East Cowes Mini Aventure

View of Cowes old town from East Cowes

Sometimes big plans just don’t happen. Sometimes that extra half hour in bed is too sweet, and a brunch with family warrants just one more cuppa, or a project at the kitchen table is too involving to abandon. And sometimes not having a car makes travelling to some scenic country spot just a little bit too much bother. But, failed plans can make room for mini adventures; this one an easy explore on our doorstep.

So today we didn’t get up to the downs before breakfast, but instead ran down to the chain ferry and across to East Cowes after teatime.  We explored a local bit of townside coast, and watched our little town from across the estuary.  It’s surprising how many interesting things there are amongst the concrete.  Old ship yards and high windowed warehouses looking out on an esplanade of sunday strollers and kids fishing.

Seagulls sitting on East Cowes breakwater

Sea bird on the beach

Old fence by the sea in East Cowes Isle of Wight

Rusty on the sea wall at East Cowes, Isle of Wight

We got a little carried away in the quiet pace of it and would have missed supermarket opening hours, if it weren’t for Tom being a much faster runner than me.  So, thanks to him we had yummy Sunday dinner and a well-stocked evening by the fire.  Feeling ready for another busy week.

Up on the Downs

It used to seem odd to me that we call the high land on the Island ‘the Downs’.  Surely they’re the Ups?

Small cow on a big horizon

Looking up at a tree climber

Sun setting over the sea, with field foreground

Apparently it stems from the Anglo-Saxon word dun, meaning ‘hill’.  On the Isle of Wight these chalky ridges stretch across the length of the island, making them great for one big all-day walk, or dozens of mini adventures.  Our recent habit of diving in the car on a Friday evening to catch the last of the light inevitably takes us Up Downs and we revel in the high fast winds and the ever-changing clouds, with the brightest rays of sun and the biggest plops of rain.

Fields, stile, and trig point on St Catherine's Down, Isle of Wight

The Pepperpot, St Catherine's Down

It’s always fun to come up here and get whipped about in the wind and lean against it’s push.  We had to belt it down the hill again as the rain descended.  But it wouldn’t be a mini adventure without a few mishaps.

Mini Adventure to Mottistone Down

Dashing out between downpours, we scrambled through shiny wet ivy leaves, stepped over bramble tripwires and slid up the muddy path to the top of Mottistone Down.

Leaf closeup, country down layers, tree, seas view

The view at the top never gets old, with the entire South Wight stretched before us and a sunset that changed the light every minute. We walked down the hill as the light faded and got back to the car in time for the next downpour. Perfect timing.

Mini Adventure to St Catherine’s Point

Friday afternoon, dashed home from work, and straight out the door to catch the last of the light at St Catherine’s Point.

old wooden posts on the beach and Rusty walking in the background

Aerial view of wood and pebbles

sunset behind cliff and pebbly beach

Lighthouse silhouette, with setting sun

Silhouette of Bryony and fence on clifftop

Clifftop sunset at St Catherine's Point

We hopped over rocks, scrambled up cliffs, wandered across fields, and watched the setting sun, before walking up the lane for a pint at the pub.  Just one hour exploring a new patch of ground and everyday hassles feel a world away.  I am in love with mini adventures.