Places to Visit &Things to do whilst on the Isle of Wight
There are many fantastic places to go on the island.
It’s a reasonably small island; it’s 23 miles long, east to west and 13.25 miles wide, north to south - making it 147 square miles. So, to drive around the whole island is very possible, along the coast or you can take a scenic drive through and around the inland towns and attractions is great too.
If you’ve got a car or you’re on foot or you catch a local bus or a tour bus or if you’re cycling – the Isle of Wight has something for everyone with many interesting and exciting places to go.
Listed below are some of the visits, attractions, locations and interesting places that are on the island :-
North of the Island
Cowes – shingle and sand beaches, Egypt Point, sailing, lovely town and shops.
Osborne House – summer home and rural retreat of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Amazing. Private beach, Swiss cottage and beautiful gardens and grounds.
Gurnard Bay – beach huts, sailing club, children’s playground, café and restaurant. It’s quaint and pretty and in walking distance to Cowes.
Thorness Bay – another Parkdean site is here. A beach for walking along and exploring.
Fishbourne – where the Wight Link ferry is.
Ryde – seafront/esplanade and lovely sandy beaches, Superbowl bowling alley and laser quest, great retail shops, Liz Earl shop, Haven falconry, I o W Steam Railway, Wight Karting, Appley Tower, Quarr Abbey, Goodleaf Tree climbing in Appley, Ryde.
Robin Hill Country Park – adventure play, falconry, lovely countryside and grounds, red squirrel runs, slides and rides, toboggan rides, A very fun and Fantastic Day Out!!!
Isle of Wight Distillery in Pondwell – pub, distillery tour and visitor centre.
Isle of Wight Zoo – lots of animals, specialising in tigers and lemurs; with conservation and breeding programmes to preserve species a priority.
Dinosaur Isle – entertainment and education about fossils, geology and DINOSAURS!!!
Brading Roman Villa – Roman archaeology at its best. Really interesting visitor centre and museum, café and shop, meadow trail and garden.
Shanklin Theatre – loads of great shows 01983 868000.
Bembridge – Lovely town, Adventure Activities based there, a windmill, a harbour, three beaches, rock pools and its own airport. Popular for sailing and Bembridge Lifeboat Station!
Blackgang Chine – Rides and slides and lots to do.
Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary – Education, therapy and visitor attraction to pay the bills. Gift shop, café, bric-a-brac shop and donkey adoption. Free admission.
Ventnor Botanic Gardens – information centres, lovely gardens and grounds with lots to see and a gift shop.
Steephill Cove – just south of Ventnor with a handful of cottages, couple of cafes, striped deckchairs, sandy beach and no cars, this is a hidden gem but you can only get to it on foot.
Isle of Wight Pearl – cliff top views, butterfly meadow, café, informative talks and beautiful pearl jewellery.
Tapnell Farm Park – Meet the animals (cows, sheep, goats, meerkats, wallabies, alpacas, pigs, donkeys and pets corner) jumping, activity sessions, huge soft play,
Alum Bay and the Needles – great day out. There’s Alum Bay Glass where you can see glass items being blown, I o W Sweet Manufactory, Sand shop where you can buy souvenirs and make Isle of Wight sand filled ornaments etc., 4D cinema experience, cafes, rides, amusements, chairlift (very exciting down to the beach- but you can walk) and boat trips out to around the Needles.
Totland Bay – Sandy beach ideal for swimming, seafront and beach front pub.
Fort Victoria Country Park – Planetarium, model railway, reptilarium, archaeology discovery centre, seashore, woodland walks and café.
Carrisbrook Castle – Carisbrooke has been an Elizabethan artillery fortress, a king's prison and a royal summer residence. There’s a museum, working donkeys, Edwardian garden, Princess Beatrice Garden. Really great day out.
Monkey Haven (Primate Rescue Centre) – Monkeys, owls and reptiles.
Arreton Barns – Dairyman’s Daughter Pub, shops, crafts, ceramics, glass, leathercraft etc.
Isle of Wight Garlic Farm – Lovely farm shop and great restaurant.
Amazon World – Meet the animals (over 200 different species), animal adoption, meet the animals sessions, gift shop, cafe and soft play, displays and conservation information, and Jurassic themed adventure playground.
Holliers Park & House of Chilli – Arts and crafts and local food artisans, double decker bus tea room, craft store and antiques.
Briddlesford Lodge Farm – café, farm shop, dairy and farm.
Sandown – Beach (miles of sand), esplanade, cliffs, cafes, seaside, shops, zoo, restaurants, pleasure pier/amusements, lovely.
Shanklin – Shanklin Chine (a deep narrow ravine with water following through it down to the sea) with pathways to walk on right down to the beach, golden sands, esplanade, cliffs, shops, beach front restaurants, Pirates Cove and Jurassic Bay Adventure Golf, beach side café.
There are countless beaches and we’ve probably missed some off but here’s a few:- E = Excellent G = Good
Alum Bay beach – picturesque, mainly shingle, at The Needles.
Appley – beautiful stretch of sandy beach.
Bembridge – Harbours, pebbly, stone and sand, café, sand dunes, water-sports, dinghy sailing and good for exploring E
Blackgang - cliffs and beach
Brook – beach. Cliffs and fossils.
Brighstone – Sand & shingle beach good for walks and fossils.
Bonchurch (Monks Bay) – small sand and shingle beach.
Bouldnor – Great exploring beach, fossils too.
Compton Bay – Sandy two miles of dark and golden sands E
Colwell Bay (West Wight) – between Totland and Yarmouth, popular family beach, sand and shingle, shops, café, equipment hire, and Hurst Castle E
Cowes – Shingle beach & esplanade, harbour & swimming G
Freshwater Bay beach – grey flint and chalk pebbles, café, great for rock pooling, Freshwater lifeboat, with abnormally low tides you can walk across the rocky exposed ledge to see the caves and small bay to the western side of Freshwater Bay.
Gurnard – near to Cowes, a shelving sand and shingle beach, prom and beach huts, water-sports and beach Café E
Hamstead Point Beach (Newtown Bay) – no swimming, undeveloped, but great for exploring for bird watchers, beach combers and fossil hunters.
Lake beach – between Shanklin & Sandown, golden sands, clear swimming, café & BBQ area, water-sports, shallow sea (great for kids learning water-sports).
Luccombe Bay – Halfway between Shanklin and Ventnor, an exploring beach of sand and rock.
Norton beach – between Fort Victoria and Yarmouth, good swimming beach.
Ryde beach – large sandy beach, shops, cafes, restaurants, accessible by foot, rail or Dotto Train, Peter Pans playground, golf course, kids play area, paddling pool and boating lake G
Seagrove Beach – peaceful sandy beach in the middle of a wide bay G
Small Hope Beach (Shanklin) – sandy popular beach, great for families and swimming, amusements and snack bars.
St.Helens (near Ryde) – peaceful sand & pebble beach, dunes and a prom. Good for walking, swimming and bird watching E
Seaview beach (Seaview, Ryde) – pebbles, sand and rock pools, disappears at high tide!
Shanklin – golden sands and traditional promenade. Beach, cliffs, shops etc E
Sandown – Miles of lovely sandy beaches, cafes, esplanade, zoo, pleasure pier E
Springvale Beach – from Puckpool to Seaview, shingle & sand.
Totland – picturesque and sandy, idea for swimming, short pier, only go at low tide and it disappears at high tide! E
Ventnor – southern most holiday beach, sandy, cafes, pub restaurants, tourist shops, amusements, lovely esplanade E
Yaverland beach (Sandown) – white sands, sheltered seas and a snack shack E
Things to do on the Isle of Wight
Walks – There are over 500 miles of footpaths on the island, it is a favoured walking destination and one of the best places in the world for cycling too.
Horse Riding – Roads, country lanes and sandy beaches, there are stables and equine centres across the island and there is even the Isle of Wight Grand National.
Sailing – adventureactivitiesisleofwight.co.uk
Biking – “
Paragliding – “
Sea kayaking - “
Coasteering – from April to November in Freshwater Bay. It’s sea level traversing, rock climbing, cliff jumping and sea cave swimming.
Sand dunes for exploring, coastal caves and clear water for amazing swimming.
Wildlife – Red squirrels, foxes, badgers and buzzards, dormice, voles, wall lizards, birds of prey and bats…. Also animals at Amazon World, Isle of Wight Zoo, Monkey Haven & Owl Sanctuary, Donkey Sanctuary and Alapaca Trekking in Wellow.
Bird Watching – Arreton Down, great for birds and butterflies.
Golf – clubs at Ventnor, Shanklin & Sandown, Newport plus driving range, Freshwater Bay, Ryde, Osborne, Cowes and Westridge Golf Centre.
Fishing – ponds, streams, reservoirs, beach, rocks, lake and sea fishing. Some of the fish you could catch are trout, carp, perch, rudd and roach. Also bass, conger, plaice, rays, flounder, cod, smoothhound, dog fish and polluck.
Crazy golf – Pirates Cove and Jurassic Bay Adventure Golf, Sandham Crazy golf, crazy golf at Alum Bay and Rylstone Tea Rooms and Crazy golf.
Sports – Endless sports are available on the island from Archery, badminton, bowls, climbing, football, swimming, rugby, paragliding, sailing, tennis and yoga and many more…
Festivals on the Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight Childrens Festival
Spectrum, The Autism Festival
Robin Hill’s Farm Fest
Dairyman’s Daughter Beer Festival
Folk and Blues Fair
Isle of Wight Gothic Circus
Isle of Wight Jazz Weekend
Riverfest (huge summer fete)
MondoMix Festival (Music)
Real Ale Festival
The Great British Gin Festival
Isle of Wight Music Festival
Isle of Wight Schools Country Dancing Festival
Isle of Wight Pride
Festival of Heroes (kids festival)
Isle of Wight Summer Opera Festival/Tea
Jack up the Summer
Ventnor International Festival
Hops Festival (Celebrates the harvest with music, competitions, food, and magic)
Bembridge Harbour Food Fest
Eklectica Music Fest (boutique music festival)
Celebrating Age Festival
Harp on Wight Festival (harp playing competition)
Isle of Wight Literary Festival