I always feel a great pressure to show off the Isle of Wight in its best light when we are with visiting friends and relatives. My aim is to persuade them that the Isle of Wight is a top notch holiday resort, so the itinerary has got to be perfect.
The ideal tour works like a visit from the International Olympic Committee where all the traffic lights are programmed to turn green. We visit beaches at low tide, chase the sunshine around the Island and casually take short detours along more scenic roads whilst avoiding traffic.
You can imagine my distress when I took some visiting family to Appley beach and found howling winds which blew your hats off. The wind slammed the car doors shut and we told the children to wait in the car whilst we came up with a plan. I feared they would be blown into the sea if they stood outside for too long.
Worse still, the road to the main car park was closed.
I knew there had been problems along the seafront but it was a lot more problematic than I expected. We could have walked along but that didn't appeal with five children in tow.
And so, I suggested we headed to Puckpool Park. I had a feeling you could cut through to the beach but we could always play on the playground if not.
To my delight, I discovered that the walk through from Puckpool to Appley is an absolute breeze and it brings you out at the nicer end of the beach (in my opinion). Apologies to the rest of the world who have known this for years.
When we visited, it was much more sheltered than the other end of the beach and there was a choice of shade or sunshine.
I also prefer the Puckpool Park playground to the seafront playground. They're both good, but there are no swings on the seafront which didn't go down with child one.
It's best to park at the second car park in the grounds of Puckpool and then you'll emerge by The Dell Cafe.
If you're more determined and thrifty then you might be able to park for free just outside of Puckpool Park. It's a five minute walk from there to the beach, rather than 50 metres, but it'll save you a few pounds.
Isle of Wight Guru's Blog