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A day at Quarr Abbey

Quarr Abbey

A day at Quarr Abbey

Blessed with rolling countryside hills and stunning sea views, something else the Isle of Wight boasts is an abundance of historical sites. One of the most prominent and charming being Quarr Abbey, a stunning monastery based not far from the seaside town of Ryde.

One of our favourite ways to spend a day is in the beautiful grounds of Quarr Abbey, enjoying the gardens, cafe and of course the beautiful architecture of the Abbey itself. From the moment you arrive, it’s like stepping into a protected area of peace and tranquility.


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We couldn’t make a trip to Quarr Abbey without taking a treat for the pigs. In the Spring/Summer there are more mouths to feed, as this is when the piglets can usually be spotted rolling around in the mud and greeting visitors who bring them fruit and veg. It’s hard to resist those little pink tails and sniffing snouts! We’re fully convinced we could fit a little pig in a handbag to take home; but they soon grow to be magnificently large and just think of the muddy trotter prints on the sofa…

After we’ve dragged ourselves away from those adorable piglets we enjoy a leisurely walk, enjoying scents of flowers and herbs growing in the gardens. Quarr Abbey have their own bee hives for making the sweetest honey, they also create a range of jams and chutneys, as well as working with a local brewery to produce award winning Quarr Abbey Ale using sweet gale and coriander grown and nurtured in the grounds by their gardeners. All of their products can be purchased from the farm shop. If like us, you want to enjoy the produce during your visit, they have a teashop where you can sit back, relax, take a sip on their own special blend coffee, and enjoy a soup, sandwich, or sweet treat, all used making the most of the organically grown produce from within their gardens.

Once we’ve filled ourselves up on the teashop’s spenders, another stroll is required to walk off their homemade cakes. Walking down the country lane to suddenly reveal coastal views and the Old Abbey ruins feels like a secret adventure. Looking out across a field of white fluffy sheep to the ruins, with the backdrop of the Solent, it really is a treasured experience and even though the ruins are a historical display, this walk never seems to get old.

The real highlight of our visit is of course viewing the Abbey Church. The Abbey was built in the early twentieth century; architect Dom Paul Bellot pronounced the Abbey to be his finest piece of work after having built many more churches and monastairies in Europe and North America. More information about the build can be found on the Quarr Abbey’s website or during a visit to the Abbey. We have to agree the Abbey is a stunning and impressive sight. Guided tours are available throughout the summer months, every Wednesday at 11am. Or you can enjoy a quiet and more reflective viewing at other times. The sunlight might be beaming and birds chirping outside, but upon entering the Abbey Church, light, air and sounds around you immediately shift to a softer and more peaceful atmosphere.

A few hours at Quarr Abbey are a few hours well spent. Visitors are welcome to attend worship in the Abbey Church and religious articles such as books and souvenirs can be found in the Monastery Shop. Exhibits with work from local artists are on display every week in the gallery. There’s plenty of heritage and culture to soak up on a visit to Quarr Abbey and they are family friendly.


If you’d like to find out more about opening times, information for your upcoming visit or the history of Quarr Abbey, you can visit their website here.

Guided Tours – every Wednesday throughout August. Meet at 11am outside in the courtyard next to the monastery shop.
Translating The Silence – A poetry reading with Maggie Sawkins and Blake Everitt, 22nd August at 5:30pm
For more information about Quarr Abbey click here
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