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"Isle of Wight" Topic

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639 hits since 19 Mar 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Dave Knight19 Mar 2017 6:22 a.m. PST

Hopefully visiting soon

Any military history sights you can recommend (preferably dog friendly)

Any wargaming opportunities?

skipper John Supporting Member of TMP19 Mar 2017 6:25 a.m. PST

Weren't the Norse-Gaels from there?

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP19 Mar 2017 6:44 a.m. PST

I grew up there in the 70s. There was an active wargames club back then, but I've no idea about today!

Plenty of coastal defences to have a look at. At the eastern end of the Island is Culver Cliff. Great dog walking area and the concrete remains of a large gun emplacement. At the western end you have Tennyson Down with various old military stuff at the end. A lovely dog-friendly walk.

The 'big' military visitor attraction is, of course, Carisbrooke Castle in the middle of the Island just outside Newport. Originally a Roman fort, it was updated at various times through the Middle Ages and beyond. Outside the medieval walls are rennaisance artillery bastions. It has a couple of claims to fame. King Charles was imprisoned there for a while after the Civil War but most importantly it has a deep well with a donkey-powered wheel to raise the bucket. Most people visit just to see the donkeys do their thing…

As regards general walking, large areas of the Island are accessible to the public (and dogs). You can wander over pretty much all of the downs and private farmland is crossed by huge numbers of public footpaths. Very few places are completely closed off. All the beaches are open to the public, just look out for restrictions on dogs. These usually apply during the summer when the tourists arrive.

Have fun!

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP19 Mar 2017 6:57 a.m. PST

Skipper John….err, no.

Supposedly settled by the Jutes in the Dark Ages. Then became part of the Kingdom of Wessex, probably quite early on.

shaun from s and s models Supporting Member of TMP19 Mar 2017 7:16 a.m. PST

the needels rocket sitre is worth a visit

Kublaibenzine19 Mar 2017 8:23 a.m. PST

Fighting 15s are based there and the owner is a very friendly gent UK stockist for Eureka.

Also, the French invaded the IoW in 1545, unsuccessfully and raided it late in the 100 years war (to be checked). First fleet departed for Oz from Ryde.
In WW2 a German air raid was carried out on Marvin Yards in Cowes and was "fought off" by Free French and Polish naval forces (my dad was one of the Free French naval officers based on subchasers there). And Ventnor radar antenna was attacked early in the Battle of Britain (remember opening scene of the movie?).



Prince Rupert of the Rhine19 Mar 2017 10:50 a.m. PST

Hurst castle if you don't mind a ferry trip

or a ferry trip to Portsmouth which has a wealth of military museum and sites


Andoreth19 Mar 2017 11:10 a.m. PST

There's the tank museum which specifically stated that it is dog friendly.

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP19 Mar 2017 12:24 p.m. PST

Oh yes! I forgot the tank museum. Small but well worth a visit. Looks like it has more stuff added since I visited.

dwight shrute20 Mar 2017 5:27 a.m. PST

some converted landing craft and MTB's into house boats at Bembridge harbour , one is a cafe .

Fighting 15s20 Mar 2017 11:36 a.m. PST

If you have an energetic dog, I can recommend the West Wight loop of Freshwater Bay, Tennyson Down up to the Needles Old and New Batteries (National Trust) plus the rocket site, round to the remains of Hatherwood Battery and Headon Warren (lots of rabbits and the odd viper), into Totland Bay and then back through Freshwater. It's 10 or so miles. Pub opportunities depend on route. The Highdown Inn is off the back of the down; there's the Waterfront Bar in Totland Bay, The Vine in central Freshwater opposite the chip shop, and the Red Lion near All Saint's Church, where if you have a mind to you can trace bits of my family line back to 1750-ish.

The Red Lion (not child-friendly) is a good starting or finishing point for the circuit of the Yar estuary along the old railway line into Yarmouth where there are more pubs (The Wheatsheaf, The King's Head and The Bugle there is also The George, but that is too expensive for mere mortals) plus restaurants and Yarmouth Castle. The castle (English Heritage) will take you all of 10 minutes to look over.

Carisbrooke Castle (English Heritage) has some good walks around it even if you don't go in. If you're a long-standing member of Historic Scotland, of course, you'll get reciprocal free entry to English Heritage sites. Non-military, but interesting is Osborne House (English Heritage), though bits of it have served as a naval training academy and there's the royal children's play fort and trench system at the Swiss Cottage.

Depending on when you visit the IW Steam Railway at Havenstreet may be having one of its history weekends. The 1940s weekend (1-2 July) sees loads of WWII vehicles on display. There's a Victorian weekend too (5-6 August), mainly populated by overheating re-enactors in period costume or uniforms.

The wargaming club on the island is no more, and has fragmented into loads of small groups. I'm sure something could be sorted out.

Visitors are welcome at Fighting 15s by arrangement. I can make coffee, and while you are admiring how the spoon stays upright in the middle of the cup, you can also look out of the window and across the Solent at Hurst Castle.

Fighting 15s

Dave Knight21 Mar 2017 4:10 p.m. PST

Thanks all

Alas the dog is more energetic than we are!

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