Easter 2012 - our first holiday with members of Sandwell U3A.

We began our Easter break with 25 members keen to get on the road at the start of our trip to the Bayshore Hotel in Sandown on the Isle of Wight. The weather looked promising for Easter and we all set off in high spirits with a view to having a really good time.

We arrived at the hotel in time for dinner and after sorting out rooms and luggage it was nice to sit down for a drink in the bar and relax for the remainder of the evening.

Saturday morning saw us on a half-day trip to Newport, the largest town on the island, and a spot of bargain hunting for one or two of our group. We then went onto Godshill, a quaint little village where some of our group indulged in some handmade chocolates whilst others visited the Cider Shop. No names mentioned, but several plastic bags full of goodies were brought onto the coach! One or two also decided to have a cream tea - very nice and very filling.

A little walk around Sandown and along the pier before dinner [and a rain shower] gave us an appetite, and certainly gave us renewed energy for a spot of dancing after dinner. Quite a few surprises on the dance floor, all caught on camera - so no blushing when you see yourself in high spirits!

On Easter Sunday quite a number of our group decided to walk along the promenade to Shanklin. It was a pleasant morning and quite nice to have some exercise after breakfast. Some of the group then walked back along the prom, and at least two of us walked back along the cliff path. However, some of those amongst us decided to partake in a little light refreshment before going back on the local bus, with others taking the bus before having jacket potatoes in a local cafe. The afternoon saw us on a trip to Cowes where we read a little about the port and its' sailing history, and where we spotted the cannons used for starting yacht races. Question for you - do you know approximately how many yachts sail during the annual Cowes Week events? [answer at the end of this note]. Once again some of the group visited little cafes for refreshments whilst others just wandered around the town.

On the way to Cowes one or two eagle eyed members spotted a group of post boxes in a field, and as we had learned all about the history of post boxes at our last meeting everyone was eager to go back the same way to take photographs. Unfortunately our driver took us back to Sandown a different way so we had to make do with spotting the odd post box on the side of the road. Well done to Brian though, he was the only one of us who managed to take a photograph of the post boxes.

There was also a very interesting discussion on the coach about the early morning start the next day, when several people [you know who you are] decided to talk about their night attire! It's amazing what you learn about people. Also one of our group seemed to know everyone's room number - especially those on the second floor of the hotel. I will say no more..............

After dinner on Sunday evening, drinks in the bar for some and a spot of dancing for others. A little slip by one of our ladies on the dance floor, which I am sure was due to the slippery floor and nothing else! However, we did have two very lucky ladies - Marie and Mary both won prizes playing bingo, not enough to change their lives though, but a very nice end to the holiday.

Our journey home on Monday started very early accompanied by rain. It was a long journey home but we arrived safely in time for tea after a couple of stops en route.

The holiday to Sandown was very enjoyable and it gave us a brilliant opportunity to get to know each other better, make new friends and have a laugh. We took quite a number of photographs to remind us of our holiday and we hope to do something similar again in the future.

If anyone reading this would like to know more about our holiday then please email us via the Contact page.

Answer to the yacht race question - over 1,000 boats

Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.