Situated between Newport and Ventnor on the Isle of Wight, the picturesque village of Godsill is lined with traditional tearooms, thatched cottages and shops with local produce and gifts on offer. This quintessentially British village boasts some of the oldest architecture on the island too including a medieval church located a stones throw from the high street. Godsill is also home to the first ever Isle of Wight Festival which took place at Ford Farm back in 1968.
Recognised as the prettiest village on the Isle of Wight, it’s naturally a popular spot. While this could have been a reason for us not to visit given it was peak season, the charm of Godsill meant we had to see it for ourselves. It was surprisingly easy to find a parking space in Godsill (there’s a large car park at one end of the village) with the walk to the high street just a few minutes.
We arrived in time for an early Sunday lunch so headed to The Essex pub which we’d heard served good food. It was a short-lived experience on this occasion as they could only take cash payments that day. We opted for a quirky looking tea garden by the Model Village instead for ploughmans and sandwiches. Willow Tree Gardens has an enchanting feel about it what with its renaissance garden filled with sculptures, waterfalls and hanging baskets. With the weather on our side, we were able to sit at one of the stone tables outside perching on rather grand stone benches. While Willow Tree Gardens obviously caters for the masses at times, there were an abundance of plastic chairs amid the grandeur, it’s reminiscent of a secret garden in places. We really enjoyed it here, our experience very different to the poor rating Willow Tree Gardens has on Trip Advisor. I’m intrigued to know more about it’s history though, there must be some fascinating stories to tell.
Having filled our bellies and had a look around the shops, we headed towards the All Saints Church (which apparently gave the village its name!). Many weren’t venturing in this direction so we got to enjoy a peaceful wander with barely a soul around. There are some seriously beautiful thatched cottages around here with perfect gardens that had flower pots lining their pathways.
I had an overwhelming desire to venture up the steps of one particular cottage and knock on the door but managed to restrain myself. I’m sure I’m not the first person to photograph their home that’s for sure. Wandering back towards the high street, we stumbled upon several old buildings – a wonderful treat before reaching the car and continuing our journey northward. We loved our second visit to the Isle of Wight, the island is so easy to get to (we went with Red Funnel Ferries) and drive around. Unsurprisingly, we have a list as long as your arm of places we want to see on our next trip there – the Needles and Black Gang Chine are a must for sure.