The White Cliffs of Freshwater Bay

Published 30 June 2013

Freshwater Bay on the Isle of Wight

It’s bright and early on a Sunday morning. I’m sat in my living room playing with my six month old son, Sam, who has decided on that day that waking up incredibly early is a great thing to do. (This inevitably leads to him being incredibly tired and wanting a nap, by 8:45.)

As the sun streams in to the living room, my mind idly wanders back to a cold autumn seven years earlier when we were on holiday. A holiday on the Isle of Wight.

There’s nothing at all that remotely comes close to connecting the two playing with Sam with staying on the Isle of Wight. The two are about as unconnected as it is possible to be. We didn’t play with a toy monkey called Morgan on the Isle of Wight, and there’s nothing that looks like the Needles in our house.

Still, some time later when Sam had worn himself out and had gone for a kip, I started pouring through the photographs of that trip. Photos of 1930s tube trains painted with dinosaurs (they’ve been repainted since), of amazing sunsets, and of a chip shop called The Codfather, which proclaimed they’d “batter anything”.

Then I remembered walking part of the Tennyson Trail, a fifteen mile walking trail named after poet Alfred Lord Tennyson, who lived on the island for many years.

And I recalled the white cliffs of Freshwater Bay. And just what an amazing place the Isle of Wight is.

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