A July 2005 trip
to Bournemouth by BRAMCOTE
Quote: We own at The Carlton Apartments in Bournemouth. There is so much to see in the area with the New Forest close by and places such as Lymington, Southampton, Weymouth, Lulworth Cove, and Christchurch all within easy reach.
Abbotsbury Swannery is a delight. We have never seen so many swans in one area.
Visit Corfe, with its quaint streets and the castle.
Christchurch is on the doorstep where you can see the cathedral and stroll along the river.
Visit Weymouth for somewhere a little larger, with its lovely sea front and Brewer's Quay.
Lymington has a Saturday Market filling the main street with lots of bargains available. The harbour is a lovely place to sit and watch the world roll by. You can take the Isle of Wight Ferry from here.
Beaulieu Motor Museum, with the Palace House and Beaulieu Abbey, are also in the heart of the New Forest.
Compton Acres, fine privately owned gardens, are just on the outskirts of Bournemouth.
Swanage is another seafront town with a large open-air market one day per week. You can travel from Bournemouth on an open-top bus during the summer, passing through Poole and the Purbeck Hills en route.
The scenery at Lulworth Cove is magnificent. You can walk along the cliff tops and soak in the sea air.
The amenities at the Carlton Hotel are all available to timeshare owners and exchange guests.
Car parking is available immediately outside the apartments, each having its own space. To improve on security, the spaces are now numbered, not given the apartment name, and there is also a security keypad on the outside door prior to reaching the lifts to the suites.
There are both inside and outside pools, so those loving to swim are not deprived if the English weather takes a turn for the worst.
The centre of Bournemouth can be reached within 10 to 15 minutes by strolling down the seafront, or you can take a leisurely stroll in the other direction to Boscombe.
For those without a car, the local bus service is regular and efficient. Some buses pass straight in front of the apartments.
There is someone available in a management capacity to deal with any queries you have during the week, but there is never any direct contact from anyone attempting to sell you more weeks.
The staff at the hotel reception is as helpful to timeshare guests as to those staying in the hotel.
There are so many interesting places in the area that you can spend each day somewhere different if you wish.
Our apartment is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment. The lift brings us directly into our dining room, so it's straight to put the kettle on when returning from a day out. Whilst the kitchen is not large, it does have a dishwasher and microwave, and certainly meets our requirements. The dining room has lovely decor, and there is adequate crockery, whatever the needs.
Each of the bedrooms is very large and has en-suite bathrooms with both bath and shower facilities. It is good that prior to arrival you are asked how you would like the beds made up (two singles or double). It is also possible, due to the size of the suite, to have an extra foldaway bed for a small charge, and a baby's cot can also be provided. Bedding and towels can be changed midweek at a charge.
The Lounge area is very large, with comfortable settees where you can relax, watch the TV or a video, or listen to some music on the radio or CD. By the window is a coffee table and armchairs, and from here there is a view of the lovely garden below and the sea immediately across the road. Sometimes it's hard to drag yourself away.
Timeshare guests have full use of the hotel amenities. There are both the indoor and outdoor pools, exercise equipment, hairdressing, and a lovely restaurant with views out to the garden. The apartments can be accessed from the hotel entrance as well as their own entrance, and it is here that you can collect tourist information and browse the lovely display cabinets that are along the corridor, with clothing and gift wear for sale.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 11, 2005
Carlton Club Apartments
East Overcliff Drive
+44 (1202) 552011
We discovered via the Internet that there were special "Days Out" options at very reasonable costs. We paid £35 for four adults, our car, and a visit to a local attraction. Officially we could not travel before 9.30am but as there was space on the 9am sailing we were able to leave earlier, which meant we were in Yarmouth by 9.30am. Anyone travelling to Lymington for the morning ferry just needs to be aware of the rush hour traffic as people travel to work and give plenty of time to reach Lymington.
We disembarked at Yarmouth where there is a Tourist Information Centre at the dock. Having set out our priorities for the day prior to departing, we set off for our first "port of call" which was Cowes. Crowes has two parts, East and West. West Cowes is the rendevous for sailors everywhere and is the focus of the famous Cowes Week Yachting Event. East Cowes is the site of Osborne House, which was the home of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and is open to visitors to the island. We strolled to view the harbour with its many beautiful yachts, and meandered around the quaint streets. Like most places on the island it is only small but well worth a visit.
From here we took the short trip to Sandown. This is a typical British seaside town with its long promenade, sandy beach, and shops selling rock souvenirs, sun hats and buckets and spades. There is also a Leisure Complex and its pier is lively and noisy with slot machines and a funfair. This would be the place for families with small children to take their holiday. Plenty of cafes were available with "Specials" for lunch, so we took the opportunity to sample Fish & Chips Isle of Wight style. Apparently past well known visitors were Lewis Carroll, John Keats, and Charles Darwin.
The beautiful Village of Godshill was our next priority stop. It is a very busy stop with a large, free car park behind the Old Smithy, but be prepared to queue for a space. The Smithy first opened 50 years ago but has grown into a large shopping Complex, two of the gift shops being housed in the Old Forge. The village has beautifully thatched cottages, and the Church of All Saints can be seen splendidly above the village. It is the ideal spot for photographs for the memory album. Had we had more time we would certainly have spent longer here.
Our ticket included a visit to Appledurcombe Manor and Falconry Centre. We arrived just in time to catch the last "performance" of the birds of prey. This was interesting, but we had seen other more extensive displays. We then strolled to view the ruins of the manor, which is now managed by English Heritage. It is the shell of an 18th-century stately home which began in 1100 as a Priory and was greatly extended in the 1770's by Sir Richard Worsley. Having been badly damaged in World War II it is now mainly a shell, but the front section has been re-roofed and glazed.
Shanklin was our next stop. This is a much quainter and quieter area than Sandown. Like Godshill it has pretty thatched cottages, many offering pleasant tea gardens. We were fortunate enough to arrive late afternoon with the sun still shining and were able to have our afternoon "cuppa" sat in the open air. There is a theatre in the town where many celebrated performers started their careers. It is a good base for walkers as it has coastal paths leading to Sandown, with which it shares the longest bay on the island, and other areas.
It was now late afternoon and places were beginning to close, so we decided to attempt seeing one more place before making our way back to the ferry for the "homeward" trip. We chose to take the coastal road to Ventnor, knowing that we could stroll along the seafront if shops were closed. As we arrived, and took the hilly road to the seafront, it appeared that the houses were built on rocky ledges and the town was clearly far more hilly than anywhere else we had visited on the island. We arrived too late for exploring the town, but enjoyed a seafront stroll before taking the hairpin bends that led us out of Ventnor.
As we drove back to Yarmouth for the ferry we passed Freshwater Bay, a semi circular bay cut into the chalk cliffs. This would be a beautiful area to visit with plenty of daylight hours remaining, but with little daylight left we carried on to Yarmouth to join the queue of cars waiting to make the return journey to Lymington.
The day was a great success and well worth the £35 we paid. It also gave us the opportunity to explore some of the island and realise that it would be worth returning for a longer visit in the future.
We disembarked in St. Peter Port, the islands capital, and a busy, thriving harbour town. It was of benefit having stayed in Guernsey twice previously, and therefore we had our list of priorities of the places we wished to return to and also knew which direction to point our car as we left the dock area.
The Timeshare Resort of La Grand Mare in Vazon Bay was one of the places we wished to revisit, having stayed there soon after the resort opened in 1993. Golf had been high on the priority list back then, and was even more so now. Whilst having the beautiful clear blue waters and sandy beach straight across the road, we felt not being golf enthusiasts that this would not be the ideal place for us now, but it was nice to return to the area and rekindle memories.