In hindsight, the Isle of Wight was never going to be the warmest choice of holiday destinations, but as there were plenty of sights to be seen and excellent food to be eaten on the island, it seemed a fair choice for this year.
Isle of Wight bound
So we travelled across the Solent under heavy skies, on the Wight Ferry from Lymington, a picturesque village on the edge of the New Forest ...
By the time we arrived at our sea front cottage and unpacked, those mean ol' rain clouds had blown inland and we were lured into a false sense of relaxed holiday mode, as warm sunshine welcomed us to Yarmouth.
However, our first day trip to Osborne House, seaside home of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, was wet by anyone's standards ... the lovely sunshine completely deserted us, bullied out of the way by fierce rain!
A visit to Carisbrooke castle faired a little better as we climbed the ancient ramparts and Stuart proved that boys will always be boys. I can't say it was dry exactly, but at least there were glimpses of friendly sunshine between rain showers!
It didn't take long for storm clouds to sweep back across the Solent, in perfect time to give us a soaking at The Needles in Alum Bay.
(I confess I am a complete wuss when it comes to heights, so opted for a steep climb up the cliff at Alum Bay, rather than torment my vertigo with a ride on the chair lift!)
Just as we had given up all hope of having any bona fide summery weather on our holiday before it ended (and let's face facts, being able to see your own breath in July is not good!) our luck changed and I can safely say, our promenade along Yarmouth Pier in warm sunshine, was worth every penny of the thirty pence entrance toll!
At Shanklin Beach - between showers!
As with all UK destinations, holidaying on the Isle of Wight requires a large suitcase containing clothes for all seasons because in the course of a week, you may well experience all four of them! Much as I love England, we've certainly had more than our fair share of rainy holidays here over the years, so hopefully next year, we'll be packing beachwear instead of jumpers, leaving our cagoules in the cupboard and flying away to bask in guaranteed sunshine!