We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Lee, a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Lee is from the United States, and submitted the following report about her trip to the Isle of Wight. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!
Solo travel rating: 1 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult. Please see chart below)
Languages spoken: English
Costs at Destination: Reasonable (local transportation, dining, tours, events, and attractions)
Reasons to Visit Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is just off the coast of England and a quick ferry ride from three different ports. I visited in spring when the flowers were blooming in every garden, the meadows were deep green, and the sea could become an angry boil within a few hours. It is a perfect small island that has a bus system that can take you to most places. If you have a car, you can explore the more unknown villages and sites.
The best way to see the island is on foot! Determined and experienced walkers cross the island for day hikes and less enthusiastic hikers happily stay on the footpaths, as I did. At times I was the only solo walker around, overtaken by a horse and trap out for a Sunday drive, and invited to rest on one of the benches by an expat couple out for a day walk.
During the three days I was able to visit the amazing Osbourne House where Queen Victoria spent her final years. I explored a few villages, visited the only thatched roof church, and enjoyed the house/hotel's lounges, glassed-in café, and even the local tea shop down the road.
Most of the paths were well marked but I was glad to have found the only map of the island in a small one-room book store close to Freshwater Bay House.
The meals at Freshwater Bay House were excellent and what I thought of as “English.” A hot or cold full breakfast was served at open tables where you were able to sit and become acquainted with other guests. A prepared sack lunch to take on your hike was innovative. You ordered the sandwich you wanted and then filled your sack from a large selection of fruit, energy bars, cookies, chips, and other snacks.
I was surprised that I only met three other solo travelers. Most of the walkers were with friends or part of a walking group who travel together. Guests came from Europe and the UK but I was the only American among the more than 40 visitors.
This trip presented a great opportunity to try a new way to travel and it cost less than a hotel and three meals a day! For me it was a challenge to join a table of strangers for a meal. There were some very interesting stories to hear and I learned that many older women at the house were hiking 6 to 8 hrs a day! I will be looking for another country house stay with HF Holidays in the Cotswolds.
Solo Travel Destination Rating System
Safety – 1 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)
Language – 1 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)
Navigation – 1 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)
Culture – 1 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)
Average Rating – 1 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult)