An impulse weekend stay on the Isle of Wight in mid November is always a gamble. The weather was due to be friendly, but we really hadn't planned the accommodation figuring that something would be open somewhere.
The train ride to Portsmouth Harbour and getting the Cat service to Ryde was a seamless experience, even if the ferry's £22.10 return fare (out Friday pm, back Sunday pm) was almost as expensive than a flight to Barcelona out of Southampton Airport.
At Ryde bus station we bought a 48 Rover ticket for £15 (bargain) and took off for Shanklin bus station. We headed towards the sea and found the hotel and guest house area. The area was closed, except for one beacon of light in the gathering gloom - St Leonards.
The greeting by David and Tina was as warm as it was cold outside. They are genuine and friendly people. A swift pot of coffee was at our side as we gathered our bearings and the inevitable paperwork was completed.
Thoughtfully, the room was being warmed as we got to it. It had a comfortable double bed, 2 bunk beds, wardrobe, chest of drawers, bedside tables and a TV with built in DVD. It was large, airy and very clean. The bathroom had a modern shower unit installed and was also immaculate.
The view from this room was towards the sea and I can imagine that in the summer the balcony would be a great place to enjoy a cup of tea from the facilities in the room.
Breakfast was a treat. You order the evening before - a really sensible approach as it ensures sufficient fresh stock is on hand and it speeds up service. The added benefit is that you have something to look forward to!
The weekend turned out to be one of the sunniest of the last two months and the weather on the Sunday was just brilliant. We explored much of the east of the Island by bus (top deck of a double-decker is a great viewing platform) and foot, and the walk between Shanklin and Sandown on a sunny day is very relaxing.
With the fortunate weather and the lucky find of St Leonards Guest House, we enjoyed a great stay.
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- Also Known As:
- St. Leonards Shanklin, Isle Of Wight