The Best Things To Do On The Isle Of Wight


Friday 29th September, 2023

The Best Things To Do On The Isle Of Wight

The Isle of Wight is one of our favourite holiday destinations in the UK. This is partly because it’s so beautiful there, but also because there’s simply so much to do in a relatively small area.

The island is just 27 miles long and 13 miles wide; however, this means it has almost 60 miles of stunning coastline and a choice of lovely beaches. Inland, there are nature reserves, woodlands and some wonderfully picturesque villages. The Isle of Wight also has more than its fair share of visitor attractions.

Sounds good? Here’s a bit more about what to do on the Isle of Wight.

Meet the animals on the Isle of Wight

If you’re an animal lover, you’ve come to the right island. There’s the Donkey Sanctuary in Wroxall valley, where rescue donkeys enjoy 55 acres of lush countryside. You can meet these adorable equines and there’s also a programme of special events.

West Wight Alpacas and Llamas is home to over 100 alpacas and many other animals. The centre is a leading stud for alpacas and llamas (look out for the adorable babies!). You can even book onto a llama or alpaca trek, which makes a real change from walking the dog!

Next up is Monkey Haven in Newport, an award-winning sanctuary that takes care of all sorts of primates. Try to catch feeding time and one of the fascinating keeper talks. Need to feed your own little monkeys? Monkey Haven is super-family-friendly, with a choice of places to eat and some great play areas.

And that’s still not it… There’s also Wildheart Animal Sanctuary in Sandown, which rescues all sorts of animals from lions to lemurs. The sanctuary specialises in providing a safe retirement home for rescued big cats. The setting is also spectacular, inside a Victorian fort that’s right on the coast.

The Isle of Wight with kids

The Isle of Wight is a family friendly destination, with a great choice of attractions for children of all ages.

Tapnell Farm could have come under “Animals”, as you’ll encounter a range of super-cute and friendly creatures in the farm. However, with an aqua park, football golf and archery among the park’s other offerings, it’s far more than a simple petting zoo. Come for the meerkats, stay for the axe throwing.

Blackgang Chine is one of the island’s most popular family attractions, and the UK’s oldest theme park. There are rides, attractions and a full events programme; and if you’re on holiday in the Isle of Wight, it’s worth knowing that your ticket lasts for seven days.

If the kids need to let off steam, there’s plenty of space for them at Robin Hill (88 acres to be exact). There are woodland trails and gardens to explore, as well as adventure playgrounds, rides and a new falconry experience. Looks like rain? Head for Sandown and the brilliant Dinosaur Isle Museum, another firm family favourite.

Heritage and history on the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight has a long history (just ask the fossil hunters you’ll no doubt encounter) and there are some fascinating heritage attractions on the island.

Perhaps the best-known is Osborne House, one of Queen Victoria’s favourite residences. Now managed by English Heritage, you can explore the elegant rooms and gardens, as well as take a walk down to Queen Victoria’s private beach.

Her predecessor Charles I is unlikely to have been quite as enamoured with the Isle of Wight. He was imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle (also English Heritage), a medieval fort with incredible views across the island. Don’t miss the adorable Carisbrooke donkeys and their demonstration of drawing water from the well via tread wheel (we did say that the island is a good place for animal lovers!).

You can also learn more about the island’s older history at Brading Roman Villa near Sandown, which is one of the finest sites of its period in the UK. The mosaics are absolutely incredible.

Beautiful Beaches

Beautiful Beaches With 57 miles of coastline, you’re never far from a beach on the Isle of Wight. If you love a seaside holiday, we definitely recommend coming here!

For a proper bucket-and-spade beach, head for Shanklin or Sandown and the sweep of Sandown Bay. There are lots of family-friendly facilities here, as well as a traditional pier. Ventnor gives a glimpse into Victorian holidays on the Isle of Wight, with its lovely row of beach huts. The beach at Cowes (of Regatta fame) is close to the town, where you’ll find a great choice of places to eat, drink and shop.

If your idea of a beach holiday is more about windswept stretches of sand or rocks to scramble on, try Steephill Cove (near Ventnor) or the sandy beaches at Ryde. For watersports, head for Bembridge, while the clear waters of Colwell Bay make it a popular spot for swimmers.

Walking on the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight is the perfect place for a walking holiday. As well as the coastal paths, there are woodland trails, routes that take in all sorts of historic landmarks and paths that go across downs, moors and marshes.

If you can, plot your walk around the island’s pretty villages. Godshill is famous for its thatched cottages and don’t visit Carisbrooke Castle without exploring its medieval village. St Helen’s has a traditional village green, while little Adgestone has its own vineyard. By the sea, try Bembridge, Whitwell and Brighstone.

Most of these villages are home to welcoming pubs and cafes: just what’s needed in the middle of a hike around the island!

Find out more about walks on the Isle of Wight.

Find your perfect holiday cottage on the Isle of Wight

After a day on the beach or exploring the Isle of Wight’s many attractions, it’s good to come back to an inviting holiday cottage. Take a look at our selection of luxurious holiday cottages on the Isle of Wight, which are in some of the island’s loveliest spots.

Beautiful Cottages

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