What to see on the Isle of Wight

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.  Some of the more popular attractions can be fully booked during busy dates so we recommend pre-booking on their websites.

Key dates

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.


Easter Events - 7th-10th April

Real Ale Festival IOW Steam Railway - 29th April-1st ay

Ultra Walk - Isle of Wight Challenge 29th-30th April

Walk the Wight - 14th May

Walking Festival - 13th-21st May

Rydabus - 20th-21st May ride on a vintage bus.  Coming through Shanklin for the first time!

Spring Gala IOW Steam Railway - 23rd-25th May

Ballon Festival, Robin Hill - 27th-29th May

IOW Festival - 15th-18th June

Round the Island Yacht Race - 1st July

1940's experience IOW Steam Railway  - 1st-2nd July

Cowes Classics week - 8th-14th July

Royal Isle of Wight County Show - 8th-9th July

Ventnor Fringe - 21st-30th July

Cowes Week - 29th July-5th August

Shanklin Carnival - 2nd August

Shanklin Illuninated Carnival - 5th August

Garlic Festival - 19th-20th August

Carnival Season on the Island - August

Scooter Weekend - 25th-27th August

Classic Car Extravaganza - 9th-10th September

Walking Festival (part 2) 7th-15th October

Go to www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/whatson to find out more information about these and other events.

Here are just  a few suggestions of the many places you may want to visit 


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.

Carisbrook Castle – romantic ruins with fantastic views over the local countryside.

Hidden Treasures

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.  An interesting selection of historic buses and under cover so a good attraction for a rainy day.  


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:

Wildheart Animal Sanctuary – home to rescued lions and tigers as well as many other animals. Two new rescued tigers are arriving mid-February 2023. Destined to be butchered for Chinese Medicine, they will now live out thier life on the Island.

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.

Carisbrooke Castle
Osborne House
Isle of Wight Festival
Blackgang Chine