Today we thought we’d visit Quarr Abbey which we’ve seen signposted near the Fishbourne ferry but never visited. It’s a catholic benedictine monastery which was built at the turn of the twentieth century, next to the site of the ruins of Quarr which date back to 1132. It has a lovely tea garden and tea-shop (which has a tripadvisor 2016 award) where visitors can enjoy a sandwich, coffee and cake while the Quarr chickens roam around your feet pecking at the ground.
From the shop you can ‘rent’ a kids explorer kit for an entirely refundable deposit of £10 containing a pair of binoculars, finger puppet, bug pot and nature cards, before going on the Wildlife walk to spot red squirrels, birds and insects in the numerous bug hotels scattered along the way. Following the walk in a big loop it takes you right up to the old ruins which archaeologists have been studying for the last couple of years.
The full circle takes you back to the Chapel which is open to visitors, the museum and the small art gallery displaying works from local artists. A selection of seasonal produce and plants grown on site are available to purchase.
In the evening we called in our trusty babysitter and took ourselves out in Ventnor. Not having the foresight to book, both Cantina and Tramezzini were fully booked so we ended up at Red Chilli for an eat-in curry, followed by drinks (and live music) at the Crab & Lobster Tap. A good way to spend the penultimate night of our stay.