Hello sailor! London day trip to Cowes

By Hannah Silverman

Ok, so I realise this isn’t technically a ‘London Thing’, but it’s just too fabulous not to mention.

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Our dashing skipper. There were some boats around somewhere.

Yesterday I was treated to a day out on the Isle of Wight with a fabulous Australian wine company. To get there, I trained it to Southampton from Waterloo (about an hour journery) then jumped aboard a high speed rib to coast along to Cowes, as you do. Also, I had an absolutely amazing time, which in my experience is very important.

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Mr friend Emma and I in transit.

Cowes is a hot spot for sailors, especially during Cowes Week when it’s boats galore gliding across the ocean. It’s such a spectacular sight and beautiful in all its tranquillity. I’ve always had an affinity to water so being in the middle of the ocean with the wind in my face and the salty sea smells perfuming my every breath, I was able to do that rare thing people go to India for, completely zone out. Here in North Atlantic, I briefly found my zen.

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Welcome to Cowes!

After a gorgeous BBQ lunch I wandered around the Cowes high street, which is delightfully inhabited by quirky sailing shops and hideaway pubs of the old English variety. Although my time on this occasion was lean, there’s much to explore in these surrounds.

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During Cowes Week there is market along the marina. Don’t forget to explore the High Street, too.

Back on the rib we passed several holidaymakers back flipping off boats or lounging about on their yachts – basically just hanging out like you see the A-Listers doing in the mags. There’s a sense of affluence around the sport of sailing and indeed the Isle of Wight so it’s little wonder the stars are regularly sighted around town. Highlights on this tour include Queen Victoria’s holiday home, Osborne House, east of Cowes, which is now owned by English Heritage. I’d definitely love to swan around there another time.

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Victorian dolls houses, or someone’s holiday ‘shack’?

And then of course there was a savvy ice cream boat, beating Mr Whippy at his own game. There we were cruising around the coastline and then suddenly, despite the activity around us, we spotted The Most Important Boat in the ocean.

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Well played icecream man, well played.

There’s definitely something about the ocean that has magical soothing abilities. This visit felt like a holiday, but within an hour I was home. How fabulous to have such an adventure on your door step. Of course, I know where I’m headed for a Summer break next year, if not before.

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The Oman, which Dame Ellen MacArthur sailed around the world breaking the world record for solo circumnavigation of the globe.
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