For a small island, the Isle of Wight has something for everyone. Visit Isle Wight is a great source to check what’s on during your visit. Due to restricted numbers to allow for social distancing, it is essential to pre-book most attractions via their websites.
There are a number of events for which the island is famous and gets very busy. You might want to avoid visiting during these times unless you are attending the event.
Isle of Wight Challenge 1-2nd May
Isle of Wight Festival 17th-20th June
Cowes Week 31st July -7th August
Beer & Bus Weekend dates to be advised
Here are just a few suggestions of the many places you may want to visit (I like the way on the Grove House website these are side by side. Can we do that?):-
Osbourne House – the holiday home of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. A must visit if you have never been before. The gardens and grounds are wonderful and you can spend the whole day here.
Carisbrookr Castle – romantic ruins with fantastic views over the local countryside.
Farringford - The historic home of Alfred Lord Tennyson who came to the Isle of Wight to escape the hectic life of London. Recently restored this is a must see attraction
Dimbola – the island home of photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. Part of the artistic set who called the Island their home during the 1860’s.
Isle of Wight steam railway - not to be missed! Check the website for dates, to see which of the engines is ‘pulling’ and to check what special events are on. Don’t miss the museum.
Historic Bus & Coach Museum – entry is free but you will need to pre-book. An interesting selection of historic buses. Yes, most of them still work and during the Islands ‘Bus and Beer’ weekend (you catch one of the old buses to a pub!) has become an eagerly awaited annual event
Ventnor Botanical Gardens – situated at the heart of the Undercliff, this historic garden has its own microclimate so grows plants from many regions of the world.
Mottistone Gardens – there has been a building on this site for over 1,000 years. Todays Manor House was constructed in the 15th and 16th centuries. The stunning garden was created in the 1960s.
As well as the miles of walks there are a number of popular outdoor attractions. Here are just a couple:
Robin Hill Country Park – 88 acres of parkland, woodland, countryside and water gardens.
Blackgang Chine – the UK’s oldest theme park. Fun for all ages.
Tapnell Farm Park – home to the Islands newest attraction -The Aqua Park, with over 20 waterbased obstacles opened in 2020. The remainder of the park is farm themed.
The island caters well for animal lovers! If you are one don’t miss:
Isle of Wight Zoo – home to rescued lions and tigers as well as many other animals
Donkey Sanctuary – a great place to visit. You can even adopt a donkey and check the website for take a donkey for a walk day!
Monkey Haven – if monkeys are your thing this is the place for you! Houses rescued primates.
The delightful villages, stunning sea views and cute cottages abound on the island. There are many beautiful places to see but here are just 3 to demonstrate the wide range of places available:
Godshill – so picturesque featuring some of the islands oldest architecture. Home of the Model Village.
Ventnor – a pretty, traditional seaside town with the fishing harbour, beach and famous Spyglass Inn.
Seaview – an attractive Edwardian resort, overlooking the Solent. A great place to pause and watch the world go by.