If you live in Winchester then you may find you have to attend the Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton rather than our lovely local Winchester hospital.
If you have a car then it is about 7 miles away, away from the city centre in a lovely leafy area of Southampton and with the usual stresses of car parking at a hospital. There are car parks but mostly full or very full and pretty expensive too.
I looked around and found that Stagecoach has pick up points at various places throughout Winchester/Eastleigh and goes to the hospital, it takes around 60 minutes as there are a few pick up points on route and only 6 buses a day, so you may have a very long delay to get back home. I couldn’t work out what the daily charge was as the Stagecoach website only gave options for 4 weeks or more for tickets.
Another choice would be to go by train into Southampton and then walk 10 minutes from platform 4′s exit to Uni Link. Uni Link have buses that go to Southampton hospital, opposite to the Princess Anne Hospital and a return costs £3.00. You have the train fare on top.
Either way if you aren’t a well person using public transport to get to the hospital is not easy.
If anyone wants to get in touch to go on a car sharing list from Winchester/Eastleigh to Southampton let me know and I’ll try to put people in touch with each other.
I have some spaces left in August in our large two bedroom apartment, with two ensuites in Puerto Banus, Spain. The complex is low rise with two pools, one of which is heated from October through until May and a child’s splash pool too.
24/7 security, easy car parking and within a 5 minute walk there are supermarkets, cafes, a Saturday morning market, and restaurants to enjoy.
The beach is no more than a 20 minute walk or a short bus ride ( bus stop is a 2 minute walk from the apartment.)
You can find further information here.
We had a lovely break away on the Isle of Wight last week and I really enjoyed the whole experience of just getting into the car and getting there from A to B by just closing the front door and driving.
We caught the Red Funnel ferry from Southampton. The cost for the five of us and a car was around £75 return, a lot cheaper than taking 5 of us on a plane.
TOP TIP…when you park your car on the ferry run to the decks to get a seat. We travelled on a Friday and it was a full ferry by delaying getting out of the car we ended up having no seats between us. Take a bag with drinks and treats for the children rather than buying them on the ferry. The trip is just under an hour so a few treats keeps everyone happy. Also grab the free glossy magazine on the ferry on the Isle of Wight. It gave us some great ideas on where to go and we enjoyed every single one of them. Arrive 30 mins to an hour before your crossing. It was super organised and very easy.
We travelled to Cowes and drove quite a bit to get there from East Cowes.
TOP TIP…if driving to Cowes from East Cowes take the chain ferry if the queues aren’t too long. It takes just a couple of minutes to get across and only costs £2.00 per car. Free if you are a pedestrian or cyclist.
Things we enjoyed doing as a family.
The Isle of Wight is one of the richest places in Europe for dinosaur fossils so we enjoyed a good hunt on the beach. It became clear within a nanosecond that we wouldn’t recognize a fossil if it hit us between the eyes BUT you can hire a man that takes out groups that is known as the King Of Fossils on the Isle. Details are on the web and in the glossy ferry magazine. Next time I would hire him!
Seaview Wildlife Encounter.
Brilliant day out. You can feed the ducks ( of which there are hundreds…) with food that just costs 75p a bag and every 30-60 minutes the keepers give a talk to the children and then let them feed the animals. We fed penguins, pelicans, parrots, had an opportunity to hold a cockroach/lizard ( we passed….saw enough cockroaches in Spain to last me a lifetime!) touched wallabys that were just jumping around our ankles and there were more experiences but we left before they started. We took a picnic and there were lots of areas to sit under shade to eat with picnic tables provided but the cafe also served snacks and ice creams which were reasonable. We spent quite a few hours here and everyone from our youngest who is 12 years to the eldest who is 17 really enjoyed it.
Queen Victoria’s holiday home and it was really interesting. Even our two youngest who only went to keep me happy enjoyed it. The highlight was probably seeing the bed that Queen Victoria died in and eating an ice cream by the beach that Queen Victoria used to privately bathe in but the whole house with its history and photographs was pretty eye popping even for those that think they don’t like history.
Breakfast at the Artisan Bakery in Cowes
Only my youngest and I went as everyone else was still in bed at 10am but we enjoyed freshly baked croissants on communal tables with mounds of butter to tuck into and jam. The baker had to explain how to use the toaster and coffee machines so the first time was a bit of a muddle but I was soon explaining things to other customers. I am open to employment…and more hot croissants. Go at tea time for their chocolate brownies to eat in or take away. HEAVEN.
Lunch at the Garlic Cafe
This was brilliant too! We bought some garlic to plant in the garden and had lunch which consisted of a platter to be shared between two with lots of tapas….all garlicy! It was beautifully presented and absolutely DELICIOUS. Best of all we all ate something with garlic so nobody could accuse me of having bad breath.They had some birds of prey there too and for £2.00 you could hold one, so that was a nice extra touch of something special for the holiday which we enjoyed. We would have loved to have had a walk around the garlic farm too which you can but it was a tad too cold on that day. If you want to try different types of garlic head to the taste room where you can try all sorts of garlic kitchen delights with the aid of crackers.
Things I would have liked to have done but didn’t have time was to take the cable car over the cliffs to see the needles and to try Alpaca walking. I would have liked to have had a walk around the castle and visited some more towns in the Isle of Wight but in the four days we did enough not to exhaust ourselves and still left time for sleep ins and time to watch Toy Story 3 on DVD!
Would I go back to the Isle of Wight.
Absolutely and the townhouse we stayed in Cowes was a delight. A 3 bedroom fisherman’s cottage that was completely renovated and just a 2 minute walk from Sainsburys. If you want the owner’s contact details just let me know.
If you want to get away for Easter Travelodge are offering some great deals if you book ahead.
“Travelodge has something special for all you early birds. Book now to stay with us over Easter and take advantage of our egg-cellent rates. We have over 50,000 rooms from just £19 available between the 22nd March and 7th May, plus we even have rooms in Central London from just £25 too!”
I was looking at train fares for a half term trip with my girls and I didn’t realise there were so many railcard offers that you could buy.
I’ve just bought a family and friends railcard for £28 and it will save me a third on my train fares and the girls will get 60% off their trainfares over the next 12 months. If we do visit the grandparents we will make a massive saving just on the one journey.
The railcard can be used so long as one adult travels with children, even if they aren’t your own….and the saving counts up to travelling with as many as four children.
We will certainly be making use of this card and now travelling from Winchester to London with the family doesn’t seem quite as expensive as it was without this railcard.
You can buy it online and they post it to you first class and that’s when you can start to get the savings on your train tickets.
The sun was out today and a walk in the woods was just what the doctor ordered after the rain we all had on Saturday.
Otterbourne woods in January, seriously muddy in many parts but if we get a good frost that will sort it out.
My better half thought he’d get creative with the camera, I was too busy trying to find badger’s sets. Didn’t find any but I did see a rabbit…….and dare I say it signs of Spring. The days are longer now than they were, it was still light at 4.30pm today (!) and I’ve noticed quite a few shrubs starting to poke their heads out of the soil. The mornings now are noiser than they were a few weeks ago with the birds starting to sing their song to attract their mates.
There may be snow tomorrow in parts of the UK but in Winchester I can see the end of winter is nigh!
We went for a little trip into Romsey today and first impressions were that it was a thriving and rather sweet town. I liked the little market stalls, parking was easy and the shops seemed busy, although I don’t know if a lot of people were buying.
I was really disappointed to find nowhere to have a good coffee and sandwich. We tried the department store but it just seemed rather old fashioned and the queue in the restaurant was huge and there was zero atmosphere. There was a Costa Cafe but I really wanted to patron a privately owned cafe and see something new on the menu.
So we tried here, Cafe Fresh on Romsey high street.
It looked really welcoming apart from a table in the window with left over food/plates. This was a problem. The tables weren’t being cleared by the staff and whilst there the table next to us had to ask the waitress to take away the old plates which she hadn’t noticed before she gave them their lunch. There was not a shortage of staff, they just didn’t seem to be very organised.
We ordered two coffees and two toasted sandwiches. I had virtually finished my latte before the toasted sandwich appeared.
The menu was also strange. Someone in charge had decided that an piece of A4 paper laminated and folded in two would look good with three black and white photos on the front of Romsey. Two of the photos were identical and completely over exposed with flash and sunlight taking away most of the picture. They must have decided that it didn’t matter and that was the problem with this cafe in Romsey. Someone just didn’t care. Their were nice photos on the walls but someone was now sticking posters and leaflets like a teenager does in their bedroom and it just all felt rather tired.
A walk around the inside of the shops gave us both the same feeling. That Romsey looked so nice on the outside, it has so much potential but inside I would say it all looks tired and old and has just given up.
The Christmas lights will be switched on in Romsey on Saturday 24th November at 6pm, there will be a winter carnival in the high street too that evening.
On Friday 7th December there will be late night shopping from 6-9pm in Romsey town centre.
I haven’t been but the pictures of Romsey make it look very pretty.
The Christmas Lantern procession is held in Winchester on November 22nd at 6pm, starting from the Great Hall, moving to the High Street and then to the cathedral where the Christmas market and ice skating will be declared open and fireworks and an ice skating display will take place.
I haven’t been before but can’t wait to see it this year.
It only took 15 minutes to travel by car from Otterbourne to Lyndhurst in the New Forest and it did not disappoint.
We started the day with a pub lunch at the Crown Stirrup.
It was a short drive from the centre of Lyndhurst and we were given a cosy table to sit at. We ordered fish and chips and the ham, eggs and chips and it arrived beautifully presented on a wooden board. The menu had plenty of choice for every taste and at around £10.00 a meal in a tourist spot I thought was fair. I loved the fact that nothing happened too fast. Some past people have complained and indeed one lady was whilst we were there that the food was taking too long to arrive. It was about a 30 minute wait but that gave us time as a family to catch up with each other as we are all quite busy and it can be easy to forget sometimes that you actually quite like each other!!
Would recommend it if you want a long pub lunch with family or friends followed by a long browse in the antique and vintage shops in Lyndhurst.
I was like a child in a candy shop and there is an lovely old fashioned sweet shop in Lyndhurst so you can fully enjoy indulging in gobstoppers if you so wish.
Sweets glorious, sweets…..
But my favourite shop was the antique shop in Lyndhurst. I bought a vintage looking metal sign for the kitchen and a bone china tea plate. On the back it says ” fancy free” which sums up perfectly my mood today after my day out in Lyndhurst!
A treasure trove of antiques and vintage jars, china and house decor
Soaps and smellies at the Old Apothecary