When you think of a UK summer holiday, what comes into the mind's eye? I would hedge a bet that it may involve a pebbled beach, seaside huts, little ones playing in the water and perhaps an amusement park or two. Enter, Hayling Island.
Hayling Island is a magical place, of which I personally have very fond childhood memories. It felt like a whole little world along one stretch of beautiful British coastline. Ice cream falling off the top of the cone and my resultant screams until I got another, fish and chips on the beach and fishing alongside my dad. It really is one of those places where happy family memories are made and it is all in close reach if you are staying in one of our Isle of Wight properties - take a day trip to a mini-island from your bigger-island holiday!
The island itself has a unique charm about it, you almost feel like you are stepping back in time. It is peaceful and feels more like a village than an island. The beaches are the main draw for visitors, having recently won the Solent Water Quality Award. There is also a Blue Flag beach, manned by lifeguards in the summertime period, which means it is a great place for some water play with the family. My favourite thing to do in the British sea is get one of those inflatable donuts and just lay, bobbing along with the hypnotic rhythm of the waves, watching the bustle on the beach or, even better, out to the horizon and ponder life. Also searching for pretty shells to take back with you is a great beach-time activity.
As an adult, whenever I am on a beach I also like to conduct my own mini beach clean-up. I just keep my eyes peeled for any bits of litter and plastic that may be there, pick it up and put it in my pocket. Every little helps when it comes to ocean pollution and you can have a really positive impact on the local environment.
As well as the pebbled beaches and clean waters, all over Hayling there are the grassy dunes to play in too. Your kids will always be up for a game of hide and seek, and these areas make the perfect game field. For the nature lovers among you, there are also lots of wildflowers and birds in the area, which really are a joy to watch and look upon.
If you want to take up some activities during your time on Hayling, there are also sailing and boardsailing opportunities. There is also the famous Hayling seaside railway, which gives you and your family some great views of the shoreline (this is where I always lost my ice cream!). The railway is open every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday in term time, and every day during the school holidays which covers you for most of summer.
For those who prefer the indoor type of fun, you can head to Funland. Funland is a traditional funfair situated on the shoreline. It has three rollercoasters, including those suitable for the youngest members of the family, as well as dodgems, ten pin bowling and soft play. The best part about Funland however is the fact they have over 200 video games and slot machines – some of my fondest memories as a child was feeling as though I had won the lottery on those addictive 2p machines!
So for a traditional British day at the seaside, visit Hayling Island this summertime.