Exterior view of Osborne House on the Isle of Wight

Osborne House, home of Queen Victoria

Isle of Wight

Things To Do on the Isle of Wight

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Island adventures all year round on the Isle of Wight

Visitors have been flocking to the Isle of Wight for hundreds of years - whether as a health resort in Victorian times, a classic bucket and spade holiday in the 1950s or for the music festival era of the 70s, the Island has something for everyone and for every season…

Getting to the Island

Getting across is half the fun, surrounded by water, visitors can travel on one of the regular vehicle ferry services where you can bring the car or take the speedy catamaran and hovercraft services as a foot passenger. Competent sailors can arrive under their own steam (or should that be wind!?) to one of the many marinas located around the island.

Head to Lymington, Southampton, Portsmouth or Southsea to embark on the crossing over.  Gateways to the Isle of Wight include Ryde, which is serviced by Wightlink FastCat foot passenger ferry and the unique Hovertravel’s hovercraft - the fastest way to travel to the island and the only commercial passenger hovercraft service in world. Fishbourne and Yarmouth for Wightlink’s vehicle ferry route and East Cowes or Cowes for Red Funnel’s vehicle and foot passenger crossings.

Top Things to do on the Isle of Wight

Given its small size, the island certainly packs a punch when it comes to things to do. No matter what your interest, there is something for everyone. For nature enthusiasts, explore the Island's stunning landscapes including the iconic Needles at Alum Bay or the beautiful coves and caves of Freshwater Bay. The Island's coastline offers a treasure trove of opportunities for water-based activities, including sailing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. For walkers, enjoy a stroll through enchanting woodlands of Parkhurst Forest, Brighstone Forest and Bouldnor Forest, or head out to the highest point on the Tennyson Downs for spectacular views and a visit to the famous Lord Tennyson memorial.

For history buffs, a visit to Osborne House, Queen Victoria's former residence, Carisbrooke Castle, with its rich medieval heritage or Yarmouth Castle with its great views over the Solent, is a must. The Isle of Wight is also renowned for its vibrant arts and cultural scene, with numerous festivals, galleries, and performances to indulge in including the famous Isle of Wight Festival and a bustling summer carnival calendar. Families can enjoy exciting attractions such as Dinosaur Isle, Tapnell Farm, Isle of Wight Steam Railway and Blackgang Chine. The Isle of Wight tourist attractions will definantly keep you busy whenever you choose to visit, many are open all year round. For foodies, the Island's local cuisine is not to be missed with delicious seafood, seasonal local produce and some of the best dining spots in the UK. 

Discover more great things to do with Visit Isle of Wight

Places to visit on the Isle of Wight

The sheltered south-east towns of Sandown and Shanklin are among the most popular places to visit on the Isle of Wight while further north, Cowes and Newport are popular for days out and bustling with activity. If you're looking for things to do in Ryde, there are three great beaches with attractions and refreshments nearby and with direct links from the mainland, it's easy to make the short hop across the Solent for the day and discover what's waiting on the other side. The Isle of Wight map will help discover more about the island's geography and plan your next island adventures.

Whether you are looking for high downs or soaring cliffs, long sandy beaches fringed by farms and forestland, fishing villages or bustling resorts, you will find them on the Isle of Wight. 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 - what stories will you share from your Isle of Wight visit.

Walking & Cycling

Miles of footpaths, bridleways and cycle routes make the Isle of Wight a top destination for those who like getting around on two feet or two wheels. The Island’s coastal path offers a whopping 68 miles to explore, or there are plenty of inland routes to take, through dappled forests, rolling countryside and pretty villages.

Cycling seems to be a national sport on the Island, largely due to the 200 miles of cycle tracks cutting through stunning scenery and plenty of great little places to stop. For those seeking adventure, the famous Round the Island cycle route offers a challenging 65-mile journey around the coastline, passing through quaint towns and iconic landmarks. Families and leisure cyclists can enjoy more relaxed rides, exploring the scenic countryside and stopping at idyllic spots for picnics. With its fresh sea air, stunning vistas, and well-maintained cycling and footpaths, the Isle of Wight provides an unforgettable experience that perfectly combines fitness, exploration, and immersion in the Island's natural beauty.

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Places to Eat

The Isle of Wight is renowned for its food and drink. Award-winning local produce, freshly caught seafood or ‘landlubber’ served in picture-perfect spots equals a winning combination. Whether it's fine dining, laidback restaurants, cosy cafes or stocking up on locally produced items in the farm shops, the Isle of Wight is a true foodies paradise.

Book an Island Getaway

Boutique hotels, B&Bs, quirky yurts and classic campsites all offer visitors a unique Island stay, whatever your budget. Choose from sea views, countryside escapes or town boltholes for the ideal Island getaway.

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.co.uk.

 

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 itinerary ideas for days out, attractions and events, explore the list below.  You'll find information on things to do, towns and villages and beautiful beaches all on the island. Use the 'map view' button to find something near you.

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Number of results: 50

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  1. Yaverland Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    SANDOWN

    Yaverland Beach is one of the Isle of Wight’s best beaches, providing a long stretch of sand and great swimming waters for children and families.

  2. Cowes Maritime Museum

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    Type:

    Museum

    WEST COWES

    Cowes Maritime Museum displays a selection of objects and images which help to tell the story of Cowes and its important maritime heritage.

  3. West Wight

    Type

    Type:

    Towns & Villages

    A spectacular coastline that includes rugged white cliffs, the famous Needles rocks and the multicoloured sandstone cliffs of Alum Bay. It also has many Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

  4. Ryde Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Ryde

    The beaches at Ryde lie on the north east coast of the Isle of Wight and offer miles and miles of sandy shores.

  5. Newport

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    Type:

    Towns & Villages

    The historic town of Newport in England is situated in the centre of the Isle of Wight and is its principal town.

  6. Monkey Haven

    Type

    Type:

    Wildlife

    Newport

    Swing by the award-winning primate rescue centre making animals happy - and people happy! Meet rescued gibbons, monkeys, meerkats, birds of prey and reptiles. Lots of fun for everyone, including wonderful keeper talks, a fun free App, kid’s trails,…

  7. Isle of Wight

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    Type:

    Towns & Villages

    Situated just off the south coast of England and only 2 hours from London via ferry or hovercraft - the Isle of Wight is simple to get to and a wonderful holiday destination all year round to explore. 

  8. Freshwater

    Type

    Type:

    Towns & Villages

    FRESHWATER

    Freshwater is a large village in West Wight and is a popular destination for visitors with the spectacular Freshwater Bay area lying to the South of the main village.

    The bay is easily recognised by its chalk cliffs and the imposing “Stag” and…

  9. Colwell Bay

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Freshwater

    Colwell Bay is one of many picturesque beaches in West Wight, offer spectacular views back across the Solent to mainland England.

  10. Sandown

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    Type:

    Towns & Villages

    Sandown

    Sandown is a firm favourite with families seeking a traditional seaside holiday. The magnificent sandy beach slopes gently into the sea, ideal for paddling and swimming.

  11. Newport Roman Villa

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    Type:

    Historic Site

    NEWPORT

    On the edge of Newport town centre, the remains of this Roman farmhouse are well worth discovering. The villa has one of the finest bath suites in southern England and there are hands on activities for all of the family.

  12. Isle of Wight Steam Railway

    Type

    Type:

    Steam Railway

    Ryde

    Inspiring, Surprising and Award-Winning … Equally appealing to adults and families, your visit to The Isle of Wight Steam Railway will charm, engage and captivate, leaving you with some lasting memories of a special day out.

  13. Shanklin Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    SHANKLIN

    Shanklin Beach is a one of the Isle of Wight’s best known stretches of golden sands, which backs onto a traditional English seafront promenade.

  14. Carisbrooke Castle

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    Type:

    Castle / Fort

    Newport

    Visit Carisbrooke Castle and enjoy over 800 years of history!

  15. Ventnor

    Type

    Type:

    Towns & Villages

    Ventnor

    A Victorian town with a Mediterranean feel & many attractions, Ventnor is one of the sunniest spots on the Isle of Wight with its sheltered southerly aspect

  16. Springvale Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Seaview

    Springvale Beach stretches from Puckpool to Seaview on the north coast of the Isle of Wight and is made up of a mixture of shingle and sand.

  17. Hovertravel

    Type

    Type:

    Boat

    Ryde

    Hovertravel, the only scheduled Hovercraft operator in Europe, is the quickest way to reach the Isle of Wight. This fast service also has a frequent timetable starting from 6am and running throughout the day until 9pm.

  18. Bembridge

    Type

    Type:

    Towns & Villages

    BEMBRIDGE

    Bembridge lies on the most easterly point of the Isle of Wight. It's claimed to be the largest village in England, with a population of around 4,000.

  19. Wildheart Animal Sanctuary

    Type

    Type:

    Wildlife Centres & Nature Reserves

    SANDOWN

    From pocket sized primates to powerful predators, the residents of Wildheart Animal Sanctuary, will charm and amaze you!

  20. Sandown Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Sandown

    Sandown lies at the heart of 'The Bay' and is renowned for its beautiful beach and safe bathing.