absolutely loves pirates. You can visit the Shipwreck Centre at an extra cost.
We then headed to West Cowes where we looked around various shops and had a late lunch at the Mess Canteen. This is well worth a visit as drinks are served out of jam jars and the food is delicious and priced very competitively. There is a little book corner and a tiny child's chair which Maxwell relaxed in. I loved that they catered for children and thought this was a very nice touch.
After a stroll along the waterfront It was then time to return home ... we said our goodbyes and caught the Red Eagle back to Southampton.
We had a most enjoyable time and we are hoping to visit the Isle Of Wight soon.