Four drives and a bike ride on the Isle of Wight
Whether you’re heading to the Isle of Wight for a half term break or a weekend away this February, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to scenic adventures. From breathtaking panoramas to incredible ocean drives, and suitable to explore by car or bike, these five routes definitely won’t disappoint!
The Military Road
Named by the Telegraph as one of the best drives in Europe, this route gives you one of the most amazing views on the island and the scenery is just stunning, especially when the wildflowers are out.
Built by German prisoners of war in WWII, it runs from Freshwater Bay, where you can grab a great croissant for breakfast, and finishes at Blackgang Chine, making it the ideal drive for all the family. The view from St Catherine’s Down is just spectacular and, at just 12 miles, you can afford to spend some time exploring every mile.
This is definitely a route for foodies, who can enjoy some superb local produce as they drive through the beautiful scenery inland. Start in Newport with brunch, lunch or afternoon tea at the Quay Arts cafe, with its locally sourced menus, then head to the Cow Co restaurant for the best cheeses, beef and dairy on the island - don’t worry, there are great veggie options too.
The rolling hills and woodlands are a delight and you’ll end the drive in Freshwater, the original home of the Isle of Wight festival. Don’t miss a spectacular sunset from the nearby cliffs.
Yarmouth to the Needles
This drive is all about the destination - no caravan holidays on the Isle of Wight are complete without a visit to Alum Bay and a boat trip out to the Needles. There’s plenty to explore once you take the chair lift down the cliffs, from the amazing coloured sands to the lighthouse. The Hut is one of the best eateries on the island to enjoy great food and great views.
The Cowes Esplanade
If you want to imagine you’re in the South of France, try the coast road in Cowes. You’ll discover some little known idyllic beaches and a paddling pool and play park that are ideal for younger kids. It’s a really pleasant way to spend the day and a visit to the Classic Boat Museum and the Lifeboat pub at the famous Marina are not to be missed.
An Epic Adventure
The Lonely Planet Guide rates the Isle of Wight as the best place to cycle in the UK, thanks to its spectacular and challenging scenery. Of course, the Isle of Wight Randonnee is the pick of the bunch when it comes to cycling routes, and should be on every cyclist’s bucket list.
This 109km route circles the island, with 1,352m of climbing, rising from sea level to 1,305m. Just follow the well marked route with its blue and white signs from Ventnor to enjoy one of the most spectacular rides ever - and there are plenty of great cafe stops along the route!
Whether you want to ride or cycle, our well-located and well-equipped holiday home in Shanklin is an ideal jumping-off point for exploring everything the beautiful Isle of Wight has to offer.