Oh how we longed for our summer holiday. As the summer passed us by it was often quite painful logging into Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Our screens flooded with our friends on their holibobs. Their pretty pictures popping up, flaunting themselves, shaking their booty in our face.
As the end of August approached our excitement started to build. And then, like a bat out of hell the weather took a turn for the worst. We started to panic. Eek. Thankfully as quickly as it turned to rain the sun popped his hat back on and blessed us with its presence.
It was a long time coming but oh my it was worth the wait. Beautiful blue skies and temperatures in the mid 20’s. Our summer wardrobes were back. Yippee.
Thank you Havant for allowing us to borrow your beautiful little Hayling Island for 3 days. It became our little island where we created some memories which will stay close to our hearts forever.
It was magical driving over the bridge as we arrived, as it was nighttime the Solent was lit up by all the boats bouncing along the water. As the only access road it would be easy to think that you would need your passport to cross it! It was definitely one of my favourite times of the day. If only it had been possible to stop on the bridge and take a photograph. I only hope the memory lasts. I did manage to take a little snap whilst driving off the Island for the very last time. Mr H was driving by the way! …. (sadly it doesn’t do the view justice)
Although very rural, Hayling Island is a beautiful part of our little old Britain, it’s quiet, yet had enough to entertain our little family.
We spent most of our time on the beach. We found a lovely little beachfront pub called ‘Inn on the Beach’ which served delicious food and allowed us to watch the Watersports from a comfy bench on the balcony. Lil G could roam freely, free from danger and as we were outdoors we didn’t need to worry about upsetting a quiet pub! Toddlers and pubs just don’t mix do they! With reasonably priced food & drink and a beautiful indoor bar area as well as a very spacious balcony we settled for the afternoon.
We were lucky to visit Hayling Island on the one weekend of the year when the National Watersports Festival was taking place. We hadn’t realised when we booked. It created a lovely little atmosphere and added to our adventure. Lil G was mistaken more than once for a little surfer dude. I think it’s the hair!
My favourite night of our holibobs was when we packed a blanket, a little picnic and a bottle of wine and headed to Hayling Island Beach to watch the sunset across the Solent. As I sat on the beach watching Lil G soak up the atmosphere, picking pebbles and skimming stones with Mr H, I couldn’t help but feel a little emotional. It was one of those moments that I know we will look back on and smile.
We didn’t pop in however there was a Funland on the South end of Hayling Island which looked like a lot of fun for little ones.
Hampshire is the furthest South we have travelled with Lil G, therefore we decided to make the most of our journey by visiting the nearby coastal City of Portsmouth and then venturing even further to West Wittering Beach.
Portsmouth was of course, very different to Hayling Island but beautiful just the same. We visited both the Old Portsmouth and the new Gunwharf Quays. For me, the harbour was breath-taking. It was peaceful, the birds, the sea air – stunning. As recommended by a friend on twitter we parked up at the Old Portsmouth side and walked along the beach path to Gunwharf Quays. So pleasant and so much for our little adventure loving toddler to take in.
I loved the old cobble streets of Portsmouth. The boats bobbing along and of course the HUGE ferries pulling in and out of the harbour as we wandered around the walkway. Lil G got into the spirit and soon became the Captain of his own little boat on the MiniPort. Oh what fun we had. He really got into the role play and talked about his little boat for the rest of the day. Call me ‘Captain George’ mummy. As we sailed around the port you could hear him shouting ahoy there to the passers-by and giving them a little wave.
You’re probably reading this thinking really? Why all the excitement. Well, we don’t live near to the coast and the seaside, therefore it really is a treat for our little family. The last time I remember visiting a harbour was in 2007 when we went to Cyprus!
We ended our little holiday with a trip to West Wittering Beach, which was a little hidden gem. Maybe because it was the start of September, it certainly wasn’t because the sun wasn’t shining but it was really quiet. I was shocked by the cost of parking. Maybe it’s the south, but £8 for parking your car seemed a little steep. No bells and whistles, just a car park on grass and rubble. It was beautiful though (not the car park) and a perfect end to our little getaway. Don’t get me wrong the beach at Southsea and Hayling were beautiful but nothing beats the feeling of sand in your toes. Happy days.
Hayling Island we miss you.
And that’s a wrap.