Today we decided to do some hiking. We drove to Freshwater, and then after parking the car caught the bus to Alum Bay. Traffic stretched for miles along the road into the Needles Theme Park, but luckily there was somebody on hand to direct the bus out of the traffic jam so it could hurtle along on the wrong side of the road to the terminal and keep to its timetable.

The Needles car park was already full, and cars were being directed onto a nearby field. Kids screamed, mothers shouted, and dogs barked. Mayhem was all around us. It was time to escape the noise and confusion and head up onto the Tennyson Trail.

We passed the pretty garden full of gnomes, trinkets and doo-dads, and opened the gate opposite that leads up onto a quiet hiking path. The sounds of the theme park drifted away, and we hiked in silence for a while until we came to a little farm cafe we know that had just opened up the week before. The owners were pleased to see visitors again, and we had some tea and fruit cake (well, we are on holiday, lol) before setting off again for a half hour hike towards the Tennyson monument at the top of the cliffs. Hikers had already taken the seats around the monument, so we sat for a while on the grass. A couple of girls wanted their photo taken, so Sam took theirs and then they took ours.

I have to wear a scarf up there in the hot sunshine, as one side of my neck burns by the time I have walked down into Freshwater Bay. All in all we were up on the cliffs for about 3 hours, and then walked along to Freshwater Bay to watch the surfers. A lovely afternoon, but I know my calf muscles will ache tomorrow!