Thousands of visitors flock to Godshill every summer to see the thatched cottages and the many attractions for a village as small as Godshill. The prettiest part is the church which sits on a small hillock above the village and is well worth a visit. According to legend, the original foundations were laid in a flat, easy accessible site but every morning they were found transferred to the hillock, so the builders gave in and built it there. The church dates back to the 14th century and has a unique feature known as the Lily Cross, a wall painting which was whitewashed over then rediscovered in Victorian times. The picture is of Christ crucified on a lily. Around the church is a cluster of stone and thatch cottages with their own history, the Old Bell Cottage was once a pub.
The history of Godshill is tied up with Appuldurcombe and the Worsley family. The mansion can be found in the next village of Wroxall, however, a lovely walk to it begins opposite the main car park and takes you through the woods and on to an ornate archway called Freemantle Gate which is the entrance to Appuldurcombe Park. The house itself is now owned by English Heritage and although mainly ruins is still worth a visit.
The village also hosts many tea gardens, one of which was patronised by Princess Beatrice. There is also The Old Smithy with its crafts and herb garden to visit and next to it is the Cider Barn selling Island produce.
In the centre of the village you will find the Model Village showing Godshill in Miniature.
I used to come here as a child in the '70's with my parents and sisters.
The origin of the name Godshill supposedly results from the foundations of the church being moved from the bottom to the top of the hill on three occasions whilst it was being built. This was taken to be a sign from God that the church should be built on the hill, hence the name Godshill. It is now considered one of the prettiest villages on the Island with its thatched cottage and is the home to several tea rooms.
Brook Bay Beach
A sandy beach famous for the remains of a
prehistoric pine forest that can be seen at low tide.
Eagle-eyed bathers should also keep an eye out for
fossils in the surrounding cliffs.
Coming here as a child with my 2 sisters usually a Sunday
when my dad took the day off.Spending the best part of the
day on the beach and exploring.
Distilling alcohol on the Island goes back to the last millennium when ale houses made their own beer. From around 1600 distilleries were built to dish up more than one outlet. An Island businessman, Jermyn Richards, ran one such brewery in Brading & sold beer to the flotilla of ships easily available via the harbour. 200 years later, in the 1800's there were seven breweries which incorporated Shanklin Brewery, Eagle Brewery of Ryde, Sprakes brewery of Chale Green & Castle Brewery Sandown. One of the largest was started by the Mew family in Newport, centrally positioned to serve most of the Island. Later, Mew-Langtons became famed for their canned drinks.
Fondest memory: Towards the end of the 19th century, the neighbourhood brewery Mew-Langtons created a radical way of keeping beer - they invented screw-top cans instead of the more usual bottles. The Mew-Langton brewery placed in Newport, was in an perfect place to serve the military being near Portsmouth. To allow beer to stay brand new it required to be stored under pressure with a layer of carbon dioxide. Glass bottles were often too easily broken. Beer intended for India in particular would often arrive flat. So the newly invented India Pale Ale in cans was sent instead. At one time this was an export beer but has since had dates of status - IPA was a well-liked beer in the 1970's but became less chic when 'real ale' made 'gassy beers' less pleasing!
Many visitors to the IOW return year after year as it is such a pleasant and pretty island. The weather is usually very good even if it is not on the mainland. I felt very relaxed and "chilled out" when we stayed there and it is so easy to get around the island by car or public transport. There are numerous tourist attractions and also off the beaten track beauty spots to visit. We would love to return at some stage in the future.
Fondest memory: I think my best memory of the island was our visit to Shanklyn by train from where we were based in Ryde. It is only a short journey and then we just wandered around the village and walked through the Chine down to the beach and sea.
Favorite thing: Alum Bay is famous for its colored sandy cliffs. I wasn't too impressed by the beach. Well, I live in southern California so I must be biased. The spot is only a short walk away from the Needles, so visitors to the Needles usually see both.
Favorite thing: My hike across Tennyson Down ended in Freshwater Bay. The photo was taken in the Freshwater Bay bus stop where I waited for the bus to take me around the island and back to Cowes. As shown in photo, white cliffs can be seen in Freshwater Bay, Tennyson Down, and many areas in southeast England, not too different from Dover.
The beautiful and historic town of Newport is situated in the center of the Island and is its principal town, center of commerce and most popular shopping center.
You can stroll pleasant old quays (dating from its days as an inland port). Newport has 2 elegant squares and many fine Georgian and Victorian houses.
On the picture - the impressive colonnaded Guildhall; it was designed by famous architect John Nash and built in 1816.
The clock tower was added in 1887 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.
To experience more Newport history, I would recommend to visit Roman Villa (3rd century AD).
Quar Abbey is a monastery, the home of Benedictine monks. The abbey was founded in 1132, but now little remains of the old premises. In 1907 a new abbey was founded just west of the ruins.
The imposing abbey church was completed in 1912 by the French monk-architect Dom Paul Bellot and is the most important building in the monastery.
Fondest memory: The church is dedicated to Our Lady of Quarr and has been inspiration to artists , students of architecture and ordinary visitors alike.
Godshill Church, standing on its ancient hill, with the huddle of thatched cottages nestling at its foot, is one of the loveliest of English village scenes, and therefore one of the most visited, photographed and painted by people from all over the world.
The present church, the 4th on the site, dates from the early 14th century.
Church is popularly known as “The Church of the Lily Cross” because of the unique mural on the East wall of the South transept. It shows a large figure of Our Lord crucified on a triple-branched flowering lily, the Lily Cross, symbolic of his purity and sinlessness. Mural is dated about 1450.
Fondest memory: Legend has it that when Christian missionaries had won converts to the place, they began to build a church on a level about a mile to the south of the present village. On 3 successive occasions at night, the stones were removed to the site of the present church.
The builders restarted building the following morning on the site they had chosen, but after the 3rd time they recognized that this miraculous removing of the stones indicated that the present site was the one God intended for His church, so they built it. Hence Godshill, the hill God chose for His church.
Landscaped indoor gardens with exotic free flying exotic colorful butterflies.
Beautiful Tropical Gardens, lovely Italian Garden; amazing Koi Carp pond.
Fondest memory: At Medina Garden Centre on the Newport to Wootton road via Staple.
One of the newest attractions is the Dinosaur Museum on Sandown front, a couple of minutes walk from the Tiger and Big Cat Sanctuary (known affectionately as Sandown Zoo). The Museum opened in August 2001 and contains many fine exhibits. You can see here the Island's largest and most spectacular dinosaur skeleton - excavated in 1992. Visitors can talk to experts working on the conservation of local dinosaur bones buried for 120 million years. They say that you can bring your own fossils for identification.
Fondest memory: Adults £2.30, child £1.30
On the Military Road [A3055] S.E. of Brighstone.
Came here with my daughter, my brother in-law and the 2 boys.
You can see Freshwater Bay in the distance.
Nowadays it seems to always have tourist coaches
and altough the thatch cottages are nicely kept,
every other shop seems to be a gift or souvenir shop.
Discover the Isle of Wight!
You can take a little train, go hiking, rent a car or a bicycle and enjoy the various places on the island!
We have just returned from a most excellent stay in this hotel, excellent in ALL respects. The...more
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High street, Wootton Bridge, Ryde, United Kingdom
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