Isle of Wight area guide
The Isle of Wight is a popular all year round destination for fun family holidays and relaxing breaks. The whole Island is only 23 miles wide and so all parts of it are in easy access by either car or public transport.
There are a huge number of activities and places to explore on the Isle of Wight. With over half of the Island regarded as an area of outstanding beauty and with over 500 footpaths and over 60 attractions there is plenty to keep all the family entertained.
Top towns to visit:
Things to do and explore:
The Isle of Wight is famous for its beaches. The European Blue Flag Award for safety and cleanliness has been given to three of the east coast beaches; Shanklin, Sandown and Ryde.
If you care to browse through picturesque villages and their gift stores then Shanklin Old Villages, Bembridge and Godshill are all worth a visit. Larger shopping areas include Shanklin Town, Sandown, Newport and Ventor.
The Isle of Wight plays host to a varied calender of festivals and lively events. Carnivals, parades, music festivals and sporting events can all be found happening across the Island at points throughout the year. For an updated calendar of Isle of Wight events visit the tourist board website.
Top attractions for all the family:
Robin Hill Country Adventure Park, Arreton
Robin Hill Country Adventure Park set in the middle of the Isle of Wight is 88 acres of stunning park and woodland. As well as offering beautiful walks through the park Robin Hill also offers park rides, a red squirrel safari and lots more activities for kids to enjoy.
Carisbrook Castle, Newport
If you are interested in some of the history of the Island then Carisbrook Castle is well worth a visit. This medieval castle was where King Charles I was held prisoner. The building 800 years strong not only shows off beautiful craftsmanship but also a fascinating history. For the children there are opportunities to dress up as Norman soldiers or Civil War troopers and meet and groom the castles famous donkeys.
Blackgang Chine, Ventor
For a fun family day out Blackgang Chine offers a mix of exciting rides, mazes, dinosaurs, cowboys and Indians all set in beautiful Victorian Gardens.
Seaview Wildlife Encounter, Seaview
Seaview Wildlife Encounter offers a hands-on and up-close experience with the rare animals and birds it is home to. There are regular events and daily programmes of displays and opportunities to interact with the wildlife. Strolling through the unspoiled parkland visitors of all ages can discover the wildlife including penguins, Flamingos and Alpacas.
Butterfly and Fountain World, Wootton Bride
Butterfly and Fountain World is a top attraction on the Isle of Wight. This centre offers the opportunity to see hundreds of butterflies in a natural environment as well as a range of tropical gardens, koi ponds, fountains and water features. For an experience of beautiful nature and plants the Butterfly and Fountain World is an excellent choice, be sure to look up the times of the large Japanese koi carp being hand fed.
Falconry Centre, Ventor
The Falconry and conservation centre in the grounds of Appuldurcombe House is home over 70 birds of 30 species. A chance to watch skilled handlers fly and feed the birds either indoors or outdoors is what you experience at this centre and after a viewing you can hold the birds of prey yourself.
Dinosaur Isle, Sandown
The Isle of Wight's diverse geology and wealth of fossils are represented at Dinosaur Isle. The centre is home to life size reconstructions of dinosaurs that have, in the form of fossils, been discovered on the island. The museum provides information on the historical and geological findings from the Island and a programme of talks and guided walks leads to a fascinating insight of their significance.
Godshill Model Village, Godshill
A value for money attraction showcasing a beautiful model village of local sites. Churches, pubs, railways, houses and the tiny islanders paused in their daily routines to a tenth of the size. Free parking at the opposite Griffin pub.
The Needles Park, Alum Bay
Needles park is the most Western point of the Island and is the Island's most famous attraction. The coloured sand cliffs overlook the Needles Rocks and Lighthouse; Isle of Wights most famous landmark. The park is free to enter and a number of rides and attractions including the chairlift to the beach, sand shop, sweet factory, Jurassic golf, swing boats and much more work on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Walking: The Isle of Wight has a series of public footpaths and bridleways for a range of abilities and personal preferences. The famous coastal path route is a 60 mile walk and is thought be achievable in three to four days depending on the pace of the walk. Shorter and circular walks are also mapped out and show off some of the beauty and landscape of this unique island.
Cycling: The isle of Wight is full of quiet country roads for on street cyclists. There is also a network of cycle tracks and public bridleways for off road cyclists. A 'round the island' road route is well sign posted for cyclists wanting to circle the whole area, details and information of other specific cycle paths can be found at visitor information sites.
Cycle hire is also available on the island, again details can be found via visitor centres.
Public transport: Whether by bus or train the Isle of Wight's transport systems are an easy way to get from town to town and end to end. National rail will provide information on train times/prices and Wightbus is the councils fleet of buses and coaches that are available to the public.
Tourist and information centres:
Westridge Centre - Brading Road, Ryde, Isle Of Wight, PO33 1QS
Cowes- The Arcade, Fountain Quay, Cowes, Isle of Wight, PO31 3AR
Newport - The Guildhall, 136 High St, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 1TY
Ryde - 81-83 Union St, Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33 2LW
Sandown- 8 High St, Sandown, Isle of Wight, PO36 8DA
Shanklin - 67 High St, Shanklin, Isle of Wight, PO37 6JJ
Ventor - 34 High St, Ventnor, Isle of Wight, PO38 1RZ
Yarmouth - The Quay, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, PO41 4PQ