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31 Best things to do on the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight is a vast and beautiful Island in the South of England. Known to be a great tourist destination and boasting loads of amazing little villages, great beaches and delicious food, the Isle of Wight has a lot to offer. In this blog post I will provide you with a great overview of the 37 best things to do on the Isle of Wight. 

1. Osborne House

things to do isle of wight osbourne house

One of the main things to do on the Isle of Wight is to visit the Osborne House, which was the former royal residence for Queen Victoria and prince Albert. The house was built around 1845 as a summer home. Currently, the Osborne House is open to the public, and collections of the royal family is still being kept in it such as art work and photographs. One interesting aspect of the Osborne house is the accessibility to Queen Victoria’s private beach at Osborn and her personal bathing machine which is available for public viewing. Booking a ticket to visit the Osborne House will definitely open your mind to the extensive past of the royal family, but also leave a relaxing experience as the Osborne gardens, beach woodland, and terraces are open for you to enjoy.

2. Carisbrooke Castle

Carisbrooke Castle is a historic site that was once used to imprison Charles I. The castle itself has a Roman fort underneath the buildings and 71 steps that lead up to the keep. A beautiful view awaits as you make your way up the keep, grazed with meadows and fields of green, quite a wondrous sight to behold. Within the castle, several sections are open to the public such as The Great Hall, Great Chamber, the Isle of Wight Museum, and many other room. The Castle also separates itself into several areas such as the Main Gate, The Chapel, The Well House, The Constable’s Chamber, and the Earthworks.

TIP: Instead of buying a ticket, you can buy a DISCOUNTED English Heritage Membership with the code EH2020 to get 20% Off.

3. Blackgang Chine

Known as one of the oldest amusement parks in the UK because it was founded in the 1840s, Blackgang Chine offers multiple themes of amusement arcades for the whole family. Are you an adrenaline junkie? The Cliffhanger is a roller coaster that spans 400 feet above the sea and located next to the cliff’s edge. Looking to get wet by doing some water sports? Water Force is a 100 feet long water slide with three chutes for more of a wet ride, perfect for kids and adults alike! Pirate Cove is an area which provides an exciting experience that has multiple pirate themed activities in store. Water cannons, pirate ships, climbing nets, rope bridges, and much more exciting pirate themed adventures await here! There are multiple attractions with attractive themes located in Blackgang Chine, you will definitely enjoy your day filled with excitement and fun here!

4. Shanklin Chine

Shanklin Chine is also known as a woodland coastal ravine that contains waterfalls, trees, and vegetation. Visitors can also access the area with walkways to enjoy the nature this location offers. The natural landscapes and beautiful trails make visiting this location worthwhile. Tourists have enjoyed this location since 1817 due to its nature. There is also a cliff that is 280 feet tall, which provides a view towards the chine. If you are looking for a more natural experience in the Isle of Wight, be sure to visit this historical area that has existed since the 19th The breath of nature may rejuvenate yourself as you bask in the wonders of the chine.

5. Robin Hill

When pondering about things to do in the Isle of Wight, one may relate to Robin Hill which is an 88-acre theme park located in Downend. Robin Hill is also affiliated with Blackgang Chine which shares the same owner. The exiting rides within Robin Hill include a 4D motion cinema, the Cows Express Junior Train ride, the Colossus swinging galleon boat ride, and a quarter-mile downhill toboggan. Rare red squirrels can also be seen within the nature park, and a large number of events are regularly being held at the location. Definitely check this place out for those wanting to spend an exciting time with their families at a local amusement park, the day will be over before you know it!

6. Ventnor Botanic Garden

things to do isle of wight Ventnor Botanic Garden

A botanic garden located in Ventnor that is considered a rare nature reserve, it was formed in 1970 by Sir Harold Hillier as a collection of trees and shrubs. The reason why this location was used as a collection is because of its climate, mimicking a Mediterranean climate which allow plants that are normally unable to grow in British soil. The climate in the garden is approximately 3 degrees warmer than the usual British climate. The garden spans over 22 acres and holds over 6,000 types of plants, vegetation, and trees. Overall the garden is a wonderful experience guaranteed to leave you and the family fascinated by the expansive history this garden offers. Many trails await as you sightsee the multitudes of plant species, making this an educative experience as well.

7. Isle of Wight Zoo

The zoo is a wonderful place to see animals of different species in the Isle of Wight. The zoo possesses a large collection of lions, lemurs, wallabies, tigers, and many more animals. The zoo is also part of the European Endangered Species Program where the zoo partakes in breeding several endangered species such as the black and white ruffed lemur. The zoo also contains many Madagascan animals, big cats such as tigers and lions, and primates. You can never go wrong by going to the zoo, the animals are just as excited to see you as you are. If you are looking for something to do in the Isle of Wight, definitely check out the zoo to see the unique animal species the Isle of Wight Zoo has to offer!

8. The Needles

things to do isle of wight the needles

The Needles is a natural landmark that looks like three stacks of chalk that protrude 30m out of the sea. It is located off the west of the Isle of Wight within the English Channel, just to the southwest of Alum Bay. There also is The Needles Lighthouse which was built in 1859 and automated since 1994. The Needles are definitely one of many things to do in the Isle of Wight as many tourists visit The Needles and the lighthouse to sightsee and take pictures. The Needles also contain a small amusement park called The Needles Pleasure Park which is located at the top of the cliff at Alum Bay if you are looking to spend some more time at The Needles besides sightsee. If you are a bit of a thrill chaser, be sure to try out the chairlift that operates between the park and the beach!

9. Dinosaur Isle

things to do isle of wight dinosaur isle

Dinosaur Isle is a fascinating dinosaur museum located in Sandown on the Isle of Wight. Interestingly enough, the building was inspired by the shape of a giant pterosaur and is the first custom-built dinosaur museum in Europe. What better way to spend time on the Isle of Wight than taking a dive through time and learning about the various ancient species of dinosaurs that used to occupy the Isle of Wight. The museum contains many life sized models of a multitude of dinosaur species. You can take a historical tour of the discovery of the first dinosaur species in England, as well as view the dinosaur hall which contains more dinosaur species with expert guides to guide you through the history of each species.

10. Isle of Wight Steam Railway

things to do isle of wight steam railway

A historical railway located on the Isle of Wight, if trains are one of your interests then this is definitely a place to visit. The railway passes through 9 kilometers of countryside from Smallbrook Juntion to Wootton station. You can also see the village of Havenstreet when using the railway. Services are usually operated on most days from June to September, with a few days in April, May, and October. There is also a railway café available for tourists to enjoy. The railway has several operating steam locomotives and numerous carriages that dates back to the 1900s.

11. Isle of Wight Bus Museum

things-to-do-isle-of-wight-bus-museum-

A museum consisting of many buses from around the country which was founded in 1997. The museum is a charity run company and many vintage buses dating back to the late 1800s up until the late 1900s are on display at the museum. The staff members are always willing to answer any questions about the buses and displays, and will definitely teach you a thing or two about history. This is a great place to spend time in the Isle of Wight as you can not only learn a lot about bus history, but also the general history of the Isle of Wight. If you are a history enthusiast, bus enthusiast, or simply a tourist wondering about things to do on the Isle of Wight, then this is one place you should consider visiting.

12. Tapnell Farm Park

The Tapnell Farm Park is a great family attraction on the Isle of Wight as it used to be one of the Isle of Wight’s largest dairy farm. The Tapnell Farm Park is now open to tourists where people can view a large array of animals including Wallabies, Meer cats, Donkeys, Goats, Sheep, and much more. Within the Farm Park contains many activities as well such as a large play barn, the Jumping Pillow, Go Karts, and the Straw Bale Adventure Barn. Whether you are coming here with your kids or you want to simply enjoy some interactive farm ambience, the Tapnell Farm Park should be one of the destinations on your list. What better way to enjoy your time than to feed some farm animals and do some Go Karting?

13. The Garlic Farm

Fun Fact, did you know that Garlic first arrived on the Isle of Wight during the second world war when French soldiers brought it to the Isle of Wight to cook their own cuisine? Garlic is treasured in the Isle of Wight and there even is an annual garlic festival held in commemoration of garlic in the Isle of Wight. The Garlic Farm has free admission and tourists can enjoy taking a tour around the farm with complimentary tastings too! Colin Boswell is the original cultivator of garlic on the Isle of Wight since his mother planted the first crop of garlic in 1972. Things to highlight at The Garlic Farm include visiting The Garlic Farm Restaurant which is one of the best restaurants on the Isle of Wight while simultaneously using garlic as its highlighted ingredient.

14. Monkey Haven

things to do isle of wight monkey haven

If you’re into nature, monkeys, or simply trying something new, the Monkey Haven can ensure you an entertaining experience. The Monkey Haven is a charity run primate rescue center that has all kinds of wonderful animals such as gibbons, capuchins, meerkats, birds of prey, monkeys, and much more. More importantly, Monkey Haven has a noble mission to help rescue animals in need and to provide a eventful experience for tourists and guests. There are many things to do in the Monkey Haven such as feed animals, play areas, stamper trails, and other fun activities you can do while observing the animals here. It will just warm you heart to know that most of these animals have been rescued and would love to see you visit them too.

15. National trust- Mottistone Gardens and Estate

things to do isle of wight Mottistone

If you are ever looking for a place to bask yourselves in beautiful gardens in the countryside, then do consider coming to the Mottistone Gardens and Estate. One of the highlighted things to do on the Isle of Wight is to visit the gardens and enjoy the walk around them. All of the flowers in the gardens are well kept, and is adjacent to the St. Peter and St. Paul’s church. There is also a tea garden area where you can enjoy some cream tea and a Wild Area for kids to have fun. A popular trail called the Flowerpot People trail is also available for guests to stroll around the garden, and bask in the wonderful fragrance of the beautiful flowers.

TIP: Instead of buying a ticket, you can buy a DISCOUNTED English Heritage Membership with the code EH2020 to get 20% Off.

16. Quarr Abbey

things to do isle of wight Quarr Abbey

The Quarr Abbey is a monastery located on the Isle of Wight, which belonged to the Catholic Order of St. Benedict. It was completed in 1912 making it a popular historic site for tourists. If you’re looking for things to do on the Isle of Wight, visiting here for an hour or two will be a nice change of scenery as you bask in wonderful building. Another interesting thing to note is that you are able to feed pigs and piglets that reside around the Abbey. There is also a café and a farm shop for you to check out some souvenirs as well.

17. Brading Roman Villa

This historic site used to be a Roman courtyard villa which was discovered in 1879 where a farmer struck a buried mosaic floor while making holes for his sheep pen. The entire site was excavated in the 1880s and now is open to the public. Within the Roman villa lies 12 rooms that are mostly intact, with the largest room being decorated with a mosaic floor. There are mosaics and remnants of ancient Roman art all over the Villa, making this a wonderful historic site for you to deepen your knowledge of the ancient Romans. Besides the main villa, there lies the remains of a farmhouse and a granary located on the south side of the building.

18. Shanklin Beach

After travelling the whole day on land, visiting several historic sites, and enjoying the beauties of nature, one might simply want to spend time relaxing on the Isle of Wight’s beaches. The Shanklin Beach is found next to the clock tower that was formed in 1897 as Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. There are cafes, restaurants, and fun activities located all over the beach. If you are looking to participate in some water sports such as kayaking. The beach also provides the option to rent clean sunbeds and parasols for those simply wanting to kick back, relax, and enjoy the wonders of the seaside.

19. Fort Victoria

things to do isle of wight Fort Victoria

What was once a military fort on the Isle of Wight, Fort Victoria is now a historical site for tourists as the fort itself has mostly deteriorated. The fort is located on Scone Point and the position overlooks the Needles Passage. Fort Victoria was built in the 1850s and used to be a landing point for storage and resupply during the first and second world wars. During World War II, the fort was used for the military training of coastal gunners, and after the ware it was used as a national service training station. Finally, the fort was decommissioned at the end of 1962 where it is currently a popular historic site in the Isle of Wight.

20. Appuldurcombe House

things to do isle of wight Appuldurcombe House

The Appuldurcombe House is a large Baroque country house that was founded in 1702. The house itself has an extensive history following its erection, going through changes of ownership, debt, inheritance, business, and even damage during World War II. During the second world war, there was a mine that dropped close to the house which blew the windows and caused the roof to collapse. The hole in the roof was unrepaired and can still be seen to this day. Currently, the house is a historic site and an ancient relic, a shell of its former self. One thing to beware however is that the house is supposedly haunted, but nevertheless, if you are a thrill seeker or simply one who admires English heritage, be sure to check this location out!

Entry is FREE

21. Tennyson Down

Another popular thing to do on the Isle of Wight is to visit Tennyson Down which is a hill at the west end of the Isle of Wight. The hill itself is quite unique as it is located at the backbone of the Isle of Wight which extends for 4.8 kilometers. The end of this ridge is The Needles and to the south is Highdown Cliffs which is a vertical cliff drop of 100 meters. The hill consists of grasslands, trees, and a fresh breeze. The highlight of this location however is its captivating scenery and fields of green. There also lies the Tennyson Monument on the Tennyson Down which commemorates the life of Alfred Lord Tennyson, one of the most popular poets in Britain during queen Victoria’s reign.

22. Model Village Godshill

things to do isle of wight Godshill model village

The Model Village Godshill is a recreated model of godshill and Shanklin Old Villages. The villages were formed in the 1920’s and 30’s and this is place is an exact replica of the village. The details, models, houses, cottages, pubs, and buildings are all accurate representations of the villages as they were in the past. The overall experience of visiting Model Village Godshill is delightful as you can experience a blast from the past. Surely you would check the model village out if you are wondering what you can do on the Isle of Wight, the experience would be one to remember.

23. Yarmouth Castle

The Yarmouth Castle was once an artillery fort built by Henry VIII in 1547. The use of the castle spanned all the way from the 16th century to the 21st century when it was finally retired from military use in the 1950s after the second world war. The castle itself is built from ashlar stone and the walls are pierced by gun loops. This historical site expresses the toll of war on the building and the experiences the building had up until its decommission. The interior design of the castle is full of military designs such as arrow headed bastions, a Master Gunner House, chambers used for fitting magazines, and much more. Take a deep dive on the castle’s extensive war history, and buckle yourselves in for an informative journey to a thrilling story!

TIP: Instead of buying a ticket, you can buy a DISCOUNTED English Heritage Membership with the code EH2020 to get 20% Off.

24. Bembridge Windmill

things to do isle of wight Bembridge Windmill

A giant windmill located on the Isle of Wight, this windmill is centuries old and is made out of a stone base used to prevail against prevailing winds. You can also go in the windmill by going up several ladders that takes you to the inner machinations of the windmill. The windmill itself is lovely, and there is a lot to learn once you are inside it. You will also be informed of its history and a video will be provided to explain the functions of each of its parts. The windmill was built in the 1700s and was functioning using wind until 1913. The mill was also used for grinding animal feed and was finally restored and taken over by the National Trust where it is now open to the public.

25. St Catherine’s Oratory

A medieval lighthouse that is located on the country side at St Catherine’s Hill. It is also known as The Pepper Pot and is a great place for sightseeing. You can also see the Blackgang Chine from there and if you walk further on the opposite side you can see the needles across the mainland. If I could summarize the whole experience at St Catherine’s Oratory, it would be tons of walking, and tons of amazing views. Just by walking up the road and you will be bombarded with amazing view after view that will take your breath away. This is a must go for those who are visiting the Isle of Wight!

26. Royal Navy Submarine Museum

things to do isle of wight Royal Navy Submarine Museum​

Into submarines? This museum can take you back to the first development of submarines from the age of Alexander the Great to the present. The museum’s collection was formed in 1963 where the museum was in protection by the Ministry of Defense. The museum was finally opened to public in 1970 where it houses a multitude of submarines such as the HMS Alliance and the X24 submarines. Besides submarines, there are other interesting things within the museum such as torpedoes, the remembrance corner to commemorate fallen soldiers in submarine service, the control room trainer which is a submarine command simulation, and much more!

27. Butterfly World

things to do isle of wight Butterfly World

Visiting butterfly world will make you feel like you are visiting a wonderland on earth. Bask yourself in tropical gardens and thousands of beautiful exotic butterflies as you walk along the paths. Discover many different species of butterflies with beautifully diverse patterns that can provide a memorable experience for your trip here on the Isle of Wight. There are also some unique birds available and you can feed some parrots in the Lorikeet Encounter. Furthermore, there is a live bug zoo, a butterfly museum, outdoor cafes, a garden center, and much more for you to do here at Butterfly World. Come by and experience a wonderful adventure full of beautiful creatures here at Butterfly World, and indulge yourself in the beauties of nature.

28. Isle of Wight Festival

things to do isle of wight festival

The Isle of Wight Festival is a music festival that takes place annually on the Isle of Wight. The event gathers more than 250,000 people on the island and has been held from 1971. The event was then discontinued and revived in 2002 where many popular artists ranging from Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Muse, Paul McCartney, Coldplay, Jay-Z, Bon Jovi, Pharrell Williams, David Guetta, Lionel Richie, and many more headline the incredible lineup the event has to offer. Last year’s festival held on 13-16 June 2019 had around 59,000 people in attendance. If you are someone who likes to party, spend time at a concert, or enjoy live music by the top artists of the world, then be sure to catch the Isle of Wight Festival as it is only held annually!

29. No Man’s Land Fort

things to do isle of wight No Man’s Land Fort

A sea fort in the Solent near Portsmouth, this is a historic site that contains one of the Palmerston Forts that was built around 1867. It has a diameter of 200 feet and is 1.4 miles off the coast of the Isle of Wight. During the second world war, the fort was used to defend the Portsmouth dockyards and that life on the site was terribly grim. Soldier chosen to serve at the fort were deliberately selected by their inability to swim. Currently however, the fort has been transformed to a hotel and is available to accommodate any guests looking to enhance their experience at the Isle of Wight with a unique stay here at No Man’s Land Fort. Just visiting the fort can lead to an unforgettable experience near the sea as you take the time to absorb the wonders of history here at No Man’s Land Fort.

30. Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary

things to do isle of wight donkey sanctuary

The Donkey Sanctuary provides homes for stray animals, and is recommended by many as one of the things to do on the Isle of Wight. The sanctuary is full of donkeys and the staff are very friendly towards visitors. Since they are a charity organization, it is mostly run from volunteers, and visiting the Donkey Sanctuary is generally free, only a donation is asked for if you are willing to donate. The donkeys are all cute and well cared for, all of the staff members and volunteers at the sanctuary will greet you with a warm welcome as they explain everything about the sanctuary. If you are looking to see some cute donkeys that will warm your heart, the Donkey Sanctuary is worth the visit as all of the animals are pampered really well and will warmly welcome your visit.

31. Go on a boat trip

things to do isle of wight boat trips

Are you looking to spend the day on the water? Do you want to discover the Needles and the island’s great beaches from the comfort of a pleasure boat? Then you should take a boat trip when visiting the Isle of Wight. 

You can take a 20 minute boat trip to see the Needles and Alum Bay or a 15 minute speedboat trip that will take you closer to the mighty cliffs. 

best things to do in isle of wight

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