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Freshwater Bay

Freshwater Bay

Isle of Wight

Long Beaches & Short Breaks on the Isle of Wight

Pack up the family and embark on your voyage of discovery on the Isle of Wight. It's just a short hop and a skip across the Solent and you’ll be amazed at what’s waiting on the other side.

High downs and soaring cliffs, long sandy beaches fringed by farms and forestland, fishing villages and bustling resorts, it’s no wonder that this almost fairy-tale like island was the inspiration of Lewis Carroll to write his magical story Alice in Wonderland.

Throughout history, Blackgang Chine had a reputation for shipwrecks, gangs and smugglers, and this swashbuckling imagery provides the inspiration for the Chine’s own theme park. You might be surprised to find lions and tigers on the island, yet you can see them and lots of other animals looking quite at home in the Owl & Monkey Haven. And for gardeners, no Isle of Wight short break is complete without a trip to Ventnor Botanic Gardens, where plants thrive in the wonderful island micro-climate.

Things to do on the Isle of Wight this weekend

Many of the Isle of Wight's tourist attractions are open all year round so find something to do today with activities listings each showing a map and opening times for your convenience. Or why not browse our events guide to find out what's happening this week.

Top 11 things to do on the Isle of Wight

Accommodation on the Isle of Wight is just as unique as the island itself; whether you spend a night in a Yurt or book a B&B by the sea, the Isle of Wight offers plenty of choice:

For ideas and inspiration on where to stay, what's on and things to do on the Isle of Wight visit the official website, visitIsleofWight.

List of things to do & places to visit for days out on the Isle of Wight

For more information about the Isle of Wight, including ideas for days out, attractions and events, view the list below for information on things to do and towns and villages within the county. Use the 'map view' button to find something near you.

In this section

Areas to Visit

Ventnor

Ventnor Botanical Gardens

Different in character from the other seaside towns, Ventnor on the Isle of Wight is built on a series of terraces that zig-zag down to the sun-trap...

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  1. Add Ventnor to your Itinerary

    Ventnor

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Location

    Ventnor

    A Victorian town with a Mediterranean feel, Ventnor is one of the sunniest spots on the Isle of Wight, thanks to its sheltered southerly aspect.

  2. Add Cowes to your Itinerary

    Cowes

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Location

    Cowes

    Separated by the River Medina and linked by a chain ferry, the Isle of Wight's most northerly towns of Cowes and East Cowes are steeped in maritime heritage.

  3. Add Ryde to your Itinerary

    Ryde

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Location

    Ryde

    The largest town on the Isle of Wight, Ryde has fine Georgian and Victorian buildings, lively pubs and restaurants, a seafront promenade, a marina and great nightlife and entertainment.

  4. Add Mottistone Gardens to your Itinerary

    Mottistone Gardens

    Type

    Garden

    Location

    Newport


    Enchanting garden set in a sheltered valley

    Set in a sheltered valley this magical garden is full of surprises, with shrub-filled banks, hidden pathways and colourful herbaceous borders.

    Surrounding an attractive Elizabethan manor house this 20th-century garden is experimenting with a...

  5. Add The Needles Landmark Attraction to your Itinerary

    The Needles Landmark Attraction

    Type

    Family Fun & Activities

    Location

    Alum Bay

    Set in an area of outstanding natural beauty overlooking The Needles Rocks and Lighthouse, there's breathtaking scenery and a spectacular chairlift past amazing coloured sand cliffs.

  6. Add Carisbrooke Castle to your Itinerary

    Carisbrooke Castle

    Type

    Castle / Fort

    Location

    Newport

    Visit Carisbrooke Castle and enjoy over 800 years of history!

  7. Add Isle of Wight to your Itinerary

    Isle of Wight

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    The perfect break on the Isle of Wight consists of many elements; strolls along the beaches, fun at Blackgang Chine, animal magic at the Isle of Wight Zoo and reminders of this Dinosaur Isle’s prehistoric past.

  8. Add Newtown Old Town Hall to your Itinerary

    Newtown Old Town Hall

    Type

    Historic Site

    Location

    Newport


    17th-century town hall with no town but a fascinating history

    Tucked away in a tiny hamlet adjoining the National Nature Reserve, the 17th-century Old Town Hall is the only remaining evidence of Newtown's former importance.

    It's hard to believe that this tranquil corner of the island once...

  9. Add Newtown National Nature Reserve to your Itinerary

    Newtown National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Natural Feature

    Location

    Newport


    A quiet backwater with a busy Medieval past, now bursting with wildlife

    This is the only National Nature Reserve on the Isle of Wight. It is a beautiful retreat that has something to offer boat owners, walkers, wildlife enthusiasts and historians or just those in search of peace and tranquility...

  10. Add St Catherine's Down to your Itinerary

    St Catherine's Down

    Type

    Natural Feature

    Location

    Ventnor


    A wild rocky coast with jutting cliffs, a windswept down and sheltered wooded valley

    This is possibly one of the most wild and beautiful parts of the Isle of Wight with a wonderfully varied landscape in a relatively small area.

    Turbulent currents swirl round St Catherine's Point and waves...