Boutique stay at Spitbank Fort

The Solent, renowned for its warships, cruise liners and yachts, is also home to a stunning, if a little eccentric boutique hotel which gives ‘getting away from it all’ a new, and distinctly nautical perspective. Spitbank Fort is a mile off shore between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. Built in the 1860’s with the threat of a French invasion, she played a role in … Continue reading Private: Eccentric boutique stay at Spitbank Fort

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Family bike ride on the Hayling Billy Trail

Every family should cycle together. It’s a liberating and bonding experience to ditch all the distractions, pack a rucksack with drinks and snacks, stick the bikes on the back of the car and drive to a scenic spot for an afternoon trundle. As a self-confessed MAMIL (Middle Aged Man in Lycra), my solo two-wheeled expeditions take me 40, 50 miles and more on the road, … Continue reading Family bike ride on the Hayling Billy Trail

For those who love a good garden centre

We love a good garden centre – whether you’re a budding Capability Brown or just have one or two herb pots, there’s something very peaceful about drifting through the plants, sniffing roses, hunting out the healthiest specimens, and asking advice on whether or not that lovely hydrangea would be pink or blue in your soil. And if you can stop for a good cup of … Continue reading For those who love a good garden centre

A memorable day out in East Hampshire

The chalk landscape of the South Downs has inspired many a writer and poet – and for good reason. Who can fail to be inspired by the gentle rolling hills with their own distinctive tones of greens and yellows, and when that is matched by a bright blue sky, it’s hard to imagine anywhere more picturesque! The Downs has its famous destinations for scenery such … Continue reading A memorable day out in East Hampshire

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Let’s go fly a kite – on the waves!

Whether you’re the world’s biggest fan of kitesurfing, or a total newbie to the sport, the Kitesurfing Armada Festival is fantastic to see. Hayling Island was the birthplace of windsurfing and, while still a mecca for windsurfers, it has now rapidly built up a reputation as one of the UK’s premier kitesurfing destinations. If you haven’t seen kitesurfing up close before, you need to! It’s  a … Continue reading Let’s go fly a kite – on the waves!

Father’s Day. What sort of Dad is yours?

What do you buy the dad who’s got everything?  Well, we live in a spectacular part of the British Isles, so why not treat him to some of its highlights. Give him the gift of a wonderful summer memory! Yee ha dad For the yee ha dad how about a cowboy stay in an iconic Airstream thanks to Vintage Vacations on the Isle of Wight? … Continue reading Father’s Day. What sort of Dad is yours?

A canvas of sand and sea

The unique quality of early morning light, a canvas of sand and sea and two horses leaving a sun-crested wake as they move through the shallows. It’s undeniable that we live in a stunning part of the British Isles. These images are of West Beachlands at Hayling Island near Portsmouth, a sheltered stretch of the south coast with direct beach access from the car park which … Continue reading A canvas of sand and sea

A spring kaleidoscope of colour

In the Spring, the 200 acres of Exbury Gardens near Beaulieu in the New Forest are transformed into a kaleidoscope of colour as the world-famous Rothshilds collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, and camelias burst into life after the winter months. There are more than 20 miles of paths criss-crossing the gardens, and you can choose as many of those to explore as you like. We visited … Continue reading A spring kaleidoscope of colour