As I write this, the Isle of Wight is at the start of a 10 day heatwave. Such occurrences and sparkling seas look glorious in photos but do somewhat get in the way of doing anything too energetic - particularly if you have young children.
Here are my five suggestions of days out in hot weather on the Isle of Wight which won't have you wilting.
1. Appley Beach
It's tempting to rush straight to the beach on a hot day. From a distance, everyone seems to be having a great time and the water feels genuinely refreshing rather than bracing.
However, most Isle of Wight beaches are completely lacking in shade. You can bring along your own parasol which you've borrowed from your patio dining table but it will probably fall over or take off and fly into the sea.
The best Isle of Wight beach we've found for a very hot day is Appley in Ryde. It's not usually in my Top 5 Isle of Wight beaches as it's a bit busy and developed rather than rustic and natural (my preference).
However, there are great big trees which provide very welcome shade. The car park is only a few metres from the beach and there are shops selling ice creams. Last time I went there was even a public water fountain for refilling bottles. I'd not seen one of those since primary school.
Getting to the water at low tide takes a long time at Appley. The sand goes out towards the end of the pier but there are some nice shallow pools of water on the way which you can paddle around in.
An alternative beach with shade is Priory Bay, which is backed by trees. However, it's a right old effort to get to it. On a hot day, you'll be swearing like Malcolm Tucker by the time you reach the beach.
We've also found some shade in the woodland at Woodside Bay. Again, it's not easy to access. You'll end up parking on the road and walking down a footpath for some distance. The beach is less sandy than it looks in this picture and the water is very rocky, but it's very quiet as a result.
Meanwhile, Shanklin doesn't have any natural shade but there are deckchairs and parasols for hire which should do the trick.
My personal preference is to visit the Isle of Wight's beaches in the late afternoon or early evening during a heatwave.
The temperature has cooled a little and most people have gone home. If it's low tide then the little pools of water in the sand feel like walking into a bath. I realise that 5pm isn't a great time to take children out to the beach.
The air conditioning at Brading Roman Villa isn't really there for the benefit of sweaty visitors like you and I. It's actually there to preserve the Villa, which I'm assuming would combust if it crept above 20 degrees.
Regardless, you can wander the villa around on a hot day without your legs sticking together. Make sure you spend a reeeally long time reading all the information boards so you get plenty of time in the cool environment.
3. Waterside Pool, Ryde
Suggestion number three takes us back to Ryde, which has a swimming pool with a retractable roof. On sunny days they slide it open, so you can enjoy an outdoor swimming pool with indoor changing rooms.
4. Shady Woodland
We've found that a woodland walk is a pretty good all-weather activity. If it's pouring with rain, you get a bit of shelter and if it's blazing hot then you get a bit of shade.
At the risk of sounding like a tree hugger, I'm going to suggest that a woodland full of native deciduous trees will provide better shade than a forest full of coniferous trees (i.e. Christmas tree types).
Your options include:
Please comment below if you can offer further insight. Perhaps we can determine which Isle of Wight woodland is the most shady.
Alright, alright, spending two hours in a dark room may not be making the most of summer on the Isle of Wight.
However, if you've spent a summer living with hayfever then a cool dark room and a huge cup of cold Fanta may be just what you need. I get it, brother.
Isle of Wight Guru's Blog