Are any islanders lurking in this bit??

(22 Posts)
iowwannabe Sun 07-Aug-16 22:26:29

Ate there any islanders still lurking within this section. Seriously considering a move there and need some proper advice...

(Shouts into the chine...helllloooooo????)

MrBadCrumble Mon 08-Aug-16 01:32:05

Helloooo. ooo. oo. o.

How can we help?

iowwannabe Mon 08-Aug-16 06:04:37

Ohhh hooray!

We're seriously considering moving to Ryde. We've holidayed in Ventnor for the last nine years but always spend time in Ryde/Appley/Seaview and thought perhaps Oakfield/Elmfield area might be best? Is this a ropey area in terms of living?

Secondly schools. I know that theres been a huge shake up of schools over recent years and so on paper they dont look great, are there any that really are to avoid? And should I worry about the dire results of Ryde Academy? (Ive seen that lady from Educating Cardiff is now in there and she seems good). My kids are almost 5 and 8 so secondary is a way off but if we're moving I'd like to know more.

My husband would need to work on the mainland mon-thurs but come home for weekends to even make it feasible. Im used to parenting alone but Ive seen so many posts from people saying they still dont know anyone or are lonely, so am I likely to feel isolated? Is there an islanders only mentality that I should brace myself for?

We're visiting in October again with a view to looking at schools/clubs and really roadtest life rather than a holiday but can you possibly help with these initial worries? Thankyou for answering my echoey calls...

surfbetty Mon 08-Aug-16 20:28:32

Hi 😊
The island is a great place to live! However I would avoid oakfield as an area...sorry if there's anyone on here that offends but if you can afford elsewhere then if really would.
Cowes is great for mainland commuting via red jet and also has the added bonus of the car ferry nearby in East cowes should bad weather mean the red jet service is off. Fast cat in Ryde being off means a journey to Fishbourne for nearest car ferry.
There can be a bit of islander mentality but I've always found cowes to be a bit more open minded to newcomers as there are so many mainlanders living there anyway.
I'm open to all questions 😁

MrBadCrumble Mon 08-Aug-16 20:28:58

I have no idea about Oakfield / Elmfield, I'm afraid. I'm on the other side of the island.

The shake up changed the system quite a lot, and it took the locals a little while to adjust to it, but the teachers I know are much more optimistic now, and results are improving. Our little ones are a few years away from secondary school as well, but I know people who have children who went into year 7 last year and are now saying all the stress and worry beforehand was a complete waste of time.

We've been here 5 years, and I definitely feel we've been accepted by the locals, and have made some really good friends. In my experience, the "Islanders only" thing is massively overstated. Maybe I've been lucky.

It really is a beautiful place to bring up children. I haven't regretted moving here for one moment.

The ferry prices are the only major negative, and you do have to account for that, really.

iowwannabe Mon 08-Aug-16 22:03:57

The ferry is a major issue as Dh would have to work on the mainland and get the car ferry back each weekend as he'd need he couldnt use the train etc as he's everywhere unpredicatably a lot.

Whilst Im not worried about being without him Im accutely aware i'd be physically isolated without friends/family there.

How much does the island close over winter? Im hopefully coming in October anyway but for instance where would we see Santa? Or fireworks? Does is get icy and trecherous or retains its little microclimate? These may be ridiculous questions but I'd like to know that off peak times can still offer the children some magic.

iowwannabe Mon 08-Aug-16 22:07:04

We considered Ryde as we probably want to be closer to shops/clubs/amenities to give the children a more varied lifestyle. I drive but where we live, we drive to everything and I'd prefer to localise our living a bit. We have to drive to school, 15 miles to swimming or gym club etc and so I'd like to be somewhere where we can nip to the beach after school if we wanted to.

MrBadCrumble Mon 08-Aug-16 22:43:27

Santa gets the steam railway at Havenstreet each year, and usually visits the Needles, too, and most places in between. There are fireworks in November and duck races in March and electric woods in February.

There is... well, again, this is my experience... a definite recognition of you as being a local if you are here in winter, and there is a lot of winter magic. Our first winter was when we really started to be welcomed in, to be honest. It doesn't get icy, much. You can often see bad weather on the mainland that just isn't happening here.

We live in one of the more remote areas, and I felt a lot more isolated living in London for a few years.

And we can nip to the beach after dinner, let alone after school grin

iowwannabe Tue 09-Aug-16 14:04:36

Are there any schools that you would actively avoid? We moved to the midlands years ago relocating and in hindsight we plonked ourselves in a bit of a dodgy area not knowing any different and we havent really built a life here. Ive not visited the pubs/restaurants etc despite having been here for five years. DH still knows no-one and my social life has developed around the children so Im hopeful of being able to build a good life and start again but I imagine it would hinge around the children and their school/clubs again.

We stay in Ventnor a lot but we thought Ryde may be a better option for us as its a bit more populated etc. Im familiar with Bembridge, Ventnor, Shanklin/Sandown and Ryde the most. Should I consider one if those as a better option? Im not really familiar with Cowes, I have been but it's more "boaty" than I like grin

Haveanapplethen Tue 09-Aug-16 18:53:56

I live In Ryde, I am actually an Islander left In my 20's and returned in my 30s with Scottish Dh and dd1 aged 18months. We stupidly didn't consider schools however she has done extremely well at the local primary Greenmount. She will be going into year 9 at the Free school in Ventnor. I highly recomend this school, she gets the bus at 0705 returns 1730 -sometimes I give her a lift but she loves the bus ! I have nothing negative to say about that school. Dd2 will join her there in September. It is however becoming over subscribed. I did look at Ryde Academy and was quite impressed with the new head- she is here to stay and has bought a property. There is currently a new school being built. I thought it might be a bit disruptive to send dd2 there but once it's finished I think the school will improve.

My Dh and I both commute to work although Im part time. We keep a car in the hovercraft carpark. Ferries very rarely don't run -the hover stops first, then Cat. We buy multi link passes to both.

Schools change so I can't really say which ones to avoid for example our own primary Greenmout needed improvement. It's just had ofsted and is now good. Year 6 did very well in their recent sats -well above national average.

Sorry I'm waffling let me know if there is anything else I can help with.

iowwannabe Wed 10-Aug-16 08:29:26

Oh wow that helps a lot actually thankyou. Ryde is where we'd much prefer to be, if Oakfield/Elmfield are buts to avoid, which areas should I look for?

With multilink passes, I was trying to fet my head abound this as Dh is adament he'd need to be on the car ferry in order to have his car to hand on the mainland. In an ideal world he'd leave it portsmouth side thurs-mon but I cant find any stay carpark details that we could do that.

witsender Wed 10-Aug-16 12:24:10

Hi! We are over Cowes way, but go to ryde for various home ed groups, there is a lot going on over that way,and fabulous beaches! I used to commute, mainly to Soton but to London as well, I used the red jet so was super easy. Whereabouts will he be working?

iowwannabe Wed 10-Aug-16 14:46:14

He works in eaat mids/hertfordshire so will need to be away thats for certain. The things holding us back:

Schools. our local school is pretty small classes of 24, and really good for my eldest daughter who is academically able but very self conscious and anxious at times. School needs to be a good fit for her.

Dh being away. That doesnt bother me so much but here he can TRY to get back etc for things if we move I know thats not an option, but we'd have longer weekends together.

Ferry costs. Completely unavoidable but a lot easier if dh was a foot passenger with a season ticket but he's adament he needs to be on the car ferry.

Haveanapplethen Wed 10-Aug-16 16:49:50

Places to avoid not built yet but it is bound to happen.

Elmfield is ok IMO. I agree to avoid Elmfield.

Schools -st Mary's -catholic which feeds to Christ the King, and Nettlestone might suit your anxious Dd as its small.

I live in Haylands half hour walk to Appley beach 10 mins to town.

Re commute -might depend what time he gets to Portsmouth. It's £1000 for a carpark permit. Last hover is 2100 or 2200 in the summer.

I'm away for a bit, feel free to pm me if I can help with anything else.

Haveanapplethen Wed 10-Aug-16 16:50:17

Gah avoid Oakfield

iowwannabe Wed 10-Aug-16 22:06:27

Im on my phone so I cant see if i can PM but can you talk me through the ferry/hovercraft a bit more?

Ideally if he could use hovercraft:
Dh would want to leave his car in portsmouth at around 9pm on a thursday, hovercraft to ryde, return back to portsmouth 6am monday. Is there a carpark in portsmouth that enables that as an option? Then i assume we need a multilink pass for hover and a carpark pass?

Ferry: i assume if he opted for car ferry he'd need to buy a pre-pay card and just book fares as he needs them as season tickets come up as being for foot passengers only.

The more Ive messaged, the more tempted I am to just do it. We are likely to get a mortgage in dec so now we have the debate, do we just come asap, rent and road test it all. Or wait til after xmas and buy but risk buying in an area we're unsure of.

We're in rural midlands and as I drive around Im trying so so hard to find positive things about being here but unless you start throwing money at cinema, bowling, shopping there really is not much more than a brisk walk.

You've all helped me so so much with great advice but can I be a bit cheeky and ask what does your life look like? Do your kids do clubs? Are they bored? Does it require money to keep them entertained? Am i likely to visit the beach, woods, parks etc or will life just get in the way!

MrBadCrumble Thu 11-Aug-16 00:15:18

Do your kids do clubs?

Yes. Specific ones they are interested in.

"Are they bored?"

Kids get bored sometimes. I take them to the beach to rockpool or watch for pirates when they are.

"Does it require money to keep them entertained?"

Not necessarily, but I've learned Robin Hill (outdoor, current attraction; biggest bouncy castle in the world) and Tapnell Farm (indoor, current attraction; awesomeness plus wallabies) annual passes are good investments.

"Am i likely to visit the beach,"




"parks etc "


"or will life just get in the way!"

It could. It could get in the way anywhere. There are many opportunities for it not to get in the way here.

PebbleDweller Thu 11-Aug-16 10:03:31

Hi Wannabe

[I'm going to assume you are not a journalist writing a story about the OFSTED 'ghetto' comment. If you are, please don't quote people without their permission... smile ]

Island is lovely for primary age. My kids are not at secondary age yet but we are already thinking of either private (Ryde has the best private school on the island), possibly sending them to the mainland when they're older (Brockenhurst - commutable from Yarmouth - is popular with some island children for sixth form), or if all else fails moving back. We would much rather stay here though!

For mainland commuting you need to be Ryde or Cowes (or very nearby, St Helen's/Gurnard etc). It is possible to get an annual carparking ticket in Southampton so you could leave a car there and come over a couple of times a week. Lots of people (DHs in particular) do something similar - quite a few mums on their own during the week. you would want a car here too though - 2 cheaper cars much better than one smart one (rural roads for starters!). Bringing cars over regulalry will add up - the ferry costs have risen a huge amount since we moved here 8 years ago.

I cannot remember the last time we had nothing to do. Summer is insanely busy - we're in Cowes so kids have been doing loads of interactive stuff, tonight there's the Red Arrows, huge fireworks display tonight. Earlier this week we went to see a Beatrix Potter theatre adaptation at Ventnor Botanical Gardens. Lots of my friends took their kids to the historical re-enactment at Carisbrooke Castle.

We have annual tickets to lots of things like Robin Hill and Tapnell Farm and struggle to find enough free weekends to use them - during the summer we are on the beach, the rest of the time we are out on bikes or scooters or in the park. Soon the kids will be old enough to add in sailing or Sea Scouts or similar and we'll have even more stuff to fit in. There are numerous dance and theatre companies teaching kids, most island kids I know learn to swim.

During the winter we go to see Santa on the Steam Railway, go to Tapnell Farm's indoor play barns, Victorian Christmas at Osbourne House, lots of fireworks displays on November 5 etc. It is a bit more of a struggle to fill than long lazy beach days, but make sure you have some decent wellies and waterproofs and there is still lots to do. We also use the winter months to go and see friends, trips to London for hte museums etc. Then in summer they all want to come down here and see us but really the beach!

Main thing really is to get involved with the community. it's a very small world down here so can be very friendly.

PebbleDweller Thu 11-Aug-16 10:12:30

Other stuff I know friends kids do.. karate, tai kwon do, ballet, street dance, lego club, rainbows, football, rugby, tots tennis, trampolining/gymnastics. A bit older and mountain bike/cyclocross, cricket etc kicks in. Anecodotally most clubs/toddler groups etc seem quite affordable compared to london/Home counties franchises. Horse riding is probably the exception.

Tinklewinkle Thu 11-Aug-16 10:15:38

I live in Cowes and don't know much about Ryde so can't help with schools or areas to live, other than I've heard to avoid Oakfield

But the rest of it -

do they do clubs. Yes, specific to their interests. One goes horse riding, the other (teen) does nothing now, but she used to go to Scouts, sailing at IYWAC & UKSA

do they get bored. Yes. My teen especially. There really isn't a whole lot here for them as they get older. It was great when they were young and we'd shove the crabbing nets in the car and go off for a couple of hours, but as they've got older it's got harder

does it require money to keep them entertained. Not really, although it helps. The first year we moved here we did a lot of the attractions and haven't really been back since (although even my teen insists on a yearly visit to Blackgang Chine). Depends on what they're interested in. Sailing/watersports can get expensive if they get into that

Am I likely to visit the beach, parks, woods, etc, or will life get in the way?

Yes, we do all the above, but yes, life gets in the way. We still go to work, the kids have to go to school, or mow the lawn, go to the supermarket. Same as anywhere really

Haveanapplethen Thu 11-Aug-16 10:22:17

I'm away but found wifi!

So this is my life.

We have two girls aged 11 and 13. They've both gone through swimming lessons but neither wanted to move onto Squad swimming so stopped this year. Dd1 is musical and has just started Platform 1 Saturday rock school. Dd2 has had drama lessons but now wants to stop, she goes to guides.

They have a good social life just hanging out with friends -arranging to meet in town, sleepovers that sort of thing.
As a family we have a dog so often walk to Quarr abbey or down to the beach or in the woods or on the downs. (Dc's would rather stay in their rooms! )
I have a lovely group of friends I've met through the school and work. I've also got family here.

The quickest way to get here is the hover, (8 mins) I buy 40 singles at a time. if its not running you can claim compensation -ie they give you a free ticket for the inconvenience. There is a hover bus that runs from the hover to the hard which is where the train station is and where the catamaran leaves. If the hover is not running this bus is free. I buy blocks of 10 single tickets which is cheaper than having to buy a single when the hover isn't running or I've missed the last one.

In very adverse weather the cats don't run, same company 'wightlink' owns the ferry and therefore cat tickets work for the car ferry too. The ferry runs a bus service back to Ryde from Fishbourne if the cats have been suspended. (It doesn't happen as often as people think!)

Our car is in the hover carpark, this has the benefit of quick family days out for all of us. £1000 ish a year. It's full of island commuters.

If your Dh bought his car over every time the more multi link single tickets he bought the cheaper it is -however there are restrictions on how many people with these cheaper tickets they will let on a crossing iyswim. You need to book in advance and be on that crossing not always doable when unforseen circumstances arrive eg bad traffic. August is very busy.

Have you seen any houses you like the look of? Nosey. Will you keep a 2nd car this side? I'm happy to meet when you visit if you like?

iowwannabe Thu 11-Aug-16 12:44:24

Properly laughed at "am I a journo" far from it. I posted under "travel" initally and got no responses but you can check out my normal username there if you want to check my credentials. grin

Thankyou everyone for posting their lifestyles, that helps more than anything I think. Ive not seen any houses because we're unsure whether to rent or buy. I just hover on rightmove looking at anything in ryde ideally with an annex and parking! No way can I parallel park on a busy road!

My girls currently do brownies (one starting rainbows), swimming, dance, and gymnastics. When we come to the Island we take them to Allendale Equestrian to ride but thats only ever a treat. It's possible that living there they may prefer to ride or DD1 would kill to learn iceskating. In my head I picture our weeks filled with school/clubs and weekends doing fun stuff with Daddy. Im accutely aware of the "theres nothing to do here for teens so they get into drugs" rumours, and so I'd prefer to give the kids options of clubs or things they could stick at but Im sure thats wishful thinking.

I think I might need to visit in Oct with a view to looking at some schools but that then means I need to pick an area too. I sent DH a link to this thread as it has had so much fab advice, thank you. Although DH sulked as he assumed it meant I had appreviated DickHead.

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